I was no stranger to writing workshops. My classmates and professors in our creative writing courses regularly held writing workshops that had my works in nonfiction, poetry, and fiction thoroughly reviewed. But only this year did I finally have the chance and guts to submit my works to weeklong workshops. For this year, Davao Writers Workshop 2017 was my second go at a workshop. The first had been in Ateneo de Davao University’s Summer Writers Workshop (ADDUSWW), which was held in the fourth week of May.
As any aspiring writer, I was thrilled that I was one of the chosen fifteen for this year’s batch of fellows. Since the announcement, I had counted down the days until November 30. Whenever I wasn’t too preoccupied with my thesis or anything else, I would be musing on the approaching event. What would be the guest panelist like? Who were the other fourteen fellows? Would they like my work or were they going to hack it to bits?
But fate had a different idea and threw in some last-minute hurdles for me to go through. First was a final exam on November 30 at in the morning. The second was another final exam on December 1 in the afternoon. I tried negotiating with my professors for a reschedule at both professors, but to no avail. The third and most exhausting hurdle was the travel to and fro the workshop venue, Ponce Suites (in Bajada) and my school (in Mintal) which was more or less 20 kilometers apart. I missed most of the opening ceremony on the first day, and the afternoon session the second day. Not hearing this year’s guest panelist’s keynote speech was my biggest regret. But I did not let that dampen my spirits for long.