Call for Applications for 2019 Davao Writers Workshop

Editor's Note | July 23, 2019

The Davao Writers Guild is now accepting applications to the 2019 Davao Writers Workshop to be held in November 2019.

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), or 2 essays (1,000 to 5,000 words), or 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 not have been an alumnus of previous Davao Writers Workshops 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) Secure a signed Certification Form.

3) Secure the electronic copy (.doc, .docx, or .rtf file) of the manuscript.

Manuscripts should have a 1.5 spacing (not applicable for poetry entries), and a one-inch margin on all sides. The page number should be typed consecutively at the center of the bottom margin of each page (i.e, 1 of x, 2 of x). The font should be Arial, Times New Roman, or Book Antiqua. The font size should be 12. Kindly include all entries in one document, and name your document as “[LASTNAME]_[GENRE]_Manuscript_2019DWW”. The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript.

4) Send your manuscript and signed certification form to with the subject “DWW2019 Submission”.

Kindly use only one email address in the application process.

Only one application for each genre is allowed. Applicants may choose to submit multiple entries to different genres. Applicants with multiple entries must submit an application form for each genre.

Deadline for submission is on September 15, 2019. For inquiries, please send a message to

The 2019 Davao Writers Workshop is organized in cooperation with the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

Fellows to the 2019 Davao Writers Workshop Announced

Editor's Note | October 7, 2019

The Davao Writers Guild is pleased to announce that fifteen (15) writers from various parts of Mindanao are this year’s fellows to the 2019 Davao Writers Workshop, to be held this October 31, 2019 to November 4, 2019, at Casa Leticia Boutique Hotel, J. Camus St., Davao City.

Workshop Director Jeffrey Javier and Deputy Director Gracielle Tubera released the official announcement on the acceptance of the following:

For Fiction

Liane Carlo R. Suelan (Davao City)
Jasmin C. Arcega (Davao City)
Marylie E. Noran (Digos City)
David F. Madriaga (Isulan, Sultan Kudarat)
Raphael Luis J. Salise (Davao City)

For Poetry

Sunshine C. Angcos (Davao City)
Mary Divine C. Escleto (General Santos City)
Chris John Reeve A. Dela Torre (Dapa, Surigao del Norte)
Renner A. Sasil (Iligan City)
Tara Yakob O. Montiflor (Davao City)
Marielle Angela C. Pagoto (Tagum City)

For Creative Nonfiction
Khamille Ann A. Linsag (Mati City)
Samaira T. Guro (Davao City)
Hannah Joy T. Luyao (Cagayan de Oro City)

For Drama
Sean Jhon C. Anecio (Dapitan City)

This year’s panelists are Macario D. Tiu, John Bengan, Errol Merquita, Lualhati Abreu, Jay Jomar Quintos, Lakan Umali, Michael Aaron Gomez, Ria Valdez, Nathan Go, and Farrah Virador. Cagayan de Oro writer Lina Sagaral-Reyes is returning as this year’s guest panelist and keynote speaker for the workshop’s opening program on October 31, 2019, 9:00 AM.

The workshop is open to those who are interested to listen to the discussions and learn from the panelists’ craft lectures.

The 2019 Davao Writers Workshop is organized in cooperation with the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

Not Another Drunken Memory

Nonfiction by | August 25, 2019

I was walking down the unfamiliar streets of Ecoland at 10 PM, when I finally answered my mother’s phone call. I had missed nine calls from her.

Asa na ka? Pagdali na kay nag-inom imong Papa,” my mother told me with conviction in her voice.

I shivered at the tone of her voice and the thought that my father was drunk once again. When Papa was drunk, we should all be at home, either asleep or doing our usual evening routine. He would start acting like a teacher—checking the attendance of his students. After all, he was my first teacher who taught me how to be a good daughter by always choosing to be with my family no matter what.

I walked towards the bus station, unable to find a jeep. As I waited for our bus to depart, I thought about my groupmates whom I left with tons of work to do. We were all cramming to pass our Movie Trailer for our Literature subject that was due before midnight. I did not want to leave them but I had no choice. I had a greater deadline from a more terrifying teacher.
Continue reading Not Another Drunken Memory

Palayo Sa Aso

Poetry by | August 25, 2019

Ayaw na ko ihatod,
mahasol ra ka,
” sulti nako niya
samtang gabitbit sa akong mga maleta
pagawas sa among purtahan,
nga karon iyaha na lang.

Guot na kaayo ning balaya
para namong duha.
Tulo ka-tuig na sad
ang milabay sukad gitistingan namo
isigo ang usa’g usa diria.

Di na gyod ka magpapugong?
sambit niya human gibuga ang aso
gikan sa iyang sigarilyo,
bisyo nga wa nako tuguti
sa sinugdanan–apan kadugayan
kay naandan na lang.

Unsa pa ma’y dugayan?
Tubag nako, dayon amin.
Gahulat na ang traysikel nga akong sakyan
padulong kanto,
padulong sa dapit nga layo
sa iyang mga aso.

Apan, sa akong mga kamot
magpabilin gihapon ang baho.

Jasmin C. Arcega is a Creative Writing student in UP Mindanao who loves chicken, ketchup, books, and Super Junior.

Ang Sapatos Ni Inday

Poetry by | August 25, 2019

Samtang ako nagahulat
sama sa usa ka bato sa kilid
duol sa purtahan kauban
ang mga lapok nga pirteng kapyot
sa akong atubangan.
Ako naghinamhinam
sa kanindot sa ubang sapatos
nga nagtapok ug giampingan
sa sulod sa aparador.

Nipungko ko layo sa ila ug naminaw
sa kabanha sa mga butiki nga igat,
ug ang dagan sa mga ok-ok nga kiat,
sama sa makina ni Lola nga buntag-hapon
padayon gihapon sa pagtahi
sa mga klase-klaseng sanina nga gisi.

Ang kahilom sa abog nga madunggan
sa salog kauban ang hangin nga sigeg panitsit
sa puting kurtina ug mosabay ug sayaw
inig mosulod kini sa bintana.
Mga bangko nga murag guwardiya
sa yagpis nga lamesang nagtuwad.

Ang akong pagdahom nga makagawas
sa akong tigoman nga hantod lantaw na lang
sa punoan nga sigeg tutok
sa bintana kauban ang kahayag
nga nagatuyok.
Ug ako nga usa ka butang
mopadayon na unta og baktas
nga naay padulngan.

Shinnen Johann N. Cahandig is born in Bugabungan Upi, Maguindanao. She is a senior high school graduate of Davao City National High School and is currently studying AB Literature and Cultural Studies in the University of Southeastern Philippines.

Leaving Mrs. Joy

Nonfiction by | August 18, 2019

Thirteen years ago, my brother Nicko and I were given away to another family. Mama never told us to prepare anything that could have enlightened us why we had to come with the two women waiting outside our doorway. She told us to be good and the rest would be provided. I had no instinct as to where those women would take us.It was as if I was deceived by the absence of any instinct as a child. But now that I have already arrived in this age with a little courage to confront my own ghost, I think of the woman named Joy who treated me as her son when none of her children would love to.

Out of Mrs. Joy’s meekness, I oftentimes found it difficult to utter any word when I was with her. It made me hesitant to tell her that I was hungry, that I wanted to take a piece of pan de sal she had placed on the plate. She was a woman in mid fifties who wore a loose duster all the time. Her crimson hair clipped back. The thread at the end of her faded blue scarf began to lose. I always found her sitting alone on her chair. A mug of coffee slowly grew cold by her hand. She would look at the vacant chairs as if waiting for the arrival of a long gone beloved or friend. I knew nothing about the silence of her mornings. What I remember was that no one had arrived to join her.

I was living in a house that was different from ours, in the village called Novatierra, Lanang. There I couldn’t see large trucks passing. The only sound I could hear was the growling of her dogs caged in a dark cell.

Continue reading Leaving Mrs. Joy

In a clearing somewhere in the country

Poetry by | August 18, 2019

In a clearing in the middle of a forest
Is a hut, hovering five feet above loam.
A mahogany tree towers over the roof, panoptic.
Millions of its eyes, when plucked by the wind,
lay with soil. When it rains, the air
Smells like freshly-cut cogon, pleasant
Like looming, painless death amidst poverty.

An-Nurhaiyden, born and raised in Cotabato City and known to his friends as JP, enjoys being alone more than he admits he does. He got his Bachelor’s Degree in English, majoring in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines Mindanao last June 2019.

Fire Eyes

Poetry by | August 18, 2019

Those eyes of fire are gone now.
They crumpled like flowers
in the afternoon sun
And turned cold and heavy
with hollowness
Those eyes, once the home of the stars,
are now orphaned by the light.
Gone are their glitters of inspiration
and their sparks of triumph.
Those eyes are now the moon
In the absence of the sun.

Rhealyn Callao Pojas is a Mindanao-born journalist that is now based in the Republic of Palau. Writing poetry is her freedom from the prisons of facts.


Fiction by | August 11, 2019

“Kanus-a di–diay mouli si Mama, Pa?” pangutana sa siyete-anyos nga bata.

“Katulog na lagi! Ayaw na og pangutana, Rem. Lili-a ra god ang langit. Talagsaon na lang kaayo moduaw ang ulan. Nag-problema nako. Unsaon na lang ang atong kahumayan. Ako na lang biya usa ang nag-atiman ato.” tubag dala singhag ni Dodong samtang gahapnig sa banig aron higdaan nila sa iyang anak nga si Rem-Rem.
Mabatian sa amahan ang pagkabalaka apan nakita niini nga dili gyod madala og kasaba ang iyang anak matag udto. Ikapila na sad niya mabantayi ang anak nga gahinuktok sa paborito niining ginapongkoan nga bangko.

Dili mapugngan sa amahan nga mabalaka. Ug sa walay pagduha-duha, gihawiran niya sa abaga ang bata ug gidala niya kini padulong sa bintana nga gama sa kawayan. Padayon silang gatan-aw sa dag-om nga nakahatag og rason sa amahan aron mobuhig tam-is nga ngisi.

“Milagaro! Usa ka milagro! Salamat, Ginoo.” ingon sa amhan. Hinay-hinayng mibuhi ang amahan sa abaga sa iyang anak. Nabantayan kini ni Rem-rem ug nahilom siya.

Sukad mibiya ang inahan ni Rem-Rem sa ilang panimalay sa bukid, mao pud ang pagkawala sa iyang gana nga matulog kada udto. Maski si Dodong wala nasayod sa tinuod nga rason nganong kalit kining mibiya. Walay pagpananghid kaniya o kay Rem-rem. Kon buot hunahunaon, kuwatro anyos pa si Ren-ren sa pagbiya sa iyang asawa. Walay rason para layasan ang anak sa iyang pagkapuya.

Usa lang ka rason ang iyang nahunahunaan: posibleng milayas kini sa ila ug miuban sa iyang ka-textmate sa pikas baryo. Ambot lang sad kon unsa ka tinuod ang mga tsismis nga gapanglupad sa ilang lugar. Pero kini ra ang mahunahunaan ni Dodong luyo sa pagkawala sa asawa sama sa usa ka bituon nga hagbay rang mibuto.

Continue reading Banig