According to Merlie Alunan, the writers Edilberto and Edith Tiempo, founders of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop, have so influenced Philippine literary production that the latter half of the twentieth century and “a few more decades hereafter” can be called “The Tiempo Age.” This essay examines the relationship of aesthetics and politics in institutionalized creative writing in the Philippines by unpacking the politics of the Silliman Workshop’s autonomous aesthetics. It situates the origins, pedagogy, and imagined community of the Silliman Workshop within the network of American colonial education in the Philippines, American cultural diplomacy, and institutionalized creative writing in the United States. It explores how New Criticism, as appropriated by the Iowa Writers’ Workshop-trained Tiempos, conflates the autonomy of the literary text with the autonomy of the literary space in which it is produced. The lack of institutional self-critique authorized by this conflation results in the propagation by the Silliman Workshop of colonialist and classist ideas about language and literary production, which are camouflaged, if not naturalized, as principles and mechanisms integral to the craft of writing. The essay calls on the successors of the Tiempos who currently run the Silliman Workshop to scrutinize the historical contingency of the aesthetic values they inherited and to revise their New Critical pedagogy, which continues to uphold the primacy of English as the language of creative writing education and literary production.
For our sake, we better understand what is happening and act collectively to avert the worst outcome.
First, there was the filing last Friday of the impeachment complaint against President Duterte by Representative Gary Alejano of the Magdalo party list. The timing was perfect, with Congress having just adjourned, surprising the Duterte administration and its supporters.
Dengue fever continues to prevail against all efforts of health-care systems: vector control programs against the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti, repellents and barrier inventions, education, and a vaccine touted with great expectations.
The Dengue vaccine has fallen short of promise: hundreds of adverse effects have been reported, a lack of efficacy to protect against the the most frequent viral serotype, and to boot, the threat that vaccine use can increase the severity of subsequent episodes There was much hue-and-cry from public health advocates and health care workers on the DOH’s “haste in the roll out of the vaccination campaign” for the Sanofi’s vaccine.
… Oceana Gold … despite years of protests, countless studies and reports, and now a suspension order, continues to operate in Nueva Vizcaya (Bulatlat.com, 3 March) like it hasn’t done anything wrong at all.
The usual political literature says the nation is deeply polarized and two factions are the major players: the pro-Duterte group and the so-called “Yellows.” Ever a doubter of easy generalizations, I tried to look for empirical evidence that the so-called “Yellows” – which means the die-hard followers of Ninoy and Cory Aquino who then transferred their loyalty to the son – really exist.
(1943 – 2011)
People power in 1986 restored to Philippine society the “democratic space” which had been previously occupied by the running dogs of martial law.
But as in previous turnovers of power in our society, that space has been hogged by the elite and its own running dogs, to the exclusion of particular groups: the teacher-student, the art-media and the scientific communities.Read on…