Virgie Chattergy dedicates time to mentor group of volunteer author

August 7, 2018, Honolulu, Hawaii. A group of amateur writers started meeting with UH Professor Emeritus Virgie Chattergy to develop a book focusing on experiences living with ALS.  As of this writing, group membership consists of Ronaele Whittington, Justin Hendrix, Rita Melville Alarcon, Catherine Sophian, Alexa-Rae Telan, and Divina Telan Robillard.

Last year, the Filipino Association of University Women (FAUW) published an anthology of essays entitled, “Pinay: Culture Bearers of the Filipino Diaspora.” It was edited by Professor Chattergy and Pepi Nieva, both members of FAUW.  One of the essays in the collection was Telan-Robillard’s Sumpa, Usog, and Other Spirit-World Healing Practices which discussed her family’s use of Filipino cultural healing practices, especially in the early stages of her husband, Britt’s ALS.

The group listening to Rita Melville Alarcon read from her essay.

The conceptual framework of the book is currently being developed by the group, which meets every first Friday of the month, at the Central 7th Day Adventist Church campus on Nuuanu Avenue. Professor Chattergy discusses writing strategies and and tips for better writing.

At the last meeting, the writers showed pictures that Chattergy had asked them to share with the group.  The pictures were those that the writers picked as having the most significance. She also encouraged the writers to read samples of their essays.


Rita reading from her essay.


The BOOK PROJECT is currently recruiting volunteer writers. For information,  please email Telan Robillard at