Team Kitaab is in conversation with Roy Tristan Agustin, a writer, and teacher from the Philippines whose story is a part of TBASS 2021
Roy was born in the Philippines, a place that has the problem of being perennially interesting. This has resulted in him being immersed in key moments in history, to which he responded by becoming an English Teacher at Ateneo de Manila University. He has also worked in shipping alongside tattooed thugs in Manila, worked in shipping in Singapore (no tattoos), and tried his hand as a small businessman. Aside from writing and teaching, he helps manage a consultancy firm that his wife uses for her practice. He is a father to a long-haired college student, is no longer able to grow his own hair, and has decided that middle age is a great age to be in. He practices Aikido and tries his best to live up to its principles.
His story, Killing the Councillor is a part of The Best Asian Short Stories – 2021 (Kitaab, 2021)
Team Kitaab: Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?
Roy Tristan Agustin: I’m a frustrated visual artist, I think. I remember when I was a kid, all my friends were really good at drawing. Except me. I was horrible. We’d spend hours making up all kinds of stories for characters that they’d draw. My contribution was always the story part. In a way, that led me to decide to be a writer or to choose writing as my way of expressing myself. Plus, I wasn’t bad at it, at least not as bad as my drawings.