Damgo: 54th Silliman Writers Workshop

Damgo is the Bisaya word for ‘dream.’

I do not recall anymore who came up with the name for our batch, but I do remember why. We write because we dream – it’s as simple as that. These days, whenever I try to come up with a good enough reason for why I write, I’m stumped and the blankness of the page before me fills me with fear. Having been raised by practical parents who wanted me to go into a practical career, I’m inclined to rationalize my decisions and explain point-by-point why they make sense.

But after revisiting the shaky footage I shot on my GoPro months ago and putting them all together to make this video, it’s once again clear to me what the real – the only – answer is. Damgo. Dream. It is an inexplicable part of life, a strange occurrence that happens in the night (or daytime, if you’re a daydreamer), but an undeniably important one. And it’s the reason I write, whether it’s to scribble down the little fantasies in my head or to put into words my deepest hopes and desires. To be without dreams is to walk down the road to madness. And to be in a world without dreamers is to live a depressing existence.

The Silliman Writers Workshop was a thrilling and enlightening ride. Three weeks of leafing through manuscripts, of intense panel discussions, of nightly drinking sessions, and of travelling around Dumaguete. What you see here is but a snippet of a much more complex experience. We had mentors, publishers, and artists who taught us what it means to live a creative life – from the actual creating, to the endless editing and revising, to the sharing of one’s work. It left me reeling and overwhelmed, to say the least.

An opportunity such as this one can mean different things to different people; to me, it meant getting to live the dream and finding other dreamers who make reality more endurable and worthwhile.

Music: 1985 by Passion Pit

Thank you to Sha’ianne Molas Lawas for some of the clips!

One response to “Damgo: 54th Silliman Writers Workshop”

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