Jude Ortega is a fictionist from Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat Province. He has been a fellow in four national writers workshop, and his stories have received honorable mention in the F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards and the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards.
Genory Vanz Alfasain, also known as Yadu Karu, is an advocacy blogger, essayist, and independent filmmaker from Alabel, Sarangani Province. He was a fellow in the 2016 Davao Writers Workshop. His first short film, Bé, won Best Film in the Sarangani Shorts Category of the 2013 SalaMindanaw Asian Film Festival in General Santos City. His second short film, Jamir, was nominated for Best Film in the 2014 Mindanao Film Festival in Davao City.
John Dominic Arellano is a certified public accountant and a passionate reader. He grew up in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat Province, and currently works in Koronadal City, South Cotabato Province.
Kurt Joshua Comendador is an AB English student at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He is the president of Valoræx, the book reading club, and a trainee in Bagwis, the official student publication.
Paolo Concepcion is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato Province, and currently an MS Statistics student at the University of the Philippines–Diliman.
Jermaine Dela Cruz works for a television station in General Santos City. Her poetry zine Venting Machine was featured in the 2017 SOX Zine Fest.
Gerald Galindez is a grade school teacher at Notre Dame of Tacurong College in Sultan Kudarat Province. His poem “San Gerardo and the Exocotidae” is the winner of the 2017 Cotabato Province Poetry Contest. His poetry zine I, Alone was featured in the 2017 SOX Zine Fest.
Hajar Kabalu, a full-blooded Maguindanaon Moro, is a communicator by profession but a traveler, storyteller, and photographer by heart. For his blog and related works, the Region 12 office of the Department of Tourism gave him its 2017 Best Multimedia Practitioner Award. His photographs of local festivals have also received numerous awards.
Hannah Adtoon Leceña is a spoken word artist from Kiamba, Sarangani Province. She currently teaches at the Quantum Academy in General Santos City.
Jim Raborar is the artistic director of Apat sa Taglamig Productions Inc., a theater group based in Koronadal City, South Cotabato Province, and a member of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Committee on Dramatic Arts. In 2013, 2014, and 2015, his plays were staged in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Incheon Bilingual Theater Festival in South Korea. In 2015, he became a fellow in the 22nd Iligan National Writers Workshop and in the 3rd Sulat Dula playwriting workshop of Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City. He currently works for the Region 12 Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture.
Dan Joseph Zapanta Rivera is a grade 12 student at Koronadal Comprehensive National High School in South Cotabato Province. He was part of the main cast in a local production of the one-act play Si Maria Isabella at ang Guryon ng mga Tala. He also performs in poetry readings organized by the local writers group.
Silek is a Blaan band from Tampakan, South Cotabato Province. The members are lead singer, guitarist, faglong player, and composer Pammie Malayon, singer and percussionist Jeanalyn Sanuhay-Wales Lerios, percussionist and coordinator Jose Nilo Vargas, wind instrument player and percussionist Arbie Lerios, bassist Nestor Padal, and drummer Alexander Oracion. The word silek means “new generation.”
Kim Nathaniel Tan is a fourth year business administration student at STI Koronadal in South Cotabato Province. He has been selected as one of the twenty sponsored fellows in the Mindanao-wide PhilPop Songwriting Boot Camp in Davao City this February 2018.
Aldrick Lawrence Velasco is a painter and poet from Tantangan, South Cotabato. Being a youth leader and member of Bless Davao Movement and Awakening Giant Warriors of Christ the Healer in Davao City, his works are greatly influenced by his faith. His work Susi, which appears in this issue, is included in his zine Muwang, which can be purchased by sending him a query at 0946-221-1516.