06 March 2011

my March 8 talk - where are the lesbians on women's day?

Hang out with me on International Women's Day in case you're in the vicinity of UP Diliman and you are free and want to listen to a small talk I'm delivering about lesbian literature. It's free of charge and open to the public.

Yes, shameless plug. Kitakits.

CMC Faculty Colloquium 2011

March 8 Tuesday 2:30-4pm

UP College of Mass Communication

Auditorium (Plaridel Hall annex building)

Decoding decades of absence:

Searching for lesbianism in Philippine literature in English

by libay linsangan cantor


This paper is a survey of the notable batch of the earliest lesbian-themed literary short stories written in English in the Philippines published by mainstream magazines and publishing houses from the early 1990s up to the early 2000s. The aim of this paper is to analyze what types of narratives are being selected for publication which directly indicates the level of authenticity of how Filipino lesbians are characterized and constructed and also indicative of how lesbianism as a theme is carried out in Philippine literature in English. The objective of utilizing this process is to trace how lesbian literature emerged within this literary space and how it runs parallel to or clashes with the tradition of women writing in English in the Philippines.


Libay Linsangan Cantor is a two-time winner of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 1997 for her short story in Filipino “Si Joe Cool Kasi” (Joe Cool’s Fault) and the short story for children in Filipino “Si Totoy sa Gubat ng Diwata” (Totoy in the Forest of the Fairies).

She used to have a literary column entitled “The Scribe Vibe” at the Manila Times newspaper’s Sunday Times section which ran from 2008 to 2010. She now contributes regularly to the Philippine Online Chronicles (POC) Pinoy LGBT channel online webzine by Vibal Foundation since June 2010.

She is also a trained TV/film scriptwriter and won honorable mention for her lesbian-themed screenplay at the 1998’s Film Development of the Philippines Inc.’s annual screenwriting competition. She began scriptwriting for children’s TV shows in 2001 with the ABS-CBN Foundation-produced Epol/Apple educational program. In 2006, she began directing for TV, handling the Saturday morning TV show Lovely Day for GMA-7. She also scripted and directed a few episodes of other GMA-7 children’s shows Happy Land and Sunnyville in 2009-2010.

Libay has a BA in Film and Audiovisual Communication from UP College of Mass Communication and an MA in Creative Writing from the UP College of Arts and Letters. She was a co-founder of the now defunct UP Sappho Society (1999), the first university-based lesbian organization in the Philippines. She is currently part of the Asia-Pacific advisory board for the International Fund for Sexual Minorities of the New York-based Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.