WEB AND WEAVE: Why Few Writers of Iluko Literature? (Part II)

Assumptions of the Study

The following assumptions were utilized in this study:

1.    The Ilokano writer-respondents are the best sources of information about their assessment on Iluko children’s literature.

2.    There are personal and circumstantial reasons why Ilokano writers abscond/ shun away in writing children’s literature.

3.    The questionnaire used is valid and reliable.

4.    The answers of the respondents are indicative of their true assessment, viewpoints and practices.

5.    The questionnaires were distributed under normal conditions.

Methodology

The design used in this research is descriptive in nature where the questionnaire was mainly used to elicit data needed in this study. Interviews as well as documentation were utilized to aid the researchers in justifying some vague answers.

A questionnaire, formulated and validated, was used to answer the questions raised in Chapter 1. Variables used in this study included the personal profile of the respondents and the personal assessments and viewpoints of the respondents on the dearth of Iluko children’s literature. Part I of the questionnaire dealt with the respondents’ profile while Part II was on their personal assessments on the problems raised.

Armed with letters of requests, the researchers during the 39th Gumil Filipinas Annual Convention and Seminar-Workshop held at Currimao, Ilocos Norte, floated the questionnaires to more than a hundred writer-delegates but only 63 respondents managed to return the filled up questionnaires.

Using the SPSS as a statistical tool in computing the data, the following statistical tools were used in this study: Frequency and percentage count, mean and ranking.

DISCUSSION OF RESULTS

Profile of the Respondents.

Age. Out of the 63 Ilokano writer-respondents, 30.20 % belonged to the age bracket 60-69. Twelve or 19 % are 50-59 years old. Eleven each (17.50%) belonged to the age brackets 30-39 and 40-49. Only few belonged to 20-29 years (7.90%), and 70 years and above (4.80%). This shows that most of the writer-respondents are senior citizens.

Sex. There were more male (74.60%) than female respondents ( 25.40%). This shows that for every female Ilokano writer, three are male writers. It could be deduced that more male Ilokano writers incline themselves to writing than the opposite sex..

Residence/province. Almost one third ( 19 or 30.20%) of the respondents are writers from Ilocos Sur. Next in line are Ilocos Norte writers ( 15 or 23.80 percent). Seven (11.10%) came from Cagayan while six each (9.50%) originated from La Union and Baguio/Benguet. Others came from Isabela, Pangasinan, Manila and Abra. This implies that the those who reside in the Ilocos provinces have greater advantage   and opportunity to become writers. This could be attributed to their mastery and constant exposure to the Iluko language.

Civil Status. Around three fourths (74.60%) of the respondents are married while 10 writers (15.90%) are single. Interesting to note are the 6 widow/ers (9.50%). This implies that writing is another creative avenue of ideas, concepts and verbal expressions of married individuals.

Year Started Writing. There are 17 Ilokano writers ( 27%) who started their writing craft in the year 2000. However, 15 or 23.80 percent of them started writing a decade earlier. Thirteen and eight writers commenced writing in the 1980s and 1960s, respectively. Nevertheless, four each (6.30%) started honing their writing skills as early as 1950s and 1970s. This shows that the Ilokano writers comprise different writing generations.  This further implies that at the turn of the century, new crop of Ilokano writers emerged to continue the legacy that their compatriots had started.

Fellowship. Out of the many fellowships offered by different foundations, only the UP Institute of Creative Writing had so far extended its welcoming smile and arms to the 9 Ilokano writers. This implies that only few among these Ilokano writers have courage and determination to attend/participate in grueling workshops that may last for two weeks. Perhaps the reason for scanty Ilokano fellows is the non-offering of slots to Iluko literature by other writing foundations.

 Writing Genre. Among the different writing genres, Ilokano writers prefer poetry and short stories as the best medium to express their ideas and life experiences. Their observations and intellectual interpretations of the metaphysical view of the world are most likely expounded in their essays and feature articles. Novels/novelettes and drama which some consider to be tedious and difficult to write are still alive and kicking. However, futuristic fiction and autobiography writing seemed to be the least favored writing genre among the Ilokano writers.

This implies that Ilokano fictionists and poets prefer one sitting expression of their thoughts and sentiments, hence they do lots of stories and poetry. It is not clear whether they do write stories for children along the category of short stories.

       (To be continued)