Today (2023-07-13), I finished reading Louise Far’s Inahan sa Sugilanon, a photo book featuring Tuburan, a Steiner-inspired green school community in Mindanao.

There are two ways to read a photo book. Look closely at one photograph a day or/and look at all the photographs in one go. Both methods beg you to slow down but in different flavors.

Louise gifted me this copy a few hours before I got in the car that would bring me to ANWW20. Our meeting at Cubao was the workshop before the workshop. I basically asked for some pep talk to ease my fears as I attend my first national writers workshop.

It was inspiring to hear the story behind this book. Listening to Louise (and to authors I’ve started to meet in the past couple of years) showed me how much biography is in a writer’s book be it autobiographical or not. There is so much life in there that perhaps the best way to befriend a writer is by reading her book.

That is my experience of Inahan sa Sugilanon. I feel like I know Louise more (even if we’ve just met twice!). But perhaps, more importantly, I was brought there in the middle of the community in Tuburan as if I was an invited guest, a friend, witnessing how a fairytale unfolds.


Far, L. (2015). Inahan sa Sugilanon (Mother of the Fairytale): Birthing a Green School Community. Louise Far.