There is a response from a.t. (titled chopsuey, dated 2 November 2003) in the angas blog with respect to my comments about Almario's lecture on balagtasan at UC Berkeley.
A.t. makes a valid point. Balagtasan is supposed to be an impromptu version of a showdown of poetry. If in asking for an example of balagtasan, Almario interpreted this as a full throwdown of two opponents and a lakandiwa, then yes, it would have been impossible to stage a balagtasan. There would have been a lack of participants and a lack of preparation for the topic.
In my interpretation, however, what the students really just wanted was an example of a short reading of balagtasan. The thought occurs that Almario had written a book on balagtasan. Arkipelago was supposed to be at the UC Berkeley reading, but unfortunately, representatives were not there. Thus, I would have to wait to examine the book to determine if balagtasan or examples of balagtasan are present in it.
By the way, for those observant readers, I must explicitly state that Almario lectured on balagtasan. The comments directly related to balagtasan were taken by yours truly during the lecture. When I write my personal opinion with respect to balagtasan, I set it off with parenthesis so that it is clear that I hold that opinion and not Almario.
It is ironic to me that the lecture given my Almario contradicts the statements of the writers in the angas blog. Specifically, the nature of an impromptu poetry contest. Almario lectured that the participants had one week to prepare for the event and that the participants actually memorized the material before the event. Yes, I know, this is at the level of splitting hairs. But if we are going to make commentaries on writing, should we not pay attention to the lecturer? I did. [raises the arm... uh-uh... me teacher, me] And I took notes.