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Thursday, July 24, 2003


Recently proclaimed National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario will deliver his lecture on "Bagong Pormalismong Filipino" this coming Saturday, July 26, 2pm, at the Ching Tan Room (Room 111), John Gokongwei - School of Management, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

An eminent scholar of Philippine culture and multi-awarded writer of books on Philippine literature and poetry, Almario, popularly known as Rio Alma, was former executive director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. He is presently the dean of the UP College of Arts and Letters, chairman emeritus of the Writer's Union of the Philippines and member of the Manila Critics' Circle.

The lecture will inaugurate the year-long lecture-workshop series sponsored by the poets' group Linangan ng Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA), which he directs along with other acclaimed experts in the field of poetry and criticism. First opened in 1984, the poetry clinic has produced respected writers in various fields which included Roberto Añonuevo, Rebecca Añonuevo, Romulo Baquiran Jr., Michael Coroza, Jim Libiran, Maningning Miclat, Vim Nadera, Luna Sicat and many others.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Applicants for the 2003 poetry clinic may bring their resume and sample works on the day of the lecture. For inquiries, please call Ronald Atilano at (02) 8700248, send a text message to 0919-3175708 or 0917-5350660, or email pr_lira@yahoo.com

In the News: The National Artist is also a Dean

One of the country’s leading poet and literary greats National Artist Rio Alma (a.k.a. Virgilio Almario) is now the dean of the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman College of Arts and Literature (CAL).

Genetic Poetry Debuts Online

Is the following verse the most exquisite poetry ever written, or load of old codswallop? It may someday evolve into something as celebrated as anything that Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats or Milton ever wrote, according to a new Web site.

enkindle ships of men loved

for jest from quiet neotype

with give frenchify of phosphoresce

but you, purloiner, not could

The site has forged the concept of Darwinian poetry, or poetry that is automatically written by computer but, like all life on Earth, has to fight to survive.

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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.



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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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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