Heights Ateneo — The Official Literary and Artistic Publication and Organization of the Ateneo de Manila University

HEIGHTS introduces 69th Editorial Board, reinvents internal systems in responding to social realities

HEIGHTS | Sep 23, 2021

For its 69th year, HEIGHTS’ Editorial Board for A.Y. 2021-2022 has reinvented its internal systems to better respond to the Philippines’ current social realities with the thrust: “Pagpapatibay-loob sa mga kinaiisahang espasyo laban sa pinasidhing paniniil.

As the official literary and artistic publication and organization of the Ateneo de Manila University, HEIGHTS has long been committed to enriching the practice of art and literature in the context of both the immediate and broader realities in the Loyola Schools community through its different projects: folios, workshops, creative talks, among others. In the wake of a year characterized by uncertainty and volatility—caused chiefly by the systemic atrocities that remain rampant to this day—HEIGHTS recognizes the need to ensure the smooth operation of  its internal systems and the urgency of responding to the call to resist, especially in the face of the upcoming national elections. To do both, the organization asserts that the internal converses with the external, making “pagpapatibay-loob” an important act of solidarity that addresses the Philippines’ politically urgent reality.

This year, HEIGHTS is led by 17 editors—5 executive editors and 12 staff editors—that compose its 69th Editorial Board. Together, the editors are committed to recontextualizing HEIGHTS’ internal systems so that it can effectively promote the role of art and literature in the fight against tyranny and oppression.

Stanley Guevarra, Editor-in-Chief

In the conceptualization of this year’s thrust, Stanley Guevarra, Editor-in-Chief, referred to how the efforts of the 69th Editorial Board’s predecessors and the unique circumstances brought on by the previous year pushed the Editorial Board to choose both an internal and external vision. 

“HEIGHTS has always been externally oriented with its thrusts, but now we depart from that a little by looking inwards. Last year, we were caught in the unspoken demand to carry out the regular publication cycle amid (un)natural disasters, political unrest, changes in the academic calendar, and mental health issues on top of a global health crisis,” he says.

Recognizing the demands of these new circumstances, the 69th Editorial Board implemented several changes in HEIGHTS’ internal systems, including its call for a double issue instead of publishing semi-annual folios. 

“[T]he double issue was the necessary solution we had to adopt. I’d like to think it’s a publication cycle that allows wiggle room to not only care for the well-being of our members, but also the systems that can put forth more public projects, encourage productive deliberations, adequately respond to readers and contributors, and ensure the quality publication of our folios. And doing just that is a political response in itself: against a tyrannical regime that undermines that we can make better sense of ourselves—because we definitely can, now more than ever,” Guevarra says.

This year’s double issue follows the concept of “Truths,” with two sub-concepts: “Distortion” and “Confrontation.” All members of the Loyola Schools community—current and former students, faculty, alumni, professionals, and staff of the Ateneo de Manila University—are encouraged to submit literary and artistic works that fit the issue’s theme. The call for contributions for the double issue opened on September 18 and will end on October 18 and November 18, 2021, for No. 1 and 2, respectively. The “twin folio” will be launched in April 2022, and shall be available both on HEIGHTS’ website and in print form.

Ignacio “Iggy” Bunag, Associate Editor

The call for contributions for this year’s double issue has also been revamped to include the nomination processes of the Ateneo HEIGHTS Artists Workshop (AHAW) and Writers Workshop (AHWW). As Associate Editor, Ignacio “Iggy” Bunag serves as director for both projects.

“As an Associate Editor, I hope to encourage artists and writers to freely express themselves through their pieces. The workshops that I will be directing would hopefully provide avid fellows with insights that will develop their craft,” Bunag says.

This year, all contributions for the double issue submitted by currently enrolled students of the Loyola Schools are automatically considered for nomination for both workshops as long as the works are submitted by October 18, 2021.

DELIBERATION STAFF EDITORS. Top row, from left to right: Alexie Cruz (English Editor); Angela Lanuza (Associate English Editor); Ryan Suarez (Patnugot ng Bagwisang Filipino). Bottom row, from left to right: Ziona “Benzi” Castro (Katuwang na Patnugot ng Bagwisang Filipino); Andrea Isaac (Art Editor); Kimiko de Guzman (Associate Art Editor).

Aside from the workshops, Bunag also heads the three deliberating staffs of the organization. “Other than creation, I hope to instill the importance of critical thinking in reading and analyzing artistic and literary works. Together with the Deliberating Staff Editors, I wish to hone the incoming and returning staffers' skills so they may use their newly acquired knowledge to respond to the times through art and literature,” Bunag says. 

The English staff is headed by Alexie Cruz and Angela Lanuza. Bagwisang Filipino is led by Ryan Suarez and Ziona “Benzi” Castro. Andrea Isaac and Kimiko de Guzman are the editors for this year’s Art staff.

Paul Anonuevo, Managing Editor for External Affairs

Supplementary to HEIGHTS’ folios, the publication has also planned several initiatives that will enrich HEIGHTS’ engagement with its audience and interaction with realities outside the organization’s operations. Paul Anonuevo, Managing Editor for External Affairs, attends to these aspects of the publication. 

“The relationships HEIGHTS forges with the community will only be as strong as the publication itself. With the numerous changes HEIGHTS is taking on this year, it's important to maximize the space and freedom we're allowing ourselves to rediscover where the publication stands in the online setting. More than this, to ensure that the organization can healthily keep up,” he says.

With the online setup and the increasing need to respond to urgent social matters, Anonuevo also emphasized the need to revisit how HEIGHTS traditionally executes its initiatives. 

“[T]he focus is on evaluating where our projects, such as Kuwentong Pambata, stand in relation to our situation today; because what these projects might have been made for before, might not directly translate to what the community needs today. With the help of the organizational staffs in executing our projects, HEIGHTS can strengthen itself in new ways,” he says.

ORGANIZATIONAL STAFF EDITORS. Top row, from left to right: Aitana “Anya” Nellas (Design Editor); Justin Dhaniel Tan (Associate Design Editor); Andrea Tibayan (HEIGHTS Online Editor). Bottom row, from left to right: Natania Shay Du (Associate HEIGHTS Online Editor); Melania Mae “MM” Silverio (Production Manager); Lindsey Therese Lim (Associate Production Manager).

Headed by Anonuevo, the organizational arm is composed of three staffs. The Design staff is in charge of creating all of HEIGHTS’ promotional materials and the layout of its folios. The staff is led by Aitana “Anya” Nellas and Justin Dhaniel Tan. HEIGHTS Online is the journalistic arm of the publication that handles its online presence and engagement. It is headed by Andrea Tibayan and Natania Shay Du. The Production staff plans and produces organization-wide events such as folio launches and creative talks. It is led by managers Melania Mae “MM” Silverio and Lindsey Therese Lim.

Cydney Mangubat, Managing Editor for Internal Affairs

As the Managing Editor for Internal Affairs, Cydney Mangubat ensures that the internal processes and structures of the organization are conducive for the execution of its projects and healthy for its members. 

“Kadalasan kapag tinatalakay o tinutugunan ang internal systems ng isang organisasyon, paloob ang karaniwang direksyon. Dahil dito, nalilimitahan ang kakayahan nito na patibayin ang pakikilahok at pagtugon sa mahahalagang diskurso na pumapaligid satin ngayon,” she says.

With the internal and external focus of this year’s thrust, Mangubat shares the direction of HEIGHTS’ internal affairs and how it affects the publication's external engagements. 

“Ngayong taon, layunin naming himayin ang mga espasyong kinabibilangan ng mga miyembro, pati na rin ng mga komunidad sa Ateneo, at patuloy na ikabit ang panloob at panlabas. Sa pamamagitan ng mga bagong inisiyatiba at proyekto, patuloy naming nilalayon na buuin at pagtibayin pa lalo ang samahan at pagkakaisa ng mga miyembro tungo sa mga mas malawakang tunguhin,” she says.

Alexis Nicole Ferreras, Managing Editor for Finance

As the Managing Editor for Finance, Alexis Ferreras oversees all the financial matters of the organization and publication. 

“When it comes to HEIGHTS as a publication, finance is not the immediate thing one would think about. However, it doesn't change that it exists to support each facet of the organization and aid in executing its vision. [I]n order to properly converse with the community through our numerous projects, events, and [published] works, finance is used as [a] means to an end. It is there to assist in carrying out what HEIGHTS as a publication stands for in these times of unrest,” she says.

As a literary and artistic publication, HEIGHTS renews its commitment to promoting art and literature especially when it reflects the narratives of the larger community. Through its thrust, the publication emphasizes its solidarity with all Filipinos in these times of upheaval. Ultimately, HEIGHTS commits to joining the fight against prolonged oppression by upholding a space for artists and writers to make sense of the country’s intensifying realities.

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