Monday, May 1, 2017



May 2017

OPA: How long have you been writing Poetry? We would like to know the early stories about your growing up as a poet or writer in general. Who are your favorite Poets? What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? Had they inspired you a lot, do you believe in inspiration as a guiding force behind writings at all?

CAROLINE:  I was in Grade Four when I first scribble my poem, entitled ‘’My Teacher’’. I loved reading Filipino legend, Ibong Adarna ( I read the old book over and over again), Dr. Seuss Books, Astronomy books, and I admit I was a fan of Liwayway (Filipino magazine featuring short stories and novels) and Komiks. My favorite poets are Francisco Balagtas, Cirilo Bautista, Rumi, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe and many more.

My inspiration was Amy Lowell, the author/poet of ‘’All things bright and beautiful’’. I performed the poem during our school program. By then, I become so interested in poetry. That also made me a Literary Editor of our school organ. I believe in inspiration as a guiding force; once you are being inspired by the author’s positive thoughts, arts, ideas and great advices;  ingenuity and artistic production is also stimulated in us.

OPA: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as a writer? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you write?  What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you?

CAROLINE:  Toughest criticism, someone sent me a message, ‘’I don’t have any right to write poetry, that my name will be erased in the poetry world’’. For that threat, I took it as a challenge. I ignored it. Everyone has a freedom to write. To read and write is a chance for us to experience. Each one of us has a passion to express our identity, feelings, and emotions through writing. When you are easily swayed by criticism, you’ll never be back and hold your pen. You’ll just burry yourself in the fear of the unknown. I was stimulated to read a lot. My willpower to create more poems have been intensified. I believe I can do more. I just believed, I can do it, and no one can take that force of believing & doing my best away from me.

Biggest compliment was posted by a creative director, Jobb Gosamo. Grateful heart here.
JG: ‘’we haven't spoke personally for several months, but i know you are always following the cultivation, the ''growing product'' and the laid foundation.
delighted to what's happening to you. remember what i told you then? it's all coming together and true. more to come i assure you for we've laid out the foundation. just remember that you must not overcook the meal of the day. balance, wisdom, and foresight will bring you to much farther places.
go, get 'em girl!’’.
Strangest thing  a reader  have asked me was, " Are you one and the same, Nilavro ? "  

OPA: What is your favorite poem you have ever written? Compared to when you first started writing, have you notice any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?

CAROLINE:  My favorite poem I have written is the  ‘’Biography of a Spirit’’. It is far different from my first poems. But of course, I loved the innocence in my first poem. The mentioned poem was also dedicated to a good friend I met, Ankha. I wrote it because I was so inspired by her soul. I gained more encouragement & enlightenment to keep my fireball, up to speed; an aubade to the rigmaroles reverberating in one's odyssey, beyond existence; that kindred spirit in us will always be a kiss of metamorphosis; an influential specter of iridescence; and a reminder of becoming the best and the great ones amidst  diversity. Attending conferences and workshops about literature, learning and discovering more poetry created changes in my style of writing.
 Below is my favorite poem I wrote, two years ago.

(A tribute to a woman wearing lipstick of freedom)
The Nile sculpts breathing hieroglyphs in your lips
Great rivers of strength
through your veins,
Your dominance incarnates Existence
circulating stargates from skylines
of life and afterlife like waterfall of pilgrims.

Breath by breath, You are the breath of the breathless!
You are the key circle of flames
Of BE-ingness,
The name of complete unimagined wonder
Wandering from CleOPA:tra’s light years,
Your boundless Earth-Sky reveals power for the powerless,
You color the ascending verses and descending verbs of the universe,
You’re the mirror of Reflection
The humming odes behind maquillage on every face of youth,
The ageless epic of your language, the ONE true gift---
The Poetry of Life.

Your heart’s emblem is a sacred epicene
That glows from the Milky Way of your eyes,
You, a resonating home of selfless heir of heroines
Giving Light to Cimmerian shade of beginnings,
The hallmark of a story within the stories of YOU.

OPA:   What has been your favorite part of being a poet or and author? What has been your least favorite?

CAROLINE:  Everything has been my favorite.  I love meeting my co-poets face to face in  poetry festivals. When I write and create a masterpiece, I consider it to be my most productive & innovative moment. What makes it the least, is when I don’t have time to make any piece.

OPA:  Did you get to quit your day job and become a writer and or author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it.

CAROLINE:  I didn’t & don’t need to quit my job. I teach/tutor college students, and even do my technical job in a university. I always have time to write the poem of my soul.

OPA:   Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? What genre are you most looking forward to explore during your writing career? Why?

CAROLINE:  I am also into creative/artsy cooking. Sometimes I do arts out of shells. I am also inclined in sewing and splash painting. I love going out and watch the sunrise and sunset even riding on a bus.

I would also love to explore in science fiction, fantasy, travelogue, music, and arts. I found these genres become my sole soul’s expressions.

OPA:: Do you think literature or poetry is really essential in our life? If so why? How does it relate to the general history of mankind?

CAROLINE:   I believe, literature is essential in our life. Literature has prompted physical, socio-psychological, emotional and spiritual changes in us. It is not only the mirror of our culture, tradition and history, it is also an imprint of how rich our language is.

I would like to share this scholarly writing of Dr. Jeanne Follansbee Quinn of Harvard University, ‘’Professor Barrett Wendell, the first chair of History and Literature, insisted that writers "could never have been what they were but for the historical forces that surged about them," and that, conversely, it is through the literary voices of the past that the historian comes to understand "not only bare facts but also how those facts made the living men feel who knew them in the flesh."

‘’History and Literature thus aspires to promote the integration of the two disciplines and a balance between general knowledge and specific expertise.’’

OPA:   Our readers would like to know your own personal experience regarding the importance of literature and poetry in your life.

CAROLINE:  I believe that poetry can change lives. I started volunteering at World Poetry Canada & International, Poetic Justice, Writers International Network, Poetry Around the Globe in Canada and other countries. These multiculturaI events/platforms are avenues to empower each one of us. I met a lot of poet/ author-friends, not only in literature but also in spiritual healing and brotherhood. I had the sense of feeling, of merging talents into unified diversity. Each participant wanted to share the expressions of beauty from the unsaid thoughts. Those moments are real treasures. It is literature that binds and bridges people across borders.

OPA: Do you think people in general actually bother about literature in general?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?

CAROLINE:  Studying literature is a struggle. It also varies from a personal and communal experiences.  The power of perspective and passion will make people become driven to appreciate literature. If one has all the ability to read and write, then it would be easier for him/her to connect with literary enthusiasts. When you discover yourself to be among the characters in the story or poetry, you find joy in building your multiverse, the version that you really like, that is to affect and to influence people. Consumerism is a mentality, and it goes in the system. So few people will see literature what’s beyond it. We are bombarded with massive advertisements and overarching ideas of the modern society. It may be critical, but one should take part in the evolution, to recreate a humanity’s ship of empathy, creativity, brotherhood, respect and understanding through literature.

OPA: Do you think society, as a whole, has a factor in shaping you as a poet, or your poetry altogether?

CAROLINE:  Yes. Society is a big factor in shaping me as a poet. As a feminist, society is one of  the real ingredients of my poetic menu.  As an audience and member of the Techno-hybrids of the 21st Century, a poetess like me should be open to possibilities, organize poetry events, learn  to adapt life’s skills, inspire  and empower the human race.

 ‘’Poems from the ancient historical eras give us a glimpse of the previous generations.’’ Poetry is meant to invoke experiences, it emphasizes the role of the senses, calling to mind memories and feelings in stirring and sometimes turbulent ways.   E-source

OPA: We would also like to know; How do you relate the present literary trends with the literary heritage of your own country? 

CAROLINE:  For whatever scientific or philosophical reason you want to posit, I want to explore more literary trends, those that are marked as, ‘’the indigenous’’, ‘’the legend’’, ‘’viral’’, ‘’trending’’, in as much depth as possible. I carefully read. I love reading the richness of our language, arts, literature and the Filipino identity. Literature and social media have a big impact in our lives. If I say, I am affected with the extra judicial killings (EJK), today, will it become a likeable literary trend? If all would be just so enthusiastic to promote and to enrich the legacies of our ancestors in literature et. al and proper exhibit of innovating a trending material.   I think the Philippines would also be in NASA.

 According to Christine F. Godinez-Ortega, ‘’The rousings of nationalistic pride in the 1960s and 1970s also helped bring about this change of attitude among a new breed of Filipinos concerned about the “Filipino identity.”

OPA: Are you a feminist? Can literature play any decisive role in feminism at all?

CAROLINE:  I am feminist who believes in humanity. Feminism  should not just be limited to the authorship of female writers and the representation given to women in literature but also supporting the ‘’No to gender discrimination’’ laws.

‘’The representation of women in the media is important and influential. Women in literature are especially important, whether they are characters or authors. Women are grossly underrepresented in the media and it’s time we changed that.’’
Sarah B., 12th grade, Teen Voice

OPA: Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? Is it an incentive or an obstacle in becoming an international writer?

CAROLINE:  Yes, but not always necessary. I am a product of the Philippines. I represent my nationality and I am proud of it. As the saying goes, ‘’It defines the ocean that must be crossed to see through their eyes.’’ Nationality should not be an obstacle in becoming a great international writer. I am praying that, each writer will always have a sound mind and sound body so he/she can share more inspirational writings to the world for this generation and generations to come.

OPA: What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?

Seven words that I would use to describe myself
Initiator of wisdom
 Because I AM LOVE.

OPA:   Is there anything else that you would like to share or say to those who will read this interview?

CAROLINE:   I will never be me, if I don’t write poetry! So I accept the challenge and learn to be more than me. One more thing, I still have a 20/20 vision. That could also mean, visualizing to write more, more and more poems for the world. It's the right time to embrace all the possibilities. It's high time to share our poetry even in small and simple ways. I thank the people being inspired, touched and moved by my writings. Write on! Thank you OPA, for the wonderful chance. Carp diem!

CAROLINE NAZARENO-GABIS A.K.A. CERI NA:, Born in Anda, Pangasinan, Philippines, known as a ‘poet of peace and friendship’, is a multi-awarded poet, editor, publicist, linguist, educator,  and women’s advocate. Graduated cum laude with the degree of Bachelor of Elementary Education, specialized in General Science at Pangasinan State University. Ceri has been a voracious researcher in various arts, science and literature. She volunteered in Richmond Multicultural Concerns Society, TELUS World Science, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Aquarium and other charity foundations in Canada.

She was chosen as one of the Directors of Writers Capital International Foundation ( WCIF ),  Board of Directors of Galaktika ATUNIS Magazine based in Albania; the World Poetry Canada and International Director to Philippines; Member of the following organizations promoting peace, women’s rights, culture, arts and literature: Global Citizen’s Initiatives, Asia Pacific Writers and Translators (APWT); The Poetry Posse, Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), International Women's Leadership Association, Universal Peace Federation, Akademika Nusa International Social Sciences and Humanities (ANISSH), Axlepinos and Anacbanua. Her works have been anthologized worldwide.

She received prestigious awards including, 4th Placer in World Union of Poets Poetry Prize with 100 participants worldwide,  Writers International Network-Canada ‘’Amazing Poet 2015’’, The Frang Bardhi Literary Prize 2014 (Albania), the sair-gazeteci or Poet-Journalist Award 2014 (Tuzla, Istanbul, Turkey) and World Poetry Empowered Poet 2013 (Vancouver, Canada).
The editorial staff of this project: Deborah Brooks Langford, Stacia Lynn Reynolds; sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.


  1. Very inspiring! I'm so glad I took time out to read this! And yes, literature is important in our lives. Keep on inking,and congrats on being poet of the month! :)

  2. Thank you for the compliment and support dear Debbie.