Tina has been an ML in the Philippines region for five years, and was joined by Liana in 2010. The NYC and London MLs are super rad, but Tina and Liana are keeping an entire country racing towards 50,000 words.
Tina was kind enough to jot down a quick guide to noveling in the Philippines. Guys. They have a local varietal of coffee that is mighty-man strong. Game changer.
The Philippines region rundown:
Best Local Writer Fuel — Coffee and Pringles. It’s a weird combination. We have a local type of coffee called barako that I rarely drink because it’s so strong, but it has a very distinct local flavor.
As for the Pringles, any kind will do—we crush them, and then sort of ‘drink’ it from the can. We’re too busy typing to be bothered with sticking our hands inside.
Best Way to Beat Writer’s Block — Hop onto public transportation! Commuting from one place to another can get crazy here, especially with the massive traffic, but it can be great to people-watch during those times.
Regional Genre of Choice — We’ve had a lot of fantasy and mainstream fiction writers in past years. This year, we’re challenging everyone to write something apocalyptic, since the Mayan calendar said the world will end this December. Ha!
The Can’t Miss Philippines NaNo Event
I love our Kick-Off Party, and our first write-in, because we always have the most energy during those times. Just last year, though, we launched a new event after our kick-off: a Plot Party. It’s like the kick-off’s Pimp My Plot, but we discuss a lot more writing and plotting, and it was a big, big hit! I’m looking forward to doing it again this year.
The Runners-Up — Since we’re MLs for an entire country, we love our online chats. We’ll start a nightly conference over Yahoo! Messenger, which is crazy fun (and distracting!) but we do get a bit of writing done. We can talk about the most random things, too: Chuck Norris has remained a favorite topic since 2008.
We hold our word wars online, too, and you wouldn’t believe how much some people write.
The Municipal Liaisons
I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo since 2004, and have been an ML since 2007. I joined NaNo in college; I used to write a lot when I was younger, but I stopped when I got too busy with school work.
I lost my first year, but finished the novel a few months later. I found a fellow Filipino in the forums, and he told me that I should win by the following year. So I joined again, and just as we finally formed an Asia :: Philippines region, I won. And I found it very addictive.
In 2007, the ML baton was passed to me. I had no idea what I was doing, but because I loved the event so much, I just decided to jump in. It’s been a crazy ride ever since, but I love the thrill and fun of seeing my fellow writers reach the 50K mark. In 2010, my co-ML Liana joined me at the helm, and we’re expecting another new ML to join us this year.
A Guide to the Local Wrimos and Culture — I always remember 2008 as my favorite NaNoWriMo year, and it’s a great example of our region at its best. We had two Thank God It’s Over parties: we had a pizza party to celebrate everyone’s success (whether they reached 50K or not), and then the next week, we had our TGIO sponsored by a local writing group. It was like we didn’t want to live our novels behind.
Filipinos have always been known to be warm and hospitable, and I’ve seen that in our region as well! We’re a pretty friendly bunch, and…we have a way of bribing people to get to 50K. :) And we have really good food, too.
The Region In a Nutshell — The Philippines has been called Pearl of the Orient all this time, but allow me to borrow our country’s tourism slogan for this year: NaNoWriMo: It’s More Fun in the Philippines.
Check out the region in November!