Interview | Rebecca T. Añonuevo
Rebecca T. Añonuevo
Rebecca T. Añonuevo is a poet, translator, essayist, and critic. She teaches literature and writing subjects in Miriam College , where she is also chair of the Department of Filipino, and in the University of Santo Tomas. She is the author of six books of poetry (the latest being Isa Lang ang Pangalan, published in 2012 by the UST Publishing House), and has received numerous awards from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for poetry, essay, and short story in Filipino. She has a PhD in Literature from the De La Salle University, which granted her the Gold Medal for Outstanding Dissertation for her study that later became a book titled, Talinghaga ng Gana: Ang Banal sa mga Piling Tulang Tagalog ng Ika-20 Siglo, which won the National Book Award for Literary Criticism from the Manila Critics Circle. She has also written children’s books. She gives teacher trainings on skills upgrading and is a constant panelist in writing workshops in the country.
What was your process like?
My writing does not start with actual writing. In this encounter with Onib’s, the initial delight was crucial, I think, not unlike the physical attraction you experience with someone who will play an important role later in your life. Not everyone we meet in this world becomes a lover or a friend, and sometimes, with total strangers or people who only happen by, a connection may take place.
Click on "Still Life With Flowers and a Violin" (above) to see Onib Olmedo's painting read "Orihen" by Rebecca T. Añonuevo.
Perhaps, I am referring to my own intuitive response. I gaze at the work, and let it be. I value the silent space between me and the artist’s work. Writing about the artist’s work is like reading a poet from another culture and time, perhaps even from another language--we don’t know each other personally, but we have spoken to each other in a most intimate way, by the images and possible meanings in the work.