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Saturday, January 11, 2003

A draft of the piece the I am writing for the Ulupan na Pansiansiay Salitan Pangasinan (Association for the Preservation of the Pangasinan Language.)



(L)evolution



Pangasinan Literature - the consciousness of our race that remained stagnant for centuries because the Pangasinenses have not kept pace with its own evolution as far as language is concerned. I am suggesting the term (L)evolution to label a serious call to a Pangasinan literary evolution.



The biologist P. B. Medawar pointed out in 1960 that our evolution is no longer simply genetic. We must not, therefore, distinguish a biological evolution from a literary evolution: both are biological evolutions.



Literary evolution demands that we utilize our learned men, men-of-letters, men and women who have the competence and the knowledge of our language to forge the future of out literature.



Before (L)evolution is possible, something to a Pangasinan mind must really come to a new beginning. There is a need to cultivate the so-called Pangasinan psyche into our minds and to transfer and impress this psyche into the minds of our youth.



We cannot deny the fact that we, like our youth of today, have been derevolutionized (mis-educated) to rob us of our precious heritage - our language. Our educational institutions patterned after two foreign institutions have deprived us to exercise our basic right to speak in our native tongue especially within the domains of these institutions - the classrooms. Aftermath, the failure of our language to evolve adding that our forefathers did not dare to fail and/or hack a trail to pave the way to the development of our literature. They have not left us a legacy of literary writings. We claim that we are very rich in oral literature, that maybe true a century ago knowing that we have done nothing to preserve them.



There is no other choice: Literary evolution - voluntary literary reform is the only answer that I could think of. While I am certain that this is somewhat ambitious, the idea could somehow rekindle our primal passions for literary rebirth.



Let us, therefore, take it seriously and as men-of-letters, educators, writers and poets it is a priority and our responsibility to our race as Pangasinenses.

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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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publications




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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