On Wednesday, June 15, Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC) will be hosting this month’s Poetry Night. To be held at Chingkeetea, this poetry night is far more special compared to the previous ones because it will be a homecoming of sorts for one of NAGMAC’s senior fellows for fiction, Jack Alvarez. The theme for Wednesday’s event is, of course, “Homecoming”.

In addition to this, there will also be a Flash Narrative Writing Contest for unpublished creative works of fiction and non-fiction in English, Filipino, or Binisaya.


Homecoming & Jack Alvarez

When you hear the word homecoming, what usually flashes in your mind are reunions with high school classmates, OFWs reuniting with their families, and relatives coming home from different places all over the world. For Jack Alvarez, a Kagay-anon, homecoming is all these and much more.

For years now, Jack has been living in Saudi Arabia as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker). So, in various points of his life, he has gone through different homecomings: leaving the country, staying in a foreign environment, returning to family and friends. All of these experiences, plus other unpretentious and poignant stories, have been put together in one book; Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga

Ibang Lady Gaga is more than just a book. It is an extension of Jack as it tells of “poetic chronicles” (writer Ina Alleco R. Silverio, in her review for the book) that paint many pictures of his life in Saudi Arabia. The stories are brief and straight to the point, or what is called flash fiction.

On June 15, Jack will be celebrating his homecoming by introducing Ibang Lady Gaga to fellow Kagay-anons. At 3:30pm, over at Chingkeetea Main, he will be signing copies of the book, too.This is a rare opportunity to meet and get to know a true artist, someone who is true to himself and is not afraid to share his experiences to people. Jack is an inspiration to aspiring writers and poets in CDO as he is a distinguished author.

Lady Gaga Excerpt2
A peak inside Ang Autografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga.

Recognized as the goddess of flash narrative – or Diyosa ng Dagli – in contemporary Philippine literature in Filipino, he was a fellow at the 2008 UST National Writers Workshop, the 2012 Palihang Rogelio Sicat, and the 2015 UP National Writers Workshop. Jack was also accepted as a fellow at the 2016 Ateneo National Writers Workshop, as well as the 2016 Iligan National Writers Workshop. In addition to this, he edited Diaspora, which is an anthology of over 160 short stories authored by 56 overseas and local Filipino writers. Likewise, his writings have appeared in Liwayway Magasin (of Manila Bulletin) and he is currently co-edting a YA (young adult) prose anthology for the LGBTQI with Dr. Eugene Evasco, a Palanca Hall of Famer. Jack is one of the young writers of Kataga, a group dedicated to society’s marginalized sector.

At present, Jack is working on his second novel, which is aptly titled Kagay-an.

Flash Narrative Contest

Aside from the book signing for Jack’s Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga, NAGMAC is also holding a Flash Narrative Contest with “homecoming” as the theme.

The contest is open to all Filipino citizens who were born and/or are currently based in Northern Mindanao. Contestants are to submit unpublished flash fiction or flash non-fiction in English, Filipino, or Binisaya. Writers can submit up to two entries each. For more details, and to find out how you can join the contest, click here.

If you’re not that familiar with flash narratives yet, visit the following websites and check out some cool original works:

  • http://flashfictiononline.com/main/
  • http://brevitymag.com/
  • http://www.pluralprosejournal.com

On Monday, June 13, 10 winners will be chosen and announced via the CDO Poetry Night Facebook page.

Winners for the contest will receive the following prizes:

  • 1st Place: Php 1000 cash, a copy of Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga, signed by the author, and a certificate.
  • 2nd to 5th: Places: Php 500 cash each, copies of Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga, signed by the author, and certificates.
  • 6th to 10th Places: copies of Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga, signed by the author, and certificates.

In addition to this, winners will also read their works as performers at the CDO Poetry Night, which starts at 6pm.They will likewise get the chance to have their pieces published in the soon-to-be (re)launched Bulawan Literary Zine, NAGMAC’s official literary publication.

Deadline for submission of flash narratives will be on Saturday, June 11.

Lady Gaga Excerpt1
An excerpt from Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga.

Spoken Word & Open Mic

At 6pm, Chingkeetea Main will be transformed into a haven for poets and enthusiasts as this month’s CDO Poetry Night will unfold. This time, poets and readers will be sharing spoken word masterpieces, with “homecoming” as the subject.

As is the usual, NAGMAC members will perform in the first part, along with the winners of the Flash Narrative Contest. Later on, there will be an open mic session for audience members who would like to share their written works as well.


The CDO Poetry Night + Book Launching + Spoken Word Event will be held at Chingkeetea Main along Hayes Street (in between Pabayo Street and Corrales Avenue). Again, Jack Alvarez’s book launching and signing will be at 3:30pm, while the Spoken Word Event will start at 6pm.

See you on June 15!


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