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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature



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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Anacbanua (The Child of the Sun)

Director: Christopher Gozum | Producer: Christopher Gozum
Genre: Drama | Produced In: 2009 | Story Teller's Country: Philippines

Synopsis: A middle class and Western-educated poet (Umaanlong) returns to the Pangasinan region, the land of his birth and his ancestors from which he was uprooted for a very long time. He is sick with a lingering physical, mental and spiritual illness. He meets the Musia (Muse) who takes care of him during his illness. The Musia performs a series of rituals that identifies the cause of the Umaanlong’s disease and appeases the ancestral and nature spirits inhabiting sacred spaces in Pangasinan’s physical landscape. While in half-sleep, the Umaanlong’s soul leaves his diseased body. The soul flight transports the Umaanlong to places and time zones in Pangasinan’s landscape and history where he undergoes cosmic immersion, a deep and intense spiritual experience for chosen people like him where the self gets absorbed in the universe. The Umaanlong discovers the Ogaw (child) who serves as a spirit guide in his magical journey. In this cosmic immersion, the Umaanlong undergoes a series of gradual and violent transformations similar to the fermentation of fish sauce, slaughtering of livestock, pounding and shaping of burning metal rods in the anvil, the moulding of the clay into pottery, and the baking of the moist bricks in the fire of the kiln. These series of rituals are tests a novice undergoes when he is called and destined to serve his people. Through this soul travel, the uprooted poet reclaims his primal and ancestral connection to the water (danum), to the land (uma), and to the people (katooan), key figures that mark Pangasinan’s landscape, history and identity. Like his ancestors who belonged to the exclusive ranks of traditional healers, storytellers, and wise leaders in the ancient communities of Pangasinan, the Umaanlong completes these series of difficult tests in a novice’s initiation. The Umaanlong returns to the real world offering himself and his art towards the humanistic progress of his community and the people of Pangasinan. In this renewed and higher state of being, the Umaanlong reunites and becomes one with the Musia.


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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

WIN Canada honours Filipino writers for trying to save dying language

VANCOUVER: Under the leadership of Governor Amado T. Espino Jr,  a project to revive Panganenses – once a vibrant language but now dying – is progressing very well. The Writer’s International Network (WIN) Canada took notice of this initiative and decided to recognize the contributions made by six writers to the preservation of local language, literature, arts and culture.

The six writers selected to receive the WIN Distinction Award at the official residence of Governor called Urduja House are: Santiago Villafania, Caroline “Ceri Naz” Nazareno, Leonarda “Amor Cico” Carrera, Sergio Bumadilla, Prescillano Bermudez, Atty. Ferdinand L. Quintos (posthumous award). In addition to distinguished writers Governor Espino and Virginia Jasmin Pasalo were given Special Citations for their outstanding contribution to local arts and culture.

- See more at: http://newseastwest.com/win-canada-honours-filipino-writers-for-trying-to-save-dying-language

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Saturday, June 06, 2015

Ars Poetica Or: Epistle to Ebard

true poetry must speak in spontaneous speech
like unto the will of the fleeting wind
it sings its own note and tune to teach
the heart what is to be heard

                                           it need not
be expressed to hide mirth and misery
to maintain the manner you learned by heart
nor shall you lack of caution when using
prosaic or archaic words in your verse

a dead word is dead if it stands alone
but lives if it is constantly used
nor an archaic used in any attempts
in prose or in poetry which may denote
or connote a new meaning worth knowing

never deprive yourself as to ignore
the transient music in your inmost self
and the personae that whispers freely
into th’ ears of your imagination
what you hear is the true poetry itself
and however old it is always new

have you no trouble to be one with nature
earnest meditation becalms the soul
when filled with nature’s symmetry express
what the soul devoured what the mind installed

oft you may not see the flaws in your art
as those learned men even the slightest fault
they find alas! there goes your art disdained
how an honest imitation of life
it may be

              have you ample time to be seasoned
cultivate and do not suffer your art
every poet believes in his self
and in his work produced however deep
or dull for common minds to be construed

Link: http://english.poetrybook.biz/2015/06/ars-poetica-santiago-villafania.html


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Friday, January 16, 2015

RV ITALIA - 105 FM Società \ Cultura e arte | Pagine, fogli, parole: UNITA'

My poem translated in Italian and read in Radio Vaticana, Italy.

"E' una tragedia del nostro tempo che molte comunità siano in guerra tra loro", avverte papa Francesco appena giunto a Colombo, e osserva che "il processo di risanamento richiede di includere il perseguimento della verità... quale mezzo necessario per promuovere la loro guarigione, la giustizia e l'unità". Dall'unità fra i popoli all'unità fra diversi credo e diverse confessioni cristiane, in attesa della settimana di preghiera per l'unità, fino all'unità suggerita dal jazz di cui ci parla, a margine dell'avvio di una interessante rssegna romana, il pianista Alberico Di Meo. E poi il senso di unità del popolo filippino (oggi il papa  è a Manila) con la madre patria e con la propria identità culturale: la testimoniano i versi del poeta Santiago Villafania (nella foto).

Source: http://it.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/01/16/pagine,_fogli,_parole_unita/1118143

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A Tao 道 Sign

Le poèt de Pangasinan

Santiago B. Villafania, a bilingual Filipino poet who writes in English and in his native language of Pangasinan, is the author of poetry collections Bonsaic Verses (2012), Pinabli and Other Poems (2012), Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles (2007), and Balikas na Caboloan (Voices from Caboloan, 2005) published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under its UBOD New Authors Series. He has been published in several countries and translated into several languages. Villafania is one of the 11 Outstanding Pangasinan conferred with the 2010 ASNA Award for the Arts and Culture (literature) during the first Agew na Pangasinan and also the 430th Foundation Day of the province on April 2010. He is a member of Philippine PEN writes a regular weekly column for the Sunday Punch.

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A collection of ghazals in Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com


A collection of haiku, senryu, tanka, haiga, and other poems in English and Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com


“Santiago Villafania is a searcher with a seemingly insatiable curiosity and endurance. His quest has brought him to explore world poetry from points East and West. He is no stranger to sophisticated verse forms such the Sapphic strophe nor to the diverse permutations of the Japanese haiku. But he is not a formalist, he has daringly explored Asian and Western cultures in a very personal way and writes his mind with a daring, invigorating, aesthetically pleasing ease. In his poetry Villafania displays not only a breadth, but it feels very much like a breath of fresh air.” – Ute Margaret Saine, poet, critic, translator, past president of PEN Orange County and the former editor of the California Poetry Quarterly

“Villafania’s emergence as a poet is a fine moment to celebrate. Another voice from the regions augurs a richer body of writing that Filipinos can hold up as a mirror of our native culture.” – Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature

The Beloved Idiom | A Reading of Villafania’s ‘Pinabli & other poems’ by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo


LCCN.: 2010338612

Order your copy now at CreateSpace or Amazon.com :)

"The publication of Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles by Santiago B. Villafania should be a source of rejoicing for readers of regional literatures. This second book by Pangasinan's leading poet today is impressive in both form and substance. Villafania has created 300 sonnets and 50 villanelles in his own language that attempt to reflect the primacy of native culture and return the poet to the central stage of social life."A Boost to Pangasinan Literature from Breaking Signs by Cirilo F. Bautista (Philippine Panorama, 16 Dec. 2007, pp.25-26)

"Villafania is not only a visionary poet, he is a linguistic philosopher who codifies the origin of language and culture, dissects the myths and the common beliefs of the people against the urban legends, juxtaposes the literary tradition against the modern influences by dialectically infusing them in his poetic revelation of truth."Poetic Revelation in Language and Culture by Danny C. Sillada (Manila Bulletin, 12 May 2008, pp. F1-F2)

Photos: Book Launching at the Pearl Manila Hotel, 5 Feb. 2008


"Santiago Villafania's Balikas ed Caboloan certainly has reinvigorated the anlong tradition of Pangasinan that for a long period of time suffered silence from the hands of writers more attuned to English writing. Characteristically anacbanua, Villafania's poetry echoes his predecessors and presages a promising era for young writers in Pangasinan." – Dr. Marot Nelmida-Flores

Thesis: Bilay ed Caboloan - Reconfiguration of Space using a New Historicist Lens by Ayesah Tecson

from Pangasinan 'Anlong': Oral tradition into the 21st century published in Manila Times / Sunday Magazine, March 13 & 20, 2011.

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Today in Literature

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In Many Tongues

Translations of Sonnet To A Pilgrim Soul in different languages.

Translations of Erolalia in German, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian, and Hindi language. And here is the 1st version of the poem published in The Sunday Times (Manila Times, 11.23.2003).

Six of my poems translated into Arabic by Prof. Abdul-Settar Abdul-Latif (English Dept., College of Education, University of Basrah, Iraq) and have been published in TEXT - the Cultural Monthly Journal, Issue No.13

Swansong of the sea with translations in Italian, Arabic, Hindi, and Spanish.

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