At the Singapore Writers Festival in 2015, Get Lucky: An Anthology of Philippine and Singapore Writings was launched to a full house, instantly becoming one of the bestsellers of the festival.
The anthology, which sought to foster a fellowship with mutual trust among Filipinos and with Singaporeans had, over time, also evolved. It allowed not just a quiet communion between reader and book, but also became a catalyst for communal experience. As a platform for multi-cultural events, it brought together Filipinos and Singaporeans alike, from readings at the Grassroots Book Room and other bookstores, to collaborations with Gardens by the Bay and the National Poetry Festival.
In 2019, Get Lucky celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties through a joint event with the National Library Board and the Philippine Embassy in Singapore. While it might be easy to count attendance and tally cross-events, what’s immeasurable is Get Lucky’s contribution in giving space to emerging poets and writers from across different sectors and fostering friendship between Filipinos and Singaporeans.
It has been six years since Get Lucky. While some things have remained the same, such as the strong diplomatic ties between Singapore and the Philippines, other things have changed vastly, and in no small part due to technology. We have seen how technology has disrupted us at practically every touch point throughout the day. And we have often wondered how it will impact us and our fellowships in the next fifty years.
This led us to contemplate a sequel to the much-loved original. We regrouped, shared each other’s ideas, set up more meetings, fittingly at one of the Big Techs’ regional headquarters. Thus was born Get Lucky 2.0 or simply, Get Luckier.
Change, as someone once said, is the only constant in life. We set out with technology as the main lens through which we view our fellowships. It was, however, the great 2020 reset that surprised us all. We could not ignore the impact of the pandemic as it touched Filipinos here in Singapore in more ways than one, some more deeply than others.
Hundreds of Filipino workers and professionals were repatriated, their connection to Singapore cut short. While technological tools have kept Filipinos here connected to their homeland, we can only hope that it will keep those prematurely repatriated still linked to the second home they have learned to love as much.
The pandemic aside, this instalment recognizes emerging concerns among Filipinos in the diaspora: the greater consciousness of mental well-being among foreign workers and those they have left behind; the third-culture kids and how they straddle two or three homelands; and the impact of climate change.
That said, there are themes that remain true and timeless, albeit experienced differently, by virtue of more contributors and greater diversity. These themes of Love, Places and Memory continue from the two chapters similarly titled in Get Lucky.
With these changes and retaining universal themes, we have a stronger and more timely offering in Get Luckier, achieved with the help of our new editors, Aaron Lee and Claire de Guzman, and the contribution of a former editor, Manuelita Contreras, who has now relocated.
We also received an increased number of submissions from a wider pool of contributors across generations, including from Gen Zs, Millennials, Gen Xers, and beyond.