Hilam, Hilom, Halinghing

Back in 1998 I used my only 3-unit free elective to enroll in The Short Story, a course offered by the UP Institute of Creative Writing. It was a delightful experience, and as expected all my classmates were interesting, eclectic, strange, and always on the verge of an emotional outburst. I loved it. I once wrote about our class making pure tigbak a short story written under a pseudonym by a mysterious classmate, something that still makes me laugh and wince and cringe and ask for forgiveness all at the same time.

I once planned to take up some creative writing degree after finishing medicine, but I never got around to doing it. When I mentioned this plan to a friend, Tufu, he asked, “Ah, para makapag-apply ka as editor ng Mod Magazine?”

“Hindi,” I retorted drily, “Para maging editor ng Tiktik.” Tiktik was an 80’s local comicbook featuring explicit sexual acts. This ancient reference was lost on Tufu.

When a friend, poet extraordinaire Joti, invited us for a “mini-event” hosted by Likhaan we jumped at the chance to once again be in the company of writers. When it was time to film myself reading my work, though, there was a major concern: I haven’t had a haircut in decades, so the amount of time it took me to swathe my head in hair wax and mold it into an acceptable humanoid shape was longer than the time I actually had to, uhm, “perform”.

The theme of the event was doctors writing about the pandemic, so I must admit that what I wrote was something a bit off-topic: a short story that involves fucking in the faculty room. Here is the link to the episode: Ganap Year 2 Episode 2: Hilam at Hilom and to the short story At The Hanky Panky Central

Featured in this episode are Dr. Justine Yu, a neurologist; Dr. Lance Catedral an oncologist; Dr. Joey Tabula an internist; Dr. Maria del Carmen Castillo an OB-Gyn; and Dr. Elvie Gonzalez, a gastroenterologist.



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