“Surreal, you know? A lot happens in one week [at Writers of the Future]; there was a lot of good stuff. And there was also a lot of stuff that I could have done without in terms of racism, from the judges and the organization. My fellow co-winners were great, and they were really supportive whenever they happened to be in the room, and then they heard something quite shocking. During one of the workshop
classes, somehow they got to talking about my winning story. And then one of the judges said that “You know we get a lot of entries from the Philippines every year and when we picked yours out of the pile, I had to check for plagiarism because it was that good.” One of those backhanded compliments that’s really not a compliment. I was just sitting there and trying not to let my mouth fall open, and I also
couldn’t look at anyone else because ‘oh, what must they be thinking.’ I don’t know.” [sad laughter]
Watch or read our interview with Vida Cruz about her experiences as a Filipino writer.