Last April 7, 2017, in partnership with National Book Development Board – Philippines, the Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS) featured four UST Publishing House authors at The Pinoy Book Stop Tour at the UST Bookstore, Main Building.

Featured in the event were Asst. Prof. Rino D. Fernandez, CCWLS resident fellow Chuckberry Pascual, PhD, CCWLS director Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, PhD, and Marne Kilates. All their books were finalists in the 35th national book awards.

From a message read by Publishing House Deputy Director Ailil B. Alvarez on Asst. Prof. Rino D. Fernandez’ behalf, the author had two reasons for publishing Diksiyonaryong Biswal Ng Arkitekturang Filipino: first, as a book enthusiast, he wanted his own book to be placed on the shelf side by side with the authors he admired and second, more importantly, to contribute to the very limited published books on Filipino Architecture.

Fernandez noted that his digital collection of books taught him the important aspects of writing and publishing. “Aside from the printed works, I also have a digital library with thousands of latest e-books on architecture [and] other subjects that interest me.”

Trained to design and to construct buildings, he did not see himself as a writer, or even in the field of writing itself.

Despite, recalling his background in campus journalism, Fernandez participated in the National Secondary School Press Conference twice; later on, the experiences gained in attending series of lectures became the focal point of his life: writing became an important part of him as an educator and as an architect in the University.

Extracted from his poetics, Chuckberry Pascual, PhD, underscored the two functions of confession in his works: on one hand, the interest of the story in-itself; on the other, to “purge” the sins, prejudices, apathy, and failure to understand the situation of queers and the lack of ability to help them in the actual life.

“The focus on the potential of literature is to create noise and to be heard by people; if not, to hear [one’s own voice] that can possibly contribute a greater good in the society outside the borders of paper, the talks on cultural capital, showcasing one’s own potential, and indulgence in money.” Pascual said.

According to CCWLS Director, Professor Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, PhD, cited that writing is something that she does, the same way as eating.

Even falling in love.

“I taught myself to write under any circumstances so I do not believe in such things as inspiration, the muse, and the mood.” Hidalgo said. “If you are a professional writer, you write. That’s what you do.”

Remembering his late high school days, Marne Kilates, out of curiosity, once plucked a book that was worn and already lost its covers–a novel by the 1954 Nobel Laureate in Literature Ernest Hemingway–from his mother’s shelf, who loves mystery novels; he was attracted to the story but did not finish it.

However, when he reached college, Kilates decided to revisit same book. “After knowing who Hemingway was, I continued reading.” he said.

Kilates urged the writers to go beyond and avoid having their reading interest confined only in the field of literature, “Read as much he or she can in [different] fields of knowledge.” Kilates said.

“There are books in Math and [in] Science that a writer can enjoy [which can spark] his curiosity and feed his thirst for knowledge.”

The Pinoy Book Stop Tour is part of the activities of the National Literature Month or Buwan ng Panitikan. The NBDB, together with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), has been promoting Philippine literature, supporting the growth of independent book stores, and encouraging reading of excellent Filipino-authored books since declaring April as National Literature Month in 2015.

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