Hail to Hailord Lavarias: His Thomasian Education and His Love For Poetry

For the 21-year old Hailord Lavarias from Capas, Tarlac who just recently won the Rector’s Literary Award (RLA) at the 36th Gawad Ustetika for his piece “Umiiral: Mga Tula,” literary success is not only confined to these praises and recognitions.

“Higit sa dami ng parangal, o sa dami ng isinulat o nailimbag, ang tagumpay ay nasusukat sa kung paanong nangusap ang iyong mga isinulat sa mga mambabasa. Kung nagawa mong may maiparamdam sa kanila, kahit sa ilang segundo o minuto lamang, maituturing na itong tagumpay.”

Writing poems is good for the soul. Well-known poets can attest to that. They also share that it is really therapeutic. But for Hailord, fondly called as “Hail” by his friends, his love for poetry was actually something he didn’t expect to happen.


“Nagsimula yung pagtatangka ko bilang isang 'writer' noong natanggap ako sa high school student publication namin which is Vignettes. Nag-umpisa ako sa pagsusulat ng Features, tapos nalipat ako sa Literary section. Doon talaga tumatak sa akin na gusto kong magsulat," Hail mentioned.


“Hindi ko rin alam kung ano ba talagang nag-trigger sa akin sa pagsusulat ng mga tula. Parang isang araw, ginusto ko na lang siyang subukan. Hanggang sa napansin kong kaya ko pa lang matuto, at mas pagbutihin pa ang pagsulat ko ng mga tula,” he added.


As a young kid, writing poems was not a dream at all. It was more of an interest for Hail. He also shared that he had a notebook where he writes all of his poems from ‘common topics’ to poems about the environment which actually helped him grow his love for poetry.


“Kapag nababasa ko yung mga gawa ko noon, kahit may kaunting cringe factor, may sense of nostalgia akong nararamdaman kasi doon ako nagsimula, at doon ako unang natuto,” Lavarias said.


When he entered college at the University of Sto. Tomas as a Communication Arts student, his love for poems flourished. Opportunities came and little did he know, on his third year in UST, he will become the literary writer of “Varsitarian”, the official student publication of their university.


“Dahil sa Varsitarian, nabigyan ako ng chance to meet and learn from the country’s most distinguished writers. Nagkaroon ako ng pagkakataong matutunan ang basic journalism principles at naging daan din ito upang mabasa ng mas nakararami ang mga naisusulat ko. Higit sa lahat, mas natuto ako sa mga kapwa ko staffer, dahil na rin sa pagbabasa ng mga gawa nila,” Lavarias shared.


Hailord Lavarias became a familiar name in thd university. With all the accolades that he received at a very young age-- from winning the most coveted RLA, first place in “Tula” at the 36th and 35th Gawad Ustetika, working as a writer of “Peksman”, an independent short film that made to the First Time Filmmaker Sessions 2020, and graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2019, Hail remains humble and eager to learn more.