Call for Applications for 2017 Davao Writers Workshop

Editor's Note | August 2, 2017

The Davao Writers Guild is now accepting applications to the 2017 Davao Writers Workshop to be held on October 27 to 31, 2017.

Fifteen (15) fellowships are available, five (5) of which will be given to writers from outside Davao City but limited to residents living in Mindanao.

Applications are for the following genres: short fiction, poetry, essay, and play. They may be in English, Tagalog, or Binisaya. Entries should either contain 2 short stories (1,000 to 5,000 words), 2 essays (1,000 to 5,000 words), 2 one-act plays, or 5 poems.

Entries must be the applicants’ original works and should have not been accepted to another writers workshop or included in a creative writing thesis. Applicants should be a resident of Davao City or any part of Mindanao. Applicants should have not been an alumnus of the previous Davao Writers Workshop or a fellow to any of the national writers workshops. Accepted fellows will be given free board and lodging for the duration of the workshop.

Applicants are to:

  1. Fill out the application form
  2. Sign the certification form
  3. Attach the electronic copy (.doc, .docx, or .rtf file) of the manuscript
  4. Send certification form and manuscript to davaowritersworkshop[at]gmail[dot]com with subject: “DWW2017 Submission”

Deadline for submission is September 15, 2017.

For inquiries, please send a message to davaowritersworkshop[at]gmail[dot]com.

The 2017 Davao Writers Workshop is organized in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

You may find the Application Form and Certification Forms on the following links:
Application Form
Certification Form (.docx)

2017 Davao Writers Workshop Fellows

Editor's Note | October 16, 2017

The Davao Writers Guild is pleased to announce the fellows to the 2017 Davao Writers Workshop.

The fellows for poetry are Marc Jeff Lañada from General Santos City, Jay Yañez from Iligan City, Jan Vernix Atis from the Island Garden City of Samal, Innah Alaman, Ian Derf Salvaña, and Marie Crestie Joie Contrata from Davao City, and Diosel Uyangoren from Maragusan, Compostela Valley.

The fellows for fiction are Mubarak Tahir, Mivida Gabrielle Garcia, and Angelo Lenard Yu from Davao City, Ralph Jake Wabingga from Sulop, Davao del Sur, and David Jayson Oquendo from Polomolok, South Cotabato.

The fellows for creative nonfiction are Charmaine Carrillo from Cagayan de Oro City, Hannah Rae Villarba from Davao City, and Erlyn Piolo from Surallah, South Cotabato.

The 2017 Davao Writers Workshop is organized by the Davao Writers Guild in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

The 2017 Davao Writers Workshop runs from November 30, 2017 to December 4, 2017.

Workshop sessions are open to those who are interested to listen to the discussions.

Of course

Poetry by | September 24, 2017

Of course,
I already got used to traveling—
watching greens slowly turn to gray,
unconsciously staring at road lines
as they shift from white to orange,
from orange to white,
from straight to broken,
to noticing the cracks and bumps
of the asphalt and cement road.

Of course,
I have become familiar with the hillside
decorating the view on the left window
with trees, roots, rocks, and tall grasses.
I have become familiar with the sea side
waving at the right side,
glistening waters saying goodbye
as the sun welcomes slumber
to my side of the world.

Of course,
I got used to these changes.

But today,
the changes felt new.

And just when the I got used to traveling
these very same roads,
I got lost.

Teniza Lianne Anduiza studies BSE English at Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City. In her undergraduate Creative Writing class, she has been mentored by her instructor, poet Ton Daposala. Her poem ‘Little Changes’ has previously appeared at the Issue 3: ‘Disasters’ of Bukambibig Poetry Folio of Spoken Word Philippines.



Poetry by | September 24, 2017

The caffeine in your head
will make you drop dead.
Timelines in the eyes of the
mind mapped by lies and despise.

Graveyard’s shift for your honey
make way for the tiny memory
in your casket
it’s a hole dug for you.

Muses of the foolish that once roamed
they lived and once owned
every shape and shadow
waving goodbyes and hellos.

Music plays on while they snore
louder than the machine
making time stop and start
at the life of the pitiful
monsters flooding melodies,
conquering dreams,
crying throughout
the phantom of disguise.

The bared and concealed lie
across each other
finding peace among
the wars of the genuine
soldiers fly around the clouds
rivers flow by you
(don’t presume)
when you don’t need it.


Tessa is a Junior clerk at Davao Medical School Foundation Inc. She graduated BS Biology from Univverisity of the Philippines Mindanao.


What I Remember When I Think About Kuya Mai

Nonfiction by | September 24, 2017

I was 9 years old when Kuya Mai passed away. He was my uncle but we call him Kuya Mai. A month before he was sent to the hospital, a fish bone was stuck in his throat. After that incident, I was so careful every time I eat fish that I even separate the bones of anchovies before eating so that I’ll not be sent to the hospital like him.

Kuya Mai had some peculiar things going on on his body. There were giant pimples growing on his legs. He occasionally let us- his nieces and nephews prick his giant pimples and he would say that the thick yellowish fluid that comes out is uric acid. That time, I have no idea what a uric acid is. To my eyes it was disgusting but I still participated as I don’t want to be left out. Kuya Mai loved kids. For a man who never got married, it was quite a wonder. During his trips from local seminars and trainings he would bring us goodies. He called those goodies “secret”. Most of the time it is a Nestlé made chocolate- a Kisses, Hersheys or a Gandour chocolate called Safari. Childishly, I secretly wished him to be always out-of-town so that when he came back he would bring us lots of “secret”. Sometimes he would bribe us with “secret” to massage his head or legs. Continue reading What I Remember When I Think About Kuya Mai

Kindergarten Classroom

Fiction by | September 24, 2017

At the age of four, my father would take me to my kindergarten classroom.
Upon entering the classroom, the door would shut behind me leaving him outside. I cried– afraid of the fact that I am alone and too weak to face the world all by myself – I screamed, and pleaded to everyone to let him stay with me. I slapped the door wishing I could knock it down with my little hands– wishing that I could make my way out and see him.

Struggling to calm me down and shut me out, the teacher just desperately repeated these words, “Stop crying. Your father will be back soon. But, he won’t come back if you keep on crying.”

Continue reading Kindergarten Classroom


Fiction by | September 17, 2017

On the 25th Sunday, the 3rd month of the year, the breaking of the breeze comforted the whole season. The sun was so brilliant engulfed throughout the day, while the chirping of the birds sounded melodiously. They flew here and there, catching each other like lovers missed from hugs and kisses. They were played by the wind blows, swaying their wings against the air, chasing until they found their refuge and rested. Under the monstrous tree they were on, there was a nipa hat, a native, beautifully designed by hands. It was made up of good Nara, a lumber where drawn on it, the lines of the old ways. It was surrounded by the grassy ground but viable to anybody who would like to rest from a journey. But one could ask: was there anybody around that small house? If there was, then who would that someone be?

At 3:00 o clock on that same day, I was on my way home. I walked cautiously as my feet were forceless stepping on the ground. In a far away distance, I saw an old wrinkled woman similarly exhausted as I was, as if losing her breaths. She was panting while her eyes focused to mine. I did not hesitate to come over her to ask where she might be coming from. She dropped down her sungkod without answering my question. The woman collapsed. So, I looked somewhere else but nobody could have been there.
Continue reading Time


Poetry by | September 17, 2017

Remember when we’re cloaked in darkness and wanderlust
In our own filth, we begged at the pedestal of grandiose stars
In their hollow castles all sparkling over our heads
Trying to steal a piece of light for winning our inner wars
We were the nomads in sync with stale winds of rare moons
Following the trails of the archer, Sirius, Virgo
And in the silence, our shut lips are calling on high
That our lost feet may be lifted where galaxies grow

Monique graduated from UP Mindanao. She is currently studying medicine.

limestone cliffs

Poetry by | September 17, 2017

primordial primordial
that’s the word you used
for the limestone cliffs behemoth
over the tranquil waters of this lagoon

divine divine
that’s the word i would use
for you standing before these cliffs towering
over me: a god & I the offering

truth is truth is
i have no care for these rocks
nor for every trace of blue
that surrounds us except for you &

your eyes your eyes
the sea must feel ashamed of itself
& ask was your eyes always this blue
or was the sea’s blue never blue

tomorrow tomorrow
when you leave this blue heaven
godless: the offering remains waiting
his bones become limestone cliffs

creaking creaking
perhaps you were right
these limestone cliffs really are
primordial primordial


Christian S. Baldomero is a BS Accountancy student of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. He has attended the 2016 Davao Writers Workshop and is affiliated with Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC). He loves cinnamon rolls and Siargao.

A Portrait of a Young Man as a Banak

Nonfiction by | September 10, 2017

(This Essay was first published in Cotabato Literary Journal)

From time to time, almost to the point of rarity, a school of peculiar banak visited Panacan, the place where I grew up. They were a spectacle: if they had visited more often, the place would have been a tourist spot. Unlike the common one-footers that could be caught using lanit, they were roughly two feet long and swam in a group of around twenty to thirty. Nobody knew when they would visit, and when they did the place would immediately come to life: the children, barely catching a glimpse of them, would run over the wooden bridges that connected, like a web, our little coastal community; the fishermen would hastily equip themselves with harpoons, although nobody, as far as I can remember, would catch a single one of those elusive banak. Nobody was ever prepared for their swift, unannounced appearance.

Our community was a small purok in Panacan, a barangay in Davao City, but to this day I still wonder whether the purok was named Jasa or Jacona. When somebody asked me where I lived, I found it difficult to answer. Perhaps it is one of the usual difficulties you encounter when you live in an informal settlement, in which you develop a rather unusual sense of home. “Sa Trese,” or at Trese, was the most convenient reply, but it was not that specific. So most of the time I would say, “Atbang lang sa Macondray,” or just in front of Macondray.

Over the phone Mama told me she would meet me at 7-Eleven, in front of the flyover at Agdao, Davao City. I had just arrived after a three-hour ride from General Santos City. Standing in front of Ecoland terminal, I told her I did not exactly know where our meeting place was.
Continue reading A Portrait of a Young Man as a Banak