The UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies launched two of their resident fellows’ books at the Tanghalang Teresita Quirino Auditorium last February 21, 2018 during its event titled Maskara.

The showcased books were CCWLS Director Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo’s book of memoirs “The Thing with Feathers” (UST Publishing House) and Mr. Benedict Parfan’s second book of poems “Tilt Me and I Bend “(UP Press).

The need to write

Hidalgo said a book that an aspiring writer need to write is about obsession. “If you are obsessed with something–whether that be a person, something that happened to you, a [traumatic experience], or something that is painful–that is the one you need to write. And it is usually painful.” she said.

Parfan said a book will be considered finished when the writer wants to “get rid of it” through publication. “The work is finished when you no longer have to do anything with it.” said Parfan.

Presenting the truth in fiction and in non-fiction

Despite “the mask”–in junction with the title of the event–worn when writing non-fiction, Hidalgo said writers should not invade the privacy of people especially in writing memoirs as far as possible. “I am careful not to reveal the things that I think they do not want to reveal.” Likewise, Hidalgo said it is safer to reveal the truth in fiction through characters which were based on real people.

“The search for truth is dignified. I try to look for something, answers and questions that bother me.” Hidalgo said.