Spec-Fic Specifically

This blog shall serve as my online repository of writings (or probably even films) we can arguably categorize under what people call spec-fic, or speculative fiction. Fantasy, horror, and science fiction are the genres that generally come to mind when spec-fic is mentioned.

I opened this blog in addition to my numerous blogs, most of which are advocacy-related. Lately, I have been writing realistic literary pieces, believing that it's a higher form of literature compared to spec-fic, under which—thinking about it—I have been writing ever since high school, back when I had no idea of the concept of spec-fic.

As a campus writer, I often wrote articles my peers found strange (and amusing, hehe)—dream sequences, short stories set in other worlds, meta-scientific essays, and stuff, both in English and Tagalog. I often made up fanastic stories my high school barkada would listen to the synopses of.

However, when I went to UP for college, I somehow drifted towards realism, due to the influence of the prevalence of realistic literary readings. Bob Ong's keen observation of his immediate surroundings affected me greatly (greater than Rowling's influence on me), and it made my writings much more fantasy-free.

Then came PanPil and Hum readings which were mostly, if not absolutely, realist. When I got a column at Peyups.com (320/320 Vision), almost all my articles were essays and short stories which were, again, fantasy free.

The spec-fic writer in me would re-surface at times. A great example would be my MP 174 class (Play Writing in Filipino) under the late Rene Villanueva. I already forgot the title, but it was about a high school student brought to the World of Gods after figuring out the secret of the universe. The boy encounters a wacky type of world, with gods speaking in different languages about the respective universes they "govern," which were actually just entries to the "annual" Universe-Making contest in their kingdom. The line from God I remember the most is: "Jesus Christ was a glitch in my program. Sorry."

My whole work was read by the class and the whole idea of the play freaked out (in a positive way) my classmates because it was too... weird. Rene Villanueva even tagged my work "an example of tragedy," because the Almight God in the story discovers that there's a Being much more supreme than He is, and upon discovering this, he is brought to the world of His own Creator.

Then, in one of our exercises in Scriptwriting for Television, I wrote a one-episode TV show about Judgment Day—a poorly executed Judgment Day because as the "Judgment Day Committee Head-Angel" claimed, they lacked funds for a grand end of the world. The main story though revolved around a torpe guy desperate to propose marriage to the apple of his eye in spite of the end of the world.

Exposure to neorealist films in College however attracted me back to realism. Then Rizalian literature. Then more realistic films and documentaries. Then Albina Peczon Fernandez. More realistic stories.

So definitely, fantasy was out of the way, except probably our unfinished "Kalam" (Blessing), a Kapampangan TV drama on a production standby due to financial matters. It's being written and directed by me, and it's urban fantasy, exploring Kapampangan folklore in an urban setting.

My recent exposure to my native language Kapampangan made me a trilingual writer. Although I dream of creating contemporary Kapampangan works, sadly, Kapampangans of my age are usually illiterate in reading their own language. What's the point of writing without readership? I have come to conclude that my advocacy for Kapampangan and its linguistic empowerment is best fulfilled through the Kapampangan audio-video works I produce, because reading is a burdensome task for most Filipinos.

Thus, my literary writing will probably revert back to English, while only occasionally writing in Tagalog and Kapampangan. While I will still continue to write realist works, I have chosen to not forget the spec-fic in me, which I, for a long time, have imprisoned in the vaults of my heart.

I am not the "perfect" writer, since I have a lot of issues with the prevailing standards of literary beauty. While I enjoy obscurity, there are just some works which are too obscure for me, too artsy fartsy, and I'm sometimes forced to think—who reads this stuff? Contest judges perhaps?

I didn't create this blog thinking "I'm good at spec-fic, so people must have access to my works." This blog probably best serves as my journey towards improving my craft. Works of an aspiring spec-fic writer with fluctuating confidence.

Please accompany me in this journey.

Dakal a salamat pu!

No comments: