Editor and Contributors

EDITOR

Jude Ortega is the author of Seekers of Spirits, which won the Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for Best Book of Short Fiction in English at the 38th National Book Awards and was a finalist for the 19th Madrigal–Gonzalez Best First Book Award. He grew up and lives in Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat, and studied political science at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. Ten of his essays were published in the Youngblood column of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

CONTRIBUTORS

DM Gasparillo Adil II is a social media specialist for a digital marketing agency in Davao City. He served as editor in chief of the official student publication of St. John Learning Center in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, and of the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato Province. He is the winner of the 2nd Lagulad Prize (2019), a finalist for the 3rd Lagulad Prize (2020), and the winner of an essay writing contest organized by Sultan Kudarat Writers Association. He is also the chief creative officer of a startup digital publishing team called Project Thorns.

Luis B. Bahay Jr. is a licensed professional teacher who earned his bachelor’s degree in education (major in Filipino) at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He is currently serving as a Sangguniang Kabataan member at Barangay Maltana in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Jeffriel Cabca Buan is a high school teacher in Lambangan Integrated School in T’boli, South Cotabato. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education (major in English) and received the Distinction Award for Excellence in Journalism (College of Education) at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He has been published in Cotabato Literary Journal, and one of his flash fictions was included in the zine The Best of Sulat SOX.

Lino Gayanilo Jr. teaches at Bagumbayan National High School in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat, and earned his bachelor’s degree in education (major in biological sciences) at Sultan Kudarat State University. His essay “Sa Ikalawang Yugto ng Yanggaw” was a runner-up to the 3rd Lagulad Prize (2020). He was also a finalist in an essay writing contest organized by Sultan Kudarat Writers Association and honorable mention in two writing contests of the Facebook page Sulat SOX. He also draws hyperrealist portraits.

Martsu Ressan Ladia teaches part-time at Primasia Foundation College in Alabel, Sarangani Province, while studying law at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science at Holy Trinity College in the same city. One of his flash fictions was a finalist in a writing contest by South Cotabato Writers Association and subsequently published in Cotabato Literary Journal.

Hannah Adtoon Leceña is a senior high school teacher at J. B. T. Caing Sr. Memorial Integrated School in Kiamba, Sarangani Province. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education (major in Filipino) cum laude at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. She was a fellow at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop, the 3rd Bathalad–Sugbo Creative Writing Workshop (2019), and the 26th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2019), where her story received a special Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Award. She is the first prize winner of the 4th Satur P. Apoyon Tigi sa Mubong Sugilanong Binisaya (2020) and a finalist for the 3rd Lagulad Prize (2020). As a spoken word artist, she has performed in several events in the region and has been accepted as a fellow in the coming Amelia Lapeña–Bonifacio Writers Workshop.

Roland Dalisay Maran earned his bachelor’s degree in education (major in Filipino) at King’s College of Marbel in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. He has taught at Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges in the same city.

John Dave B. Pacheco is a grade 12 (Humanities and Social Sciences) student and Supreme Student Government president at Lagao National High School in General Santos City. He is the champion of the spoken word competition in the 2020 GenSan Summer Youth Fest.

Rexcel Samulde is a senior high school teacher at Lamian National High School in Surallah, South Cotabato. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education (major in English) at Sultan Kudarat State University. His essay “Nalulunod Din ang mga Isda” is the winner of the 3rd Lagulad Prize (2020), a regionwide essay writing contest organized by Cotabato Literary Journal. He is also the winner of a Hiligaynon essay writing contest organized by South Cotabato Writers Association and of two regionwide writing contests of the Facebook page Sulat SOX.

Arville Villaflor Setanos teaches at General Santos City National High School while studying law at Mindanao State University, where he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. His essay “Ang Ikawalong Salot” was a runner-up to the 3rd Lagulad Prize (2020). He has been a student publication adviser and a campus journalist himself, serving as the editor in chief of the student publication of Fatima National High School.

Editors and Contributors

GUEST EDITOR

Noel Pingoy is a graduate of Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and of Davao Medical School Foundation. He finished residency in internal medicine and fellowships in hematology and in medical oncology at the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital. He also completed courses at St. Christopher’s Hospice and at Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care. In 2018, he became a visiting scholar at the Hastings Center. His essay “Becoming a Hematologist” won third prize at the 2002 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and he was a fellow for creative nonfiction at the 2006 Silliman University National Writers Workshop. He divides his time between General Santos City and Koronadal City.

CONTRIBUTORS

Lance Isidore Catedral has completed his residency training in internal medicine and is now pursuing his fellowship in medical oncology at the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital. He also has a degree in molecular biology and biotechnology from UP Diliman. He was born and raised in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and, since 2004, has been blogging at bottledbrain.com. His interests include Christianity, literature, and medicine.

Jean Martinez Fullo is from Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Literature degree at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City.

John Efrael Igot grew up in Magpet, Cotabato Province, and is a graduate of BS in Information Technology from ACLC College of Marbel in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. He is a former editor in chief of the student publication and a member of several writing groups on social media.

An-Nurhaiyden Mangelen hails from Cotabato City and received his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the University of the Philippines–Mindanao. He was a fellow for creative nonfiction at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop.

Wilfredo Pascual Jr. is a winner of the Curt Johnson Prose Award for Nonfiction and a runner-up to the Steinberg Essay Prize in the United States. In the Philippines, he has won in the Palanca Award three times and in the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards. He was born in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, where he has been conducting an annual personal essay writing workshop named after the province for three years now. The Sangguniang Panlungsod of General Santos passed a resolution in 2017 declaring him an adopted son of the city.

Adrian Pete Medina Pregonir is a senior high school student in Banga, South Cotabato. He has been published in Cotabato Literary Journal and Liwayway, and he was a fellow for poetry at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop. He won third prize in the Kabataan Sanaysay category of the 69th Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (2019).

Dianne May Torres is a freelance writer and editor currently working in Manila but considers Koronadal City, South Cotabato, home.

REGULAR EDITORS

Jude Ortega (Editor in Chief) is the author of the short story collection Seekers of Spirits (UP Press, 2018), which received the Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for Best Book of Short Fiction in English at the 38th National Book Awards. He studied political science at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently stays most of the time in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

David Jayson Oquendo (Editor for Fiction) is from Polomolok, South Cotabato, and works in Davao City as an electrical engineer. He was a fellow for fiction at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Andrea D. Lim (Editor for Poetry) is working as an editor for a publishing company in Cebu City while taking her master’s degree in literature at the University of San Carlos. She was a fellow at the 24th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2017) and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. Her family lives in General Santos City.

Paul Randy P. Gumanao (Editor for Poetry) hails from Kidapawan City, Cotabato Province, and teaches chemistry at Philippine Science High School–SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 Iyas National Writers Workshop. He is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Ateneo de Davao University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and is finishing his master’s degree in chemistry.

Hazel-Gin Lorenzo Aspera (Editor for Nonfiction) is a registered nurse, artist, and writer. She spent her childhood in Cotabato City and is now based in Cagayan de Oro City. A fellow for literary essay at the 1st Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop, some of her feature stories appear in the book Peace Journeys: A Collection of Peacebuilding Stories in Mindanao. Currently, she is Associate Director for Communications and Junior Fellow for Literary Essay of Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC).

Jennie P. Arado (Editor for Nonfiction) is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently works for a newspaper in Davao City as editor of the lifestyle section. She earned her BA in English (major in creative writing) from the University of the Philippines–Mindanao and was a fellow for creative nonfiction at the 2016 University of Santo Tomas National Writers Workshop. Her story “Ang Dako nga Yahong sang Batchoy” won the South Cotabato Children’s Story Writing Contest in 2018.

Norman Ralph Isla (Editor for Play) is from Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, and a department head at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He was a fellow for drama at the 2015 Davao Writers Workshop and at the 4th Amelia Lapeña–Bonifacio Writers Workshop (2019). Several of his plays have been staged in General Santos City and South Cotabato.

Editors and Contributors

CONTRIBUTORS

Hannah Adtoon Leceña is a high school teacher and spoken word artist from Kiamba, Sarangani Province. She was a fellow at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop, the 3rd Bathalad–Sugbo Creative Writing Workshop (2019), and the 26th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2019), where her story received a special Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Award. She earned her Bachelor of Secondary Education (major in Filipino) degree at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Jerico L. Marcelino is from Carmen, Cotabato Province, and earned his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy degree from the University of Southern Mindanao in the same province.

PG Murillo is an independent rap artist and battle emcee. He won first place at the rap battle of the 2017 GenSan Summer Youth Fest and was declared champion at the spoken word competition of the 2019 GenSan Summer Youth Fest. He studied information technology at Systems Technology Institute (STI) in General Santos City.

Adrian Pete Medina Pregonir is a senior high school student in Banga, South Cotabato. He has been published in Cotabato Literary Journal and Liwayway, and he was a fellow for poetry at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop. His piece in this issue, “Noon Akto-o Hén Fa Gali Em (May Katotohanan Pa Pala),” won third prize in the Kabataan Sanaysay category of the 69th Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (2019).

Prince Vincent M. Tolorio teaches at Holy Trinity College of General Santos City and earned his bachelor’s degree in Filipino at Mindanao State University in the same city. He is currently taking up Master of Arts in Teaching Filipino at Sultan Kudarat State University.

EDITORS

Jude Ortega (Editor in Chief) is the author of the short story collection Seekers of Spirits (UP Press, 2018). In 2015, he received honorable mention at the inaugural F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards and at the Philippines Graphic Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. He studied political science at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently stays most of the time in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

David Jayson Oquendo (Editor for Fiction) is from Polomolok, South Cotabato, and works in Davao City as an electrical engineer. He was a fellow for fiction at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Andrea D. Lim (Editor for Poetry) is working as an editor for a publishing company in Cebu City while taking her master’s degree in literature at the University of San Carlos. She was a fellow at the 24th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2017) and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. Her family lives in General Santos City.

Paul Randy P. Gumanao (Editor for Poetry) hails from Kidapawan City, Cotabato Province, and teaches chemistry at Philippine Science High School–SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 IYAS National Writers Workshop. He is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Ateneo de Davao University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and is finishing his master’s degree in chemistry.

Hazel-Gin Lorenzo Aspera (Editor for Nonfiction) is a registered nurse, artist, and writer. She spent her childhood in Cotabato City and is now based in Cagayan de Oro City. A fellow for literary essay at the 1st Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop, some of her feature stories appear in the book Peace Journeys: A Collection of Peacebuilding Stories in Mindanao. Currently, she is Associate Director for Communications and Junior Fellow for Literary Essay of Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC).

Jennie P. Arado (Editor for Nonfiction) is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently works for a newspaper in Davao City as editor of the lifestyle section. She earned her BA in English (major in creative writing) from the University of the Philippines–Mindanao and was a fellow for creative nonfiction at the 2016 University of Santo Tomas National Writers Workshop. Her story “Ang Dako nga Yahong sang Batchoy” won the South Cotabato Children’s Story Writing Contest in 2018.

Norman Ralph Isla (Editor for Play) is from Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, and a department head at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He was a fellow for drama at the 2015 Davao Writers Workshop and at the 4th Amelia Lapeña–Bonifacio Writers Workshop (2019). Several of his plays have been staged in General Santos City and South Cotabato.

Editors and Contributors

CONTRIBUTORS

Vincent Carlo Duran Cuzon is an industrial engineer and currently works as a data analyst in the business process management industry. He hails from Kidapawan City, Cotabato Province, and is working on advocacies, which include writing the histories and narratives in the greater Kidapawan area.

Norsalim S. Haron is from Pikit, Cotabato Province, and teaches at Rajah Muda National High School in the same town. He is a graduate of Bachelor in Secondary Education (major in Filipino) at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato Province. His work has appeared in Cotabato Literary Journal and Carayan Journal.

Allan Ace Dignadice is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and a BS Electronics Engineering student at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He is a former editor in chief of the official school publication of Koronadal Comprehensive National High School. His micro essay in this issue is his seventh published work in Cotabato Literary Journal.

Hannah Adtoon Leceña is a high school teacher and spoken word artist from Kiamba, Sarangani Province. She was a fellow at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop, the 3rd Bathalad–Sugbo Creative Writing Workshop (2019), and the 26th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2019), where her story received a special Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Award. She earned her Bachelor of Secondary Education (major in Filipino) degree at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Adrian Pete Medina Pregonir is a senior high school student in Banga, South Cotabato. He has been published in Cotabato Literary Journal and Liwayway, and he was a fellow for poetry at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop.

Angelo Serrano is a senior high school (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand) student at St. Lorenzo School of Polomolok in Polomok, South Cotabato. His short story in this issue is his third published work in Cotabato Literary Journal.

EDITORS

Jude Ortega (Editor in Chief) is the author of the short story collection Seekers of Spirits (UP Press, 2018). He was a fellow for fiction in six writers workshops, including the 55th University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop (2016) and the 53rd Silliman University National Writers Workshop (2014). In 2015, he received honorable mention at the inaugural F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards and at the Philippines Graphic Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. He studied political science at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently stays most of the time in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

David Jayson Oquendo (Editor for Fiction) is from Polomolok, South Cotabato, and works in Davao City as an electrical engineer. He was a fellow for fiction at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Andrea D. Lim (Editor for Poetry) is working as an editor for a publishing company in Cebu City while taking her master’s degree in literature at the University of San Carlos. She was a fellow at the 24th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2017) and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. Her family lives in General Santos City.

Paul Randy P. Gumanao (Editor for Poetry) hails from Kidapawan City, Cotabato Province, and teaches chemistry at Philippine Science High School–SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 IYAS National Writers Workshop. He is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Ateneo de Davao University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and is finishing his master’s degree in chemistry.

Hazel-Gin Lorenzo Aspera (Editor for Nonfiction) is a registered nurse, artist, and writer. She spent her childhood in Cotabato City and is now based in Cagayan de Oro City. A fellow for literary essay at the 1st Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop, some of her feature stories appear in the book Peace Journeys: A Collection of Peacebuilding Stories in Mindanao. Currently, she is Associate Director for Communications and Junior Fellow for Literary Essay of Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC).

Jennie P. Arado (Editor for Nonfiction) is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently works for a newspaper in Davao City as editor of the lifestyle section. She earned her BA in English (major in creative writing) from the University of the Philippines–Mindanao and was a fellow for creative nonfiction at the 2016 University of Santo Tomas National Writers Workshop. Her story “Ang Dako nga Yahong sang Batchoy” won the South Cotabato Children’s Story Writing Contest in 2018.

Norman Ralph Isla (Editor for Play) is from Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, and a department head at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He was a fellow for drama at the 2015 Davao Writers Workshop and at the 4th Amelia Lapeña–Bonifacio Writers Workshop (2019). Several of his plays have been staged in General Santos City and South Cotabato.

Editors and Contributors

CONTRIBUTORS

Midpantao Midrah G. Adil II is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato Province, but is currently on leave from his studies and working as a content writer for a digital marketing agency in Davao City. He served as an editor in chief of his alma mater’s official student publication and was born in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.

Glenn M. Arimas is from Midasayap, Cotabato Province, and a first year student at Southern Christian College, where he writes for the official student publication. He also likes mobile photography and making videos for YouTube.

Gerald Galindez teaches language and literature at the senior high school department of Notre Dame of Tacurong College in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop and the 26th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2019), where he won a Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Award. He is also the winner of the national poetry contest of the Pananaw magazine of the United Methodist Church in 2008 and of the 2017 Cotabato Province Poetry Contest. As a zinester, he wrote I, Alone and Ginapasaya Mo Ako and co-edited Kalimudan: Literary Works from Sultan Kudarat and The Best of Sulat SOX. He earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education (major in English) from the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato Province. He also writes Christian songs.

Estrella Taño Golingay, of Surallah, South Cotabato, has a PhD in language education and is a retired professor of Notre Dame of Marbel University. In 1994, her poem “Si Nene at Ako sa Pagitan ng Gabi” won the first prize in the poetry contest of Home Life magazine.

Norsalim S. Haron is from Pikit, Cotabato Province, and teaches at Rajah Muda National High School in the same town. He is a graduate of Bachelor in Secondary Education (major in Filipino) at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato Province.

Alvin Larida teaches physics and chemistry at Dole Philippines School in Polomolok, South Cotabato. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and is currently finishing his master’s degree at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Ma. Isabelle Alessandra M. Mirabueno is currently a grade 12 (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand) student at the Quantum Academy in General Santos City, where she serves as the managing editor and editorial writer of the school publication.

Mubarak M. Tahir is a pure-blooded Maguindanao–Moro from Datu Piang, Maguindanao. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Filipino Language cum laude at Mindanao State University in Marawi City. He won the third prize for Filipino Essay at the 2017 Palanca Awards, and his work has been published in journals, newspapers, and anthologies. Currently, he is a Filipino instructor at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

EDITORS

Jude Ortega (Editor in Chief) is the author of the short story collection Seekers of Spirits (UP Press, 2018). He was a fellow for fiction in six writers workshops, including the 55th University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop (2016) and the 53rd Silliman University National Writers Workshop (2014). In 2015, he received honorable mention at the inaugural F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards and at the Philippines Graphic Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. He studied political science at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently stays most of the time in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

David Jayson Oquendo (Editor for Fiction) is from Polomolok, South Cotabato, and works in Davao City as an electrical engineer. He was a fellow for fiction at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Andrea D. Lim (Editor for Poetry) is working as an editor for a publishing company in Cebu City while taking her master’s degree in literature at the University of San Carlos. She was a fellow at the 24th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2017) and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. Her family lives in General Santos City.

Paul Randy P. Gumanao (Editor for Poetry) hails from Kidapawan City, Cotabato Province, and teaches chemistry at Philippine Science High School–SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 IYAS National Writers Workshop. He is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Ateneo de Davao University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and is finishing his master’s degree in chemistry.

Hazel-Gin Lorenzo Aspera (Editor for Nonfiction) is a registered nurse, artist, and writer. She spent her childhood in Cotabato City and is now based in Cagayan de Oro City. A fellow for literary essay at the 1st Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop, some of her feature stories appear in the book Peace Journeys: A Collection of Peacebuilding Stories in Mindanao. Currently, she is Associate Director for Communications and Junior Fellow for Literary Essay of Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC).

Jennie P. Arado (Editor for Nonfiction) is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently works for a newspaper in Davao City as editor of the lifestyle section. She earned her BA in English (major in creative writing) from the University of the Philippines–Mindanao and was a fellow for creative nonfiction at the 2016 University of Santo Tomas National Writers Workshop. Her story “Ang Dako nga Yahong sang Batchoy” won the South Cotabato Children’s Story Writing Contest in 2018.

Norman Ralph Isla (Editor for Play) is from Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, and a department head at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He was a fellow for drama at the 2015 Davao Writers Workshop and at the 4th Amelia Lapeña–Bonifacio Writers Workshop (2019). Several of his plays have been staged in General Santos City and South Cotabato.

Editors and Contributors

EDITORS

Eric Gerard H. Nebran is an educator and illustrator from General Santos City. He is currently a PhD Comparative Literature student at the University of the Philippines–Diliman. His research interests include orality, history, and literary productions of his hometown.

Jude Ortega is the author of the short story collection Seekers of Spirits (University of the Philippines Press, 2018), the chapbook Katakot (Balangay Books, 2018) and the zines Mga Kuwentong Peysbuk and Faded Jeans and Old Shoes. He has been a fellow for fiction at four national and two regional writers workshops. In 2015, his stories received honorable mention at the inaugural F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards and at the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. He divides his time between Senator Ninoy Aquino and Isulan, both in Sultan Kudarat.

CONTRIBUTORS

Jennie P. Arado is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently works for SunStar Davao as editor of the lifestyle section. She earned her BA in English (major in creative writing) from the University of the Philippines–Mindanao. Her story “Ang Dako nga Yahong sang Batchoy” won the South Cotabato Children’s Story Writing Contest in 2018.

Hazel-Gin Lorenzo Aspera is a registered nurse, artist, and writer. She spent her childhood in Cotabato City and is now based in Cagayan de Oro City. A fellow for literary essay at the 1st Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop, some of her feature stories appear in the book Peace Journeys: A Collection of Peacebuilding Stories in Mindanao. Currently, she is Associate Director for Communications and Junior Fellow for Literary Essay of Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC).

Allan Ace Dignadice is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and a BS Electronics Engineering student at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He is a former editor in chief of the official school publication of Koronadal Comprehensive National High School. “Hawla,” his play that appears in this issue, is his fifth published work in Cotabato Literary Journal.

Gerald Galindez is a senior high school teacher at Notre Dame of Tacurong College in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. His poem “San Gerardo and the Exocotidae” is the winner of the 2017 Cotabato Province Poetry Contest. He has released two poetry zines—I, Alone and Ginapasaya Mo Ako.

Rustom M. Gaton teaches at Montessori Learning Center in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. He grew up in the municipality of Bagumbayan in the same province and earned his Bachelor of Secondary Education (major in English) degree at Sultan Kudarat State University.

Alvin Q. Larida is a teacher at Dole Philippines School in Polomolok, South Cotabato, where he teaches physics and chemistry for senior high school. He is a graduate of Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently finishing his master’s degree at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Hannah Adtoon Leceña is a high school teacher and spoken word artist from Kiamba, Sarangani Province. She was a fellow for fiction at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop and at the 3rd Bathalad–Sugbo Creative Writing Workshop (2019). She earned her Bachelor of Secondary Education (major in Filipino) degree at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Andrea D. Lim is from General Santos City and currently working as an editor for a publishing company in Cebu City while taking her master’s degree in literature at the University of San Carlos. She is also a former editor in chief of The Weekly Sillimanian, the official student publication of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

Editor and Contributors

EDITOR

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.

CONTRIBUTORS

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, , 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.

Editor and Contributors

EDITOR

Jude Ortega has been a fellow for fiction at the 2016 UP National Writers Workshop and in five other writers workshops. He divides his time between Senator Ninoy Aquino and Isulan, both in Sultan Kudarat Province.

CONTRIBUTORS

Mubarak M. Tahir was born in the village of Kitango in Datu Piang, Maguindanao. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Filipino Language (cum laude) at Mindanao State University in Marawi City. He lived in General Santos City when he taught in the campus there of his alma mater. “Aden Bon Besen Uyag-uyag,” his essay for this issue of the journal, won the third prize for Sanaysay at the 2017 Palanca Awards. Currently, he is teaching at the Davao campus of Philippine Science High School.

Estrella Taño Golingay of Surallah, South Cotabato, has a PhD in language education and is a retired professor of Notre Dame of Marbel University. In 1994, her poem “Si Nene at Ako sa Pagitan ng Gabi” won the first prize in the poetry contest of Home Life magazine.

Blesselle Fiel is a senior high school student at Koronadal Comprehensive National High School. “Tagu-taguan,” her flash fiction for this issue of the journal, is the winner of the 2017 South Cotabato Fiction Contest.

Gerald Galindez teaches grade school at Notre Dame of Tacurong College. “San Gerardo and the Exocoetidae,” his poem for this issue of the journal, is the winner of the 2017 Cotabato Province Poetry Contest.

Allen Samsuya is a graduate of the University of the Philippines–Mindanao with a degree in BA English major in Creative Writing. He was a fellow at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop, the 2011 Iligan National Writers Workshop, the 2011 Silliman University National Writers Workshop, and the 2014 Iyas National Writers Workshop.

Paul Randy P. Gumanao hails from Kidapawan City, and teaches Chemistry at Philippine Science High School-SoCCSKSARGEN Region Campus. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop, and 2010 IYAS National Creative Writing Workshop. He is a former editor-in-chief of Atenews, the official student publication of Ateneo de Davao University, and is currently finishing his MS in Chemistry from the same university.

Norman Ralph Isla is the academic head of the senior high school department of Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He was a fellow for drama at the 2015 Davao Writers Workshop.

Editor and Contributors

EDITOR

Jude Ortega has been a fellow for fiction at the 2016 UP National Writers Workshop and in five other writers workshops. He divides his time between Senator Ninoy Aquino and Isulan, both in Sultan Kudarat Province.

CONTRIBUTORS

Jermaine Dela Cruz is an AB English graduate of Mindanao State University in General Santos City. She now works for a fashion magazine and as a content provider at Brigada Mass Media Corporation.

Patrick Jayson L. Ralla is a graduate of Mindanao State University-General Santos City with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He is currently working as a private school teacher in Polomolok, South Cotabato, and is taking up a Master of Arts degree in Literature at the University of Southeastern Philippines, Davao City.

Michael John C. Otanes was born and raised in General Santos City, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English at Mindanao State University. He writes poetry and short fiction, some of which have been published in various online literary magazines.

Saquina Karla C. Guiam has been published in the Rising Phoenix ReviewScrittura MagazineSuffragette CityDulcet QuarterlyThe Fem Lit Mag, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and others. She graduated from Mindanao State University in General Santos City with a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently studying for her master’s degree in Ateneo de Davao University. She is the Roots nonfiction editor at Rambutan Literary, an online journal showcasing literature and art from Southeast Asians all over the world, and the social media manager of Umbel & Panicle, a new literary journal inspired by plants and all things botanical.

Lance Isidore Catedral is completing his residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital. He also has a degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from UP–Diliman. He was born and raised in Koronadal City. Since 2004, he has been blogging at bottledbrain.com. His interests include Christianity, literature, and medicine.

Gutierrez Mangansakan II, born in 1976, descended from the royal houses of Maguindanao, southern Philippines. He is best know as a filmmaker whose credits include Limbunan (The Bridal Quarter), Cartas de la Soledad (Letters of Solitude), Qiyamah, and The Obscured Histories and Silent Longings of Daguluan’s Children. An outsider in Philippine literary circles, he takes pride in the deconstruction of the asterisk as his way of rebelling against the formality of political and artistic establishments. He was a writer-in-residence of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program in 2008 and a fellow of the 54th University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop in 2015. He lives in General Santos City with his eleven cats.

Kristine Ong Muslim is the author of eight books of fiction and poetry: Age of Blight, Butterfly Dream, Meditations of a Beast, Black Arcadia, Lifeboat, Grim Series, We Bury the Landscape, and A Roomful of Machines. Her short story collection, Age of Blight, was one of the best books of 2016 according to the Chicago Review of Books, while her poetry collection, Grim Series, was included in the preliminary ballot of the Horror Writers Association’s 2012 Bram Stoker Award for Poetry and was twice nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Elgin Award. Born in Kidapawan City, Cotabato Province, she grew up and continues to live in a rural town in Maguindanao.

Mark Sherwin Castronuevo Bayanito is a BA Political Science graduate from University of the Philippines–Diliman. He is Ilocano (albeit non-speaking) by blood, raised in General Santos City, and lives in Quezon City. He is primarily interested in the complexities of identity and urban life.

Erwin Cabucos, a teacher of English and religion in Brisbane, Australia, was born and raised in Carmen, Cotabato Province. His first collection of short stories, The Beach Spirit and Other Stories, was published by Ginninderra Press in Australia. His second, Green Blood and Other Stories, was published by Manila Prints in Australia and the Philippines. His newest book, Does it Matter What the Dead Think?, is now out on Amazon.com. He graduated in psychology from Notre Dame University in Cotabato City and communication from the University of Newcastle. He recently finished Master in English Education from the University of New England. He was also a fellow for fiction at the 2016 Iligan National Writers Workshop.

Editors and Contributors

EDITOR

Jude Ortega has been a fellow for fiction at the 2016 UP National Writers Workshop and in five other writers workshops. His stories have appeared in Likhaan, Philippines Graphic, Expanded Horizons, and SanAg, among other venues. He divides his time between Senator Ninoy Aquino and Isulan, both in Sultan Kudarat Province.

CONTRIBUTORS

John Dominic Arellano is a certified public accountant and a passionate reader. He was born in Norala, South Cotabato, and raised in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. He currently resides in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

Kiel Mark Guerrero is from Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, and a third year computer science student at Notre Dame of Dadiangas University in General Santos City.

Adonis Hornoz is currently teaching English and literature subjects at Notre Dame of Dadiangas University and pursuing his MA in English Language and Literature at Ateneo de Davao University. He is from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, and has been published in Eastlit.

Matt S. F. Jones was born and currently resides in England but grew up in Banga, South Cotabato. He writes random Hiligaynon stories while waiting for the bus that takes him to a job he hates.

Boon Kristoffer Lauw is a chemical engineer turned entrepreneur from General Santos City and is currently based in Quezon City. During his practice of profession at a beer-manufacturing plant last 2013, he began to pass graveyard shifts with random musings that eventually took form in writing – and, inevitably, stories.

Gian Carlo Licanda is a teacher of English-American Literature and Creative Writing at Colon National High School in Maasim, Sarangani Province. He’s currently taking up MAEd English at Holy Trinity College of General Santos City. He is a fellow during the 18th Ateneo de Davao University Summer Writers Workshop 2017. He blogs at The Spectacled Raconteur. 

David Jayson Oquendo, from Polomolok, South Cotabato, has just graduated with a degree of electrical engineering from Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He is a former editor in chief of Bagwis, the official student publication.

Jonathan Susvilla has a degree in literature from Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He also earned units in economics at the University of the Philippines in Iloilo. Born in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, he now resides in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.