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Tuesday, August 05, 2003

43rd sonnet added to Malagilion: Soniton Pangasinan based on the story of Father Odorico, an Italian missionary and ambassador to China during the reign of Emperor Ming. He was aboard an Arab ship bound to China in 1324 when they were hit by a storm. They disembarked and found shelter in the coasts of Talamasin (Bolinao). Talamasin at that time was ruled by King Dalisay, the father of Princess Urduja. Father Odorico offered a thanksgiving mass in that place and christened some inhabitants. When the sea was calm, they resumed their voyage.

Talamasin is the Tawalisi in the accounts of Ibn Batuta who probably saw the coasts while he was on his way to China in 1344 or 1347.

Talamasin (Bolinao), 1324

onong ed sulsulat nen Batuta

anengneng to'y dali'y Tawalisi

no iner nanuley si Urduja

ya kinalakia'y Kaboloan

oala met so sakey ya istorya

onong ed say praylin Italianon

si Odorico na Pordenone

ya ambasador tan misionario

luga'y baloto paunla'd Tsina

nen asabat da'y maksil a bagyo

sinmakbit ira ed Talamasin

ya panaarian nen Dalisay

diman agao'y Masanton Misa

para'd saray bilay ya asalba

In the News: Tagore and some Nobel laureates

In 1912 only seven hundred fifty copies of Gitanjali -- Song Offerings -- were printed at the initiative of the India Society for private circulation among its members. In March 1913 McMillan took it up for publication and distribution. The book was reprinted ten times before the award of the Nobel prize on 13 November.

In his telegram thanking the Swedish Academy for the Nobel prize Tagore quoted from Gitanjali the following lines from verse sixty-three: "Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not. Thou hast given me seats in houses not my own. Thou hast brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger."

Alfred Nobel's will stipulated that prize-winners must have an 'idealistic tendency'. The selection committee had already considered and passed over Tolstoy, Ibsen, Zola, Strindberg, Shaw and Yeats. In 1913 they preferred Tagore to Thomas Hardy.

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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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