IN CELEBRATION of Pride Month, editor and writer Noel G. de Leon curated stories and poetry on gay literature. Here are his thoughts on “Agitoy: West Visayan Gay Literature Sampler.”
Short Stories. Included in this collection are some of the best Western Visayan writers. The four stories that can be read in this chapbook may be considered as the writers’ significant contribution not only to the field of regional literature but also to the ongoing discussion in understanding the issues of identity and gender in the community. This chapbook does not attempt to prescribe what is wrong or right with regard to the issues. Instead, it mirrors and describes the lives of the agi in and out, as well as in the space, of Western Visayas─ the agi who continue to communicate their experiences to the public in the most creative way of writing.
Poetry. Here are some of the most fearless voices among West Visayan writers. The poems mirror not only the writers’ craftsmanship in language, but also their awakened sensibilities in tackling social issues such as kaagian. May the voices and the poems in this collection serve as guide to understanding ourselves, the others, and our nation. May these poems make way for the literature from the region to continue to thrive, while at the same time recognize and respect gender and identity.
I gratefully acknowledge the following, who contributed trust, support, time, and other forms of assistance, without which this chapbook would not have been possible: Norman T. Darap, Jesus C. Insilada, Bryan Mari Argos, Winston C. Gallo, Michael Caesar Tubal, Elsed Togonon, Macky Torrechilla, Julbert Paloma, Reyson Peralta Samulde, Jan Rae Aguilos, O Pomar Sabido, Pietros Val R. Patricio, Rei Hontanar, Ken Lerona, Marvin Monfort, Gaga Rang, Alex C. Delos Santos, Kevin Pison Piamonte, John Iremil E. Teodoro, Felino S. Garcia, Jr., Gil S. Montinola, and Daisy Fillo.
Agi, agi may putay sa dahi by Alex C. Delos Santos is included in Agi, agi may putay sa dahi (Hiraya Media Arts, 2006). Ang Sto. Nino na Walang Ulo by John Iremil E. Teodoro is included in Bubon (University of San Agustin Publishing House, 2006). Sa Pagtunod sang Adlaw by Felino S. Garcia, Jr. is included in Sa Pagtunod sang Adlaw (Central Book Supply, Inc., 2011).
They are reprinted here with the permission of the authors.
Noel Galon de Leon lives and works as a teacher of Filipino and Creative Writing in the Visayas. He is based in Iloilo City where he is a member of the faculty of UP Visayas, Iloilo City Campus. He previously won a prize for his poetry in the 2018 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and his work has appeared in local and national literary magazines and journals. For inquiries, please send a message to the Facebook page of Kasingkasing Press or via email@example.com or visit kasingkasingpress.com.ph. (This was first published in https://iloilomegabookfair.home.blog)