Last April, literary critic and essayist Katrina Stuart Santiago wrote a controversial polemic about patronage and cliquishness in the Philippine writing establishment. MR editors Caroline S. Hau (CSH) and Miguel Syjuco (MS) probe deeper.
CSH: Your article, “Burn After Reading” (Rogue Magazine, April 13, 2012) is critical of the “us-vs-them” cliquishness of the Philippine writing establishment. You talk about “an unspoken/unconscious/unexplained set of rules” for gaining entry into the writing community, rules that you say have nothing to do with literary merit. What are these rules?