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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I've uploaded some photos from the Poetry Reading at EAC-Manila last May 24, 2004. This is the second poetry reading I organized this year in support to the 2004 Dialogue Through Poetry Week, World Poetry Day & Pablo Neruda Centenary.

On the other hand, I am currently revising the pages of the Malagilion: Soniton Pangasinan and as soon as I complete the 200-page manuscript, it will be ready for publication.

Heroes of the Ibalong, Aryans?

The Ibalong epic describes the exploits of three mythical Aryan heroes -- Baltog, Handyong and Bantong -- who transformed Bicol into a bustling civilization.

Baltog was known for his conquest of ferocious monsters and animals like the "tandayag" that heaves forth rings of fire, the one-eyed cyclops, a wild buffalo, a great crocodile, serpents and other wild beasts that destroyed the crops and livelihood of the villagers.

He gained respect after winning several battles he fought to protect the villagers and free them from the disastrous attacks of the monsters. But he failed to defeat the wily serpent known as Oriol, which could transform into a beautiful and innocent-looking maiden to seduce her victims.

Handyong "tamed" Oriol after a battle. In the end, Oriol fought hand to hand with Handyong. After the successful battle against the monsters that infested the villages, Handyong planted rice and other crops in the mountains. He also made the first banca (wooden boat) that sailed through Bicol.

Bantong, the third mythical hero, was also famous for killing the half-man, half-beast monster called Rabot that had black magic. It is said that Rabot turned all those who chased him into stones. But Bantong realized that the monster was a great sleeper, especially during daytime. He attacked the beast while it was sleeping and killed it, bringing joy to the villagers.

The word "Aryans" is probably the reason why some people dismiss it as fake lore. There's also the "one-eyed cyclops" which may have borrowed from Greek mythology and added into the written text of Ibalong.

However, I'll leave it to the Bicolanos to refute the written text of the Ibalong.

permaLink | 1 comments

at 5:54 AM, January 03, 2006 , Anonymous William said...

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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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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

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