Gratefulness for the past year, and this one

Happy New Year! And what better way for this period between the Gregorian calendar New Year and the Asian Lunar New Year to begin than with the marked transition between guest-editorships!

So let’s put these deserving two front and center, and both with deep gratitude.

Thank you very much, Christine V. Lao, for providing the tales of the past six months, courtesy of your writing class students. PGS had been dormant for a long time except for sporadic posts very infrequently because of life getting in the way, so your idea of the output from your class becoming fresh content for Filipino genre readers to find was such a welcome offer. I had long been thinking of how to get things going again for PGS given that I could not devote enough time to playing both publisher and editor at the same time anymore, and I was resigned to forever bumping my head against this concrete wall. It was immensely satisfying to be able to post a story per month from you and your students for the past six months, so my deep thanks again to you and your six students.

I would’ve been okay if this little experiment had ended on December 31, 2022, but some weeks before that, I had reason to be grateful once more when Mia Tijam agreed to the same arrangement as Tinlao’s. The period was even extended for double the time, throughout 2023. So, at a story per month, that’s twelve more stories coming soon on PGS for all of us to read (crossed-fingers). Whatever thanks I have to Tinlao is also given to Mia for taking this guest-editorship role on. I know how time-consuming it can be to play this role, so if there’s a reason why we are getting fresh tales from a fresh generation of Pinoy writers, it’s because of Tinlao and Mia. They have divided the labor, focusing on the sifting, sorting, reading, and working through the submissions, which has allowed me to keep an eye on the more technical and backstage role of publisher.

My deep, deep thanks to you both.

Philippine Genre Stories started in the mid-aughts as a hardcopy digest with the goal of pushing reading among Pinoys, particularly among younger readers, and particularly those who were looking for genre content made by fellow Pinoys. The local reading circumstances were different then—being online was not as widespread, genre had not yet found its footing and was even looked down upon and belittled, and the variety of what was being produced was not as wide as it is today. Fast-forward to present time and all genres have carved out their niches and readerships and those seeking content have an easier time discovering fresh content across many more forms of media. I’d like to think that the efforts put behind PGS contributed positively to today’s more open availability of these content.

Yet, the goals of this fresh set of PGS stories remain the same: to push reading and to allow younger readers to find these stories much more easily than the older generation did. Granted, not all goals have been reached; for example, I would love to have the wherewithal to push genre stories in Tagalog and other languages, to see those published stories find interpretation in other forms such as podcasts, comics, or even video. But, we do what we can, and the fact that we can even continue this way via this website is already something worth counting as blessing.

Last but certainly not least, my thanks to my friend down in southern Philippines, Dominique Cimafranca, who developed and kept the PGS  website up and running even during the dormant period. Dom, thanks. You deserve as much thanks for helping keep this going as much as Mia and Tinlao.

And of course, deep thanks to all who have contributed to PGS, not just those way in the past during its hardcopy days, but also those who submitted when the PGS website was more active up to those who submitted to Tinlao and Mia. Your stories are a win for all of us who are constantly on the lookout for more stuff to read from fellow Filipinos.

Kenneth Yu

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