The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Friday, February 11, 2005

A Tribute to iSnare

During another ponderous time with her on the Yahoo Messenger last February 6, Charlotte encouraged me to check out iSnare, a Web site that accepts literary contributions for posting...

Cha: ay, babasahin ko muna letter mo sa 'kin, hon.
aLf: letter? sa e-mail?
Cha: yup.
Cha: sandali lang, ha?
aLf: sige, read ka muna, wait lang ako...
Cha: hon, while waiting
Cha: visit mo 'tong site...
aLf: sige...
Cha: the site's objective is to showcase Pinoy writing talent

While waiting for Charlotte, I checked out the site she recommended...

aLf: nag-submit na 'ko ng articles sa iSnare...ia-approve pa raw ng administrator according sa automated message...

Then, the following day, February 7, I received an e-mail from iSnare's chairperson, Mr. Glenn Prialde, informing me that the article I submitted had been approved and was now posted on the site...

Hi aLfie mella,
Your article entitled Foot-binding under category Culture was approved and added to our database.

Best regards,
and to Your Success,
Glenn Prialde
iSnare Chairman

Inspired by this new venue through which I can share my literary works, I continued contributing more articles in the ensuing days. And then, on February 9...

aLf: di ba na-approve marami kong articles sa
aLf: then, I just received a personal e-mail from the site's chairperson.
Cha: oh really? and?
aLf: 'kakataba ng puso. nabawasan na naman ang self-doubt ko, hon.
aLf: here's his message...

Wed, 09 Feb 2005

Hi, Glenn here,

Are you really Filipino born? I love your articles, great and original. I just hate to see some, if not a few, of our Filipino kababayan sending us junk by sending in songs and COPIED articles.

OMG, to protect them I just keep e-mailing them to tell them that they could be jailed for it. I could only hope I can always detect if the article is copied...

Anyways, keep on sending your original articles... At kung maaari eh humanap ka pa ng maraming katulad mo. Invite your friends to submit their original articles to iSnare. I would rather love approving great original Filipino articles——

Here use this page to invite your friends.

Thanks and more power to you!

If not for Charlotte, I would have not discovered iSnare in the first place...

Cha: i'm so proud of my honey
aLf: thanks
Cha: can't wipe off my grin
aLf: hon, alam mo ba na big part ka sa pagiging prolific ko these days...
Cha: sabi ko sayo eh....malaki at maganda ang mako-contribute mo run sa site...see, sinulatan ka pa
aLf: kasi ang lakas ng inspiration na nakukuha ko sa 'yo...kahit ikaw lang ang mag-appreciate sa mga sinusulat ko ay excited na ako lagi to come up with something new
aLf: thanks uli.
Cha: kasi gusto talaga nila ma-showcase Filipino talent
Cha: saka totoo sinabi nya...may something original sa work mo...kahit universal theme or topics na ilan beses na na-discuss...yung take mo..something "fresh" or original nga
Cha: kesa nga naman sobrang profound at kinopya lang pala sa iba
aLf: tsaka ang nagustuhan ko e yun bang pag may nakakabasa sa gawa ko e alam agad na ako talaga ang may gawa. original nga ba ang term dun? [dumb kunyari. hihihi]

As always, I delight in reading critiques about my works—positive or negative they may be has a message for you about your article "'A Poet to His Firstborn."

Hi there!
Its my first time to visit the website of isnare. your poetry caught my attention. I dont want tobe rude, i just thought i'd give you an unsolicited advice. your poem A Poet to His Firstborn, is not a poem. its pure prose and full of cliche's. pls be guided on your poetry basics. better yet stick on essays. I like your essays more than your poems. a friendly comment from a Palanca winner. Good day. I hope to keep in touch.

To quote again my best-friend Rain Paggao:

"...a writer, as a true child of knowledge, must entertain and care for impressions good or bad, not only for a counterattack (I love a warrior pen!), but also—this more than anything else—for his refinements."

—as much as I enjoy responding to words of encouragement...

Fri, 11 Feb 2005

Greetings Glenn,

Yes, I'm Filipino...born, raised, and grew up in the Philippines. Only in 2003 did I leave the country for Canada, chiefly to take care of my 89-year-old grandfather who, without me, would have already long been in a nursing home.

Thank you very much for commending my contributions to; as I always say...the pleasure is mine.

My second chief reason for writing is to help shape a better generation—a thinking and questioning generation.

Your regarding my articles "great and original" is certainly the best compliment a writer like me can receive. You didn't make me proud; you made me all the more humble and, more so, inspired to continue writing and sharing my ideas.

I agree with matter how keen the eyes of an editor, plagiarists can still trick him/her once in a while. I myself was a professional editor at Diwa Scholastic Press Inc. when I was still in the Philippines (I handled and wrote for supplementary magazines like Bato Balani Science & Technology Magazine for High School); and every time a writer would submit something I very well knew was a plagiarized work, I couldn't help but feel disgusted and disappointed.

Yes, there are "writers" who have the penchant to submit "cut-and-paste" articles, thinking that they could get away with it. But in the end, whom they were really deceiving were themselves. Writers they are not but thieves of others' lifeblood.

I'd rather contribute an original haiku than submit an impressive epic which I just copied from someone or somewhere.

Again, thanks for the encouragement. I've already invited a few of my writer friends to contribute something to iSnare. In fact, I myself might have not discovered iSnare at this stage if not for the invitation of a friend.

Good luck!

Respectfully yours,
aLfie vera mella, otherwise eLf

After only a few hours...

Fri, 11 Feb 2005

Hi Alfie,

Great to have you as an author on my site. To tell you the truth, I loved BATO BALANI back in my school years! Yeah! I studied elementary up to college at the University of San Carlos in Cebu, and Bato Balani was a part of our reading materials. I am really honored to know you being its editor. I could have not been a recipient of an academic award at that time if not for Bato Balani, which I always loved reading, hahaha.

Again, thanks for your contributions to the site. I already visited your blog and even plan to make an article about blogs that would, of course, mention blog links including yours.

If you have some suggestions for the site, I would love to hear it, especially suggestions on how to generate more income for me to buy the server I long wanted :)


When do we consider a poem not a poem? When do we dismiss it as pure prose?

Answering these questions is indeed a feat, for since the advent of free verse the line dividing poetry and prose has become thin and blurry. And even though a number of formalist poets had expressed their disdain for the form—including Robert Frost (1874–1963), who said that writing free verse was like "playing tennis without a net"—there were those who became as highly regarded for embracing free verse—poets like Walt Whitman (1819–1892) and Gustave Kahn (1859–1936).

Carl Sandburg (1878–1967), a known free-verse poet, thus began his "Languages":

There are no handles upon a language
Whereby men take hold of it
And mark it with signs for its remembrance.
It is a river, this language,
Once in a thousand years
Breaking a new course
Changing its way to the ocean.


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