Yvette Tan at I.C.A.
It was an interesting afternoon, especially since the Literati moderator, Ms. Kristina Dichoso, had asked the students to come dressed as their favorite literary characters. So we saw a mix of characters from books and graphic novels like Sandman, The Little Princess, Harry Potter, and others. The enthusiasm for books in such young high-schoolers and their obvious engagement in the stories they were reading was very encouraging. Yvette gave an interesting talk to them about how to expand their appreciation for the stories that they like, to read not just passively but to use their imaginations, and to be aware of how a writer crafted the story through the use of plot, characterization, setting, dialogue, and other writer’s tools. Most importantly, she told the Literati members to think for themselves, to use their heads, and to use common sense in forming their own opinions of the stories they read when they gauge the "significance, or lack thereof, of the story to society" because in the end "there really is no one correct way to analyze or interpret" a story.
All in all, a fun afternoon, and we hope to reach out to other schools and bring other Filipino writers to their students too. Thanks again to Yvette for taking the time, to the Literati members, to Miss Kristina Dichoso, and to Assistant High School Principal Shirley Tan for helping PGS bring its advocacy to I.C.A.
*Yvette won 3rd place at the 2003 Palancas for her stories “Sidhi” (Futuristic Fiction category) and “Kulog” (Short Story for Children in English), two Palancas in one year. Copies of “Kulog” were distributed to the Literati members, and afterward, a number of them asked, “Did Miss Yvette really write this? It’s really, really good!” Another of Yvette's stories, "Chimaera", will be published in a future issue of PGS.