Last September 13, at the Write Side of Bookshelf session, held at The Astbury, Makati, Katya Lichauco shared some behind-the-scenes insights into her motivation for writing books that center around the stories of Filipino women.
The Astbury, a third space for the creative human experience, together with Bookshelf PH hosts monthly book club sessions supporting budding Filipino authors and writers and discussing different narratives on modern Philippine literature.
An unassuming black and gray facade tucked in between the hippie streets and vibrant nightclubs in Poblacion, The Astbury creates an immersive experience within its curated galleries and rooms. Down in a basement gallery during a relaxing Wednesday evening, Katya shared some behind-the-scenes thoughts on why she wrote her books, Big Deal and Fearless Filipinas II, and why she continues to do so today.
Letting Filipina Voices Be Heard
Despite the notion of increased gender equality and respect for women in our contemporary society, Filipino women still encounter significant limitations in the opportunities available to them. It was amidst the pandemic that she conceived the idea for Big Deal, aiming to amplify the voices of Filipinas and reach a wider audience. An anthology of short stories and visual artworks, Big Deal was created with the intention of shedding light on the notion that women deserve equal opportunities to men and making people recognize the formidable strength of women.
True Stories With No Filter
As someone committed to initiating change by sparking conversations through themes in her books, Katya made a firm decision to authentically depict and safeguard the genuine, real-life stories of women from all corners of the Philippines. To achieve this, she actively sought out individuals and hoped they would be willing to share their stories with the world through her writing. This endeavor proved to be one of the more challenging aspects of the entire process, alongside the learning curve of mastering the art of proper book writing and structuring. However, she ultimately triumphed. This journey resulted in the creation of both Big Deal and the Fearless Filipinas II, both of which wholeheartedly embrace this approach of portraying the unique stories of each Filipina.
Bringing Change For Women
Katya’s books depict the stories and challenges faced by Filipinas, but they are not intended as social commentary; instead, they serve as emotional showcases of real-life stories that reflect reality. The books’ overarching objective becomes evident in this context: to stimulate discussions among readers about these social issues by presenting unfiltered women’s stories. The aim is twofold: to empower women, enabling them to recognize their innate strength and potential, while also enlightening people about the continued importance of women’s empowerment.
Writing is a Big Deal
Writing these books was undoubtedly a challenging journey for Katya. Connecting with numerous individuals to capture their stories is a daunting task, and as a newcomer to writing, crafting Big Deal posed its own set of challenges.
Fortunately, Katya drew inspiration from the stories she encountered and the unwavering support of her friends and family. Their encouragement fueled her determination and enabled her to persevere. She remains committed to sharing the stories of Filipinas, driven by her passion and the invaluable encouragement of her loved ones.
Fearlessly Looking Forward
Currently, Katya is dedicated to tirelessly seeking out additional stories of Filipinas to share, aiming to inspire others to take meaningful action. As time progresses, her hope is that the stories she preserves will play a pivotal role in guiding women towards a brighter future—a future where they’ll have boundless opportunities to showcase their talents to the world, all while embracing and celebrating their Filipino spirit.
In a world where empowering stories can spark change and inspire progress, we invite you to visit bookshelf.com.ph, where you’ll find Filipino-authored books that celebrate diverse voices and thought-provoking stories.