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A good kind of sadness

Received a certificate of appreciation from Prof. Ron Baytan, director of the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center of De La Salle University, for my work as panelist during Pathography: Writing the Pandemic. I don't care much for certificates—they get lost in the file, which I lose track of—but this one stands out because it feels undeserved. It is not every day that a poet emails me.


Keth, an internist based in General Santos City, was one of the doctor-writer participants. To the group she wrote:

I am sad that it’s now over. By the second round of stories, I’ve come to recognize each member's unique and distinct voice speaking to me through the pages, and it felt a bit like reuniting with an old friend. I may not know all the specific details of your life, but it’s probably not an exaggeration to say that I’ve gotten a glimpse of your heart through your stories. And I want to see more.

We still have not met for coffee, Keth and I. She is a dear friend from college. With happy-go-lucky friends, we founded UP SOX, a regional org in Diliman. UP Batangan's overflowing membership list and crowded tambayan made us envious. Even students from Davao had their own org. What kept us from making one? I remember that we had no big ambitions for it. The QuizMas Challenge, a quiz show for high school students that we would run for years, was an after-thought. 

I am sad that the workshop is now over, but grateful for the chance to meet Roger Velasco, Kenn Samala, Dane Sacdalan, Elvie Gonzalez, Will Liangco, Agz Chaves, Anna Arcellana, Loaf Fonte, and Noel Pingoy. My heart overflows with thanksgiving to Prof. Marj Evasco and Dr. Joti Tabula for the opportunity. Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow.


  1. Hahaha ang saya Lance di ba! Not a dull moment! Sabi namin ni elvie feeling namin nasa American Idol kami!


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