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The Clarion West Write-a-thon

I managed to get myself signed up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon inspite of the fact that our internet connection was wonky and wouldn't let me on the Clarion West site. My thanks to the Clarion West people, to my classmates (Vicki and Todd) , to nisi_la , to Jocelyn Paige Kelly, and to Erin Cashier who all encouraged me when I was on the verge of giving up on signing up when I kept getting error messages and when mail was the only thing I could get to function on my internet connection.  My profile page is here and I will be posting updates on my progress as much as I can.

This write-a-thon is exciting for me as I will be writing and researching and will be on the go visiting places which are necessary to my work. I've started relearning the Ilocano language and am working on learning hapit (the Ifugao language).

We went up to Ifugao two days after I arrived in The Philippines. There was just enough time to recover from jetlag and then we were off again on the night trip to visit the mountains of my childhood. The bus trip took almost as long as it took for me to fly here from The Netherlands. It was cold in the bus, and I was glad for the warnings that made me take our coats with us as well as a couple of shawls. There was nothing to see in the dark, but when dawn arrived we could see mountains on every side of us. And that was only Nueva Vizcaya.

How long has it been since I've seen mountains? The one thing about living in the Netherlands is the absence of mountains. Everything over there is flat and while I find the Dutch landscape beautiful, I have to say there is nothing that can equal the beauty of Ifugao mountains, and when we were going up, I really felt like I was going home. We moved to Manila when we had to go to highschool, but my heart has never relinguished its connection to Banaue and in my heart that place is really where home is.

I had long ago decided to sign up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon and because my brother seemed to be able to update his facebook regularly, I took it for granted that I could get online and sign up in Banaue. Upon arrival, my brother told me that the internets were down and they were still waiting for the tech people to come up.

Well, I thought, I can always sign up when the internet comes back on. I didn't stop to think that this is Banaue where time flows differently from the rest of the world. I mean, the internet is a good thing, but where we were it wasn't a necessity. I can't help contrasting the way life is in The Philippines to life in The Netherlands. The day we returned to Manila, I thought to try and get online only to discover that the internet connection seemed to be disturbed by the rains and I kept getting disconnected or something happened that made signing up online just frustrating. In the end, I had to send an SOS to my Clarion West class which resulted in me getting signed up through the help of the Clarion West folks. Thank you so very much.

Anyway, today is the third day of the write-a-thon and I've been busy working on language retrieval as well as writing. Thanks to my Banaue visit I was able to complete work on two stories that have been chasing after me since forever. Next on my agenda is to visit Vigan as I want to complete work on a story that I've set in Ilocos. I'll be going back to Banaue again as I have more research to do.

I'll be posting regular updates here, my writing and research progress and pictures/films from the (imo) happiest place on earth.


Jun. 21st, 2011 10:31 am (UTC)
AWESOME! Can't wait for the pictures (and the stories).

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