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Weaving words in Eastern Visayas

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The 16th Lamiraw Creative Writing Workshop was successfully held from 24 to 26 June at the University of Philippines Tacloban College, Tacloban City, Leyte. It was inspired by the theme “Paglara han sumat, Paghinumdom” (To weave a story, to remember) which aimed to cultivate the writing of modern susumaton (short story) in Waray language, the lingua franca of Eastern Visayas.

Katig Writers Network Inc. and the Office of the Governor of the Province of Leyte were the joint implementers of the workshop, in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Calao Writers Inc., the Bienvenido Santos Creative Writing Center (of De La Salle University), film director Chito Roño and Dr. Eugenio “Boy” Abunda.

A total of 10 fellows made it to workshop — Lakan Uhay Alegre and Hara Mae Macanas from Tacloban City; Kenneth Alvin Cinco from Salcedo, Eastern Samar; Kimberly Mae Ortego from Talalora, Samar; Osmundo Orlanes from Calbiga, Samar; Jeremy Evardone from Palapag, Northern Samar; Mark Pugnit Bonabon from Biri, Northern Samar; Rhodora Bande from San Roque, Northern Samar; Herminigildo Sanchez from Catbalogan City, Samar; and Leonilo Lopido from Dolores, Eastern Samar.

The panelists who shared their inputs on fiction writing were professor emeritus Merlie Alunan of the University of the Philippines; Dr. Dinah Roma and Timothy Montes of De La Salle University; Antonino de Veyra of UP Mindanao; Michael Carlo Villas of Visayas State University; Yvonne Esperas of Philippine Science High School (EV Campus); and Firie Jill Ramos of UP Tacloban, the workshop director.

16th Lamiraw particpants in Tacloban City.

Among the highlights of the Lamiraw Workshop were the annual Boy Abunda Fellowship Night sponsored by no less than the popular television host, and the sixth Chito S. Roño Literary Awards (CSRLA), a component of the workshop, which gave away prizes to the winners of the contest on poetry (siday), short story (susumaton) and play (drama). For the play category, Jose “Pet” Labro from Catbalogan City, Samar won first prize and P12,000.
Meanwhile, for the poetry category, Reynel Ignacio from Calbayog City, Samar, bagged the first prize with P5,000; Jhonil Bajado from Maydolong, Eastern Samar, the second prize and P3,000, and Kenneth Alvin Cinco from Salcedo, Eastern Samar, the third prize and P1,000.
For the short story category, Evardone won the first prize with P5,000; Alegre the second prize with P3,000; and Ortego the third prize with P1,000. Roño, who hails from Calbayog City, was the sponsor of said literary contest.

The Lamiraw Creative Writing Workshop, which is founded in Samar by Alunan in 2004, is one of the most stable and well-respected workshops in the country. It has been instrumental in developing the crop of young writers in Samar and Leyte. Lamiraw grew into a community workshop with a regional base and a national event with emphasis on reviving local writings in Waray, Cebuano and Inabaknon.

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