Frequently Asked Questions about The Story When


What is The Story When project about?

In a nutshell, the project is an evolving repository of second-hand or handed-down stories, as retold by listeners of these  stories. 

The idea is to collect these stories and, as the project grows, the stories begin to give us a clearer and more nuanced cumulative story of the Philippines.

These personal and family stories, in the context of eras that have passed, tend to come across as pieces of history that are easier to access; the dates and places matter, but the people and what they had gone through remind us of the continuity of one generation to another, and the connection of one story to the next.

Why are the stories second-hand?

All stories on The Story When are retold stories. They are stories handed down to the storyteller by someone else. 

This is a specific and defining guideline for all storytellers who contribute to the project. This method presupposes and tries to achieve a few things:

1. The a dialogue is opened (or reopened) across generations. If you are a storyteller telling the story of your mom or lolo, you would probably need to go back for more details, and - as the case has been so far - allow you to discover more about your own family history. Questions you hadn't thought of before are now more pressing, and the information probably more interesting than you had remembered.

2. It forces the storyteller look back at the past. Progressive thinking pushes us to look forward and to act quickly. But there is no living in the now nor is there moving into the future without grounding lessons and ideas taken from the past.Sometimes, the goal is simply to acknowledge that life had happened before: that it was significant and that it affects us today, even in the most minute ways.

3. Storytellers who retell stories have the opportunity to connect the past, present, and future. In many cases, the source comes from a past life, the storyteller is the medium putting pieces together in the present time, and the stories are preserved for a future generation.

Who can contribute to The Story When?

Anyone who has a Filipino story to pass on can contribute to The Story When. While there are some standards in writing and storytelling involved, it is our belief that everyone is an innate storyteller. Some may be more experienced and more refined than others, but if you have something to say and recount, then please do contact us so we can discuss the next steps.

I'm not a writer. How else can I join The Story When?

If you believe in the project and want to help it grow, there are several ways to participate.

We need people to tell other people about the project, to recruit both storytellers and story-readers, to post and share and preach the idea behind The Story When.

We need people to tell the story of The Story When as well as people who want to help move the project's story many pages forward. Thinkers, collaborators, innovators, creative disruptors, artists, and other kinds of supporters can contact us to discuss and pitch ideas and solutions - or to dig deeper about where the project is headed.

What kind of stories are you looking for?

Any story, seriously.

Any story will come with its own setting of time and place - that automatically puts it in a historical context.

Does it need to refer to a big historical event? Not necessarily.

Admittedly, many pitches and submissions tend to lean towards the bigger stuff, like war and family drama.

But a story is good as long as it is told well. The subject matter can come from anywhere: the story behind an old photograph, a joke said over dinner, a favorite family legend, or even a newly discovered anecdote. Think of a lesson that your parents like to mention all the time. Think of all the times you heard, “Nung panahon ko…"

If your story is able to bring us to another time, then we're definitely interested.

I'm not so sure I can tell my story well. I'm not a professional writer. Is that ok?

If you're willing to be guided by an editor in your storytelling process and if you're open to a few back-and-forths to polish your material, then come on aboard. Sometimes, just a few questions plus one round of editing (on our part) are all it takes. Other times, some discussion and rewriting take place. Do know we are on the side of the storyteller: you keep your byline, so our goal is to make sure your story  comes across clearly without you losing your tone or your voice.

I have more questions.

Then, please send an email or contact us via our social media accounts. Click here to see our contact info.