The unfolding of LGBT stories
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2016 - 9:00am

Alimbukad is the gentle blossoming of a flower.

A good friend recently shared an interesting invitation for “trans and gender-variant” Filipino writers to join a groundbreaking project called Unfolding: Alimbukad, the first anthology of written works from the Filipino LGBT community.

For those unfamiliar with the terms, “trans and gender-variant” are those who identify themselves as “transgenders, transsexuals, crossdressers, genderqueers, or those who have non-traditional bodies, gender identities and expressions.”And while many among us still derisively lump them as simply “bakla” or “tomboy,” this generalization belies the incredible diversity and vibrancy that characterize this segment of our society.

This well of experiences is precisely the creative vein that Alimbukad hopes to tap with this project. The works that will be included in the anthology will chronicle the personal and social struggles “of Filipinos whose gender identities and/or gender expressions do not conform with the gender identities and/or gender expressions associated with their gender assignment at birth.”

Those who would like to join are encouraged to submit fiction or non-fiction articles or stories in English or Filipino. Topics should explore the issues that affect the life of a Filipino LGBT, including “coming-out stories, artistic expressions, chronicles of all forms of violence, discrimination, stereotyping, marginalization and exploitation, depictions of the life of a trans and gender-variant Filipino as an immigrant, Overseas Filipino Worker, media practitioner, athlete or other members of Philippine society.”

Contributions will be judged based on originality, style and content. Contributions that are autobiographical in style are strongly encouraged. You can also include poems in your piece/prose. All authors are advised to have their manuscripts proofread by a competent writer prior to submission since quality of writing is one of the selection criteria.

The editor is Mikee Nuñez-Inton. Word count (inclusive of endnotes and references) is 2,500 to 4,000 words. The reference style should be MLA while the font style and size are Times New Roman 12 pt, double space.

Submit your expression of interest and manuscripts to theunfoldinganthology@gmail.com. Deadline of submission is on March 31.

Short-listed participants will be informed on June 31, 2016. A profit-sharing scheme with the short-listed participants will be arranged regarding writer’s fee.

The anticipated publication of Unfolding: Alimbukad is between late 2016 to early 2017.

 Bahandi Trade Fair

Congratulations to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) office in Eastern Visayas for the success of its annual Bahandi Trade Fair, featuring products from the various provinces from Region 8. The theme for the event was Products Crafted with Hope and Determination: Moving Forward and Beyond Super Typhoon Yolanda.

As a proud Waray from Borongan City, Eastern Samar, I graciously accepted the invitation to host the opening of the trade fair.

There were 88 exhibitors from Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar that participated in the five-day event. The trade fair showcased a wide-array of products including antique furniture, mats, pandan bags, assorted processed food and handicrafts, lechon, coconut wine, dried fish, bamboo craft, ticog products, herbal tea, among others.

Kudos to Rep. Lagdameo

And speaking of congratulations, I would also like to extend the same to Rep. Antonio Lagdameo, the very hardworking congressman from Davao del Norte, for being among the few University of Pennsylvania graduates who have been included in the university’s prestigious Penn Notables list.

This honor, which is reserved for those alumni who have served with distinction in “notable positions in foreign governments,” is a great honor not just for Anton but for all Filipinos. It is another recognition of our world-class status in the field of governance and public service.

The recognition could not have come at a more opportune time as Anton also recently celebrated his birthday last Jan.  22. My best wishes go out to him and Dawn Zulueta.
 

ACIRC ALIMBUKAD ANTON ANTONIO LAGDAMEO BAHANDI TRADE FAIR BORONGAN CITY DAWN ZULUETA DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY EASTERN SAMAR EASTERN SAMAR AND NORTHERN SAMAR GENDER
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