Retelling Subli

Subli is a bisaya term that means re-telling. And here I am, seven days later, retelling my memories from Subli – a Spoken Word Poetry Crashcourse-slash-workshop I conducted in Bukidnon.
This was not the first time I got invited to Central Mindanao University (CMU). In fact, almost two years ago, Scyra, the organizer for the whole event, invited me to visit their school to inspire the growing community of Spoken Word Artists at CMU – the Words’ Worth. I wasn’t able to come that year.
A year later, Scyra, handed me another invitation. And this time, I was ready. That’s what I thought. I was convinced that I possessed the necessary knowledge needed to be able to teach Spoken Word Poetry. And that I would be able to encourage these kids to hone their craft.
Well, I was partly right.
What I didn’t know was that the whole trip was a crashcourse for me also. Slowly, it is becoming clear to me that every time I visit Bukidnon, I get to see a different perspective, a different point of view. And I return to Iligan a changed person. Well, slightly.
There, I experienced the following:
  • Stopping the motorela because I found an ukay-ukay The Beatles shirt hanging at an ukay-ukay store. Special thank you to Kesh’s bargaining skills, I purchased it for only eighty pesos.
  • Eating Manna x Quail’s Matcha Lava Chocolate cake
  • Seeing the Musuan Peak a couple of times and every single time I feel the same feeling. Still in awe of it.
  •  Catching a glimpse of the Pulangi river at eleven pm.
  • Seeing migratory birds in the middle of the night in the middle of the street with Words’ worth.
  • Being wifi deprived that I had to resort to my notebooks and whatnot. I was forced to look and see. To stop seeing through things.

And these notable experiences aren’t notable at all without these people :

Iren – who I never expected to be that extroverted and wacky. A lady whose humor’s quite admirable.
Janine – who was seemingly quiet and reserved but whenever she speaks up, it would always be hilarious.
Mae Jane – who asked me to say her name because it would mean that much. Your leadership skills are admirable. Thank you for taking me to the bus stop.
Irene – who asked me so many questions and I didn’t even mind it because I like it when people are curious.
Peps the only boy in the team who spoke beautifully about ukay-ukay. Haha!
Almira – whose big warm hug felt like the hug I’ve always wanted to have.
Rizwho was always smiley and giddy but was as ecstatic when she performed on stage.
CMU Words’Worth, you make me cry. Sometimes, I wish I could duplicate you all or kidnap all of you so that I could bring you home with me sa Iligan. Your passion inspires me. Padayun mo.
and also,
the CMU Senior High.
The kids who were all bright-eyed during the workshop. You reminded me of my highschool self. I was as curious and excited. I can’t wait to see you all turn into passionate performers who are totally dedicated to the craft. Should our paths cross again, I know stories will overflow.
To Scyra whose name I thought was pronounced as /sky-rah/, haha. The one who noted my love for coffee that she’d bring me her home-brewed coffee every morning thru her thermos. Thank you for tolerating my request to make baklay to forestry even if it exhausted you and wala jud ka gasaba nga gihangak na diay ka magbisaya nako kay na guilty jud ko sala ni ni Kesh na wala ko niya gi-inform na di day ka pwede ug inato. Haha. Nevertheless, thank you for the constant invitation, and for the warm welcome you’ve given me. Just. Thank you.
To Joy whom I haven’t met yet but seems like someone I have been friends with for a long time already because of the stories I have heard about her. The kids would never miss a conversation without mentioning your name. Sugod sa Kape padulong sa books and then sa uban pang butang muingon silag “Hala, parehas jud mong Ma’am Joy.” Thank you pud for letting me borrow to some of your clothes during my last night. HAHA. I hope to have coffee with you someday and saka nata sa Musuan Peak. Thank you for starting Words’ worth, thank you for introducing the kids to Spoken Word Poetry.
To Kesh – who was not only my P.A, but my trip-bestie. The one who would accompany me wherever I go. Who would willingly volunteer for almost anything. Who would ask me deep existential questions at eleven p.m. Kesh took her P.A job too seriously that she’d wake up at 5 A.M just to check if I was breathing. You are such a sweet kid. You treated me as family. Thank you.
I remember a conversation with Kesh during a bus ride to Bukidnon. It was a question that never left my mind since that day.

Ate Kim, why do you call yourself curator?

I was not prepared to answer her question because people never bothered to ask anyway. In response, I explained it in a seemingly shallow answer – that I liken myself to a curator – that of a museum or an art gallery. That I would constantly curate my life. That I select which stories to tell. Because curators are selective storytellers. And we are all curators in a variety of ways. That we all curate our lives in a daily basis
We choose what we want to show and hide. We choose which story to tell.
And the challenge left here is what to


That we be discerning to choose stories worthy of retelling.
And this is me retelling my memories from Subli, because stories like this one are always worthy of retelling.