Sunday, November 13, 2022

Dr. Joti Tabula and Dr. Luis Gatmaitan

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to listen to two important and excellent lectures. 

The first was by Dr. Joti Tabula, who talked about creative non-fiction writing and narrative medicine. I call him Sir Joti because he was my senior resident in internal medicine. He has, in many ways, remained a mentor to me. Since the days of medical training, he has dabbled in his two loves, writing and healing, and has long since championed narrative medicine in the country, egging and encouraging physicians like me to share our works with the world. I am forever grateful. In his lecture, he used my piece, "Mother and Son," as an example, which was a great honor for me, but which made me extremely self-conscious. It is true that one's creative works take lives of their own the moment the author releases them into the world. I thought of this truth when he analyzed my works paragraph by paragraph. To be honest, I did not consciously think of using a literary device in this part, did not plan for them: they just sounded right at the time. 

Open Forum with Dr. Joti Tabula and Dr. Luis Gatmaitan

Sit Joti also gave examples of the works of Drs. Will Liangco, Maria Carmen Castillo, and Sue Ann Locnen. These are fine writers. Dr. Liangco has published his book, Even Ducks Get Liver Cancer, which I haven't finished because my cousin Hannah keeps grabbing it from me, laughing in a corner all by herself, like a madwoman. I will meet them, as well as the other CNF workshop participants, face to face by the end of the month. 

Open Forum with Dr. Joti Tabula and Dr. Luis Gatmaitan

The second was by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, a Palanca hall of famer and prolific writer, best known for his books for children. His lecture was entitled, "Writing What One Loves." He spoke from the heart, which left us inspired and courageous to put our thoughts on paper. He talked about publishing his works in Liwayway magazine, which celebrates its 100th year; his foray into writing books for children; and so much more. The truly great people are the ones who are not conscious of their greatness. Dr. Luis exuded such warmth and humility that made me think of the kindest human beings who have walked the earth. Here's a screenshot of Dr. Luis and Dr. JB, one of the workshop participants during the open forum.

Open Forum with Dr. Joti Tabula and Dr. Luis Gatmaitan

Next week, we will discuss the first three pieces in the workshop.

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