Siday Waray Literature


Jen or Ma’am Jen is the 4th president of KATIG (Katiguban Han Mga Magsusurat ha Sinirangan Bisayas). A region-wide organization composed of creative writers, poets, playwrights, and literarians from the islands of Leyte, Samar, and Biliran.

KATIG started sometime 2003 as a weekly gathering of writers. With the growing participants of related interests, the organization was formally registered to SEC in 2011. Through sharing of literary works with the group, Ma’am Jen claims that she happened to be a writer by accident.

When Jen joined KATIG, she wasn’t even into writing yet. It was late December in 2010 when she missed her mother who died a year earlier. The longing emotion triggered her to write and post it on Facebook. She found out the next day that Ms. Merlie Alunan, the matriarch of KATIG, read it. That was the motivation that spurred her to be the writer that she is today.

Jen wrote her first SIDAY in 2012 – a form of an expressive poetry that shapes the integral part of the Waray-Waray Culture documented dating back in the 1600s. Her analogy of this unique heritage compares it to writing a story. She says, “A story would not fit in a drinking glass if it has to be composed. You need a table or a chair so to elaborate the fullness of a story. While a SIDAY on the other hand, you will need the table and the chair to fit into the drinking glass.”

Jen Garcia was a Writing Fellow in the 19th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2012). She also won 2nd Place in the Pasidungog Makabenta Para Han Siday (2016). A community worker for local literature, she continues to write creative essays, non-fiction, and short stories in the Waray-Waray language in support of her mother tongue.

KBOX TV features existing and new talents. It is envisioned to recognize works from the Region 8’s ancestral past and promote the campaign to document unwritten and lost records that are vital in the Waray-Waray heritage. Check our website in case you miss it live on TV.