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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Press Release: Villafania’s poetry book launched

The latest Pangasinan collection of poems by Santiago B. Villafania was launched at Urdaneta City on Friday, November 9.

Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles is Villafania’s second collection of poems in Pangasinan language which was launched shortly after the 2-day Conference on “Revitalizing the Pangasinan Language and Cultural Heritage” held at the Urdaneta City Sports and Cultural Center last November 8-9, 2007.

Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles The 390-page book includes some 300 sonnets and 50 villanelles, published through grants from the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) and Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) under the helm of Dr. Jose Paulo E. Campos.

The new collection of verses is an uplifting exploration of memories of childhood, love, history, current events, the wonders of nature, and the enrichment of the Pangasinan language, culture and literature.

KWF Chair Dr. Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco and UP Professor Dr. Ma. Crisanta Nelmida-Flores wrote the preface and the introduction to the book, respectively. Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista, Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera Jr., Aurelio S. Agcaoili, Kristian S. Cordero, Jose Jason L. Chancoco, Christopher Q. Gozum, Jaime P. Lucas, Leonarda “Amor Cico” Carrera, Sergio A. Bumadilla and Melchor E. Orpilla contributed their respective blurbs.

Multi-award winning poet Cirilo F. Bautista says of the author, “Villafania is the leading poet of his generation in Pangasinan today.”

Other works of this young Pangasinan poet include Pinabli tan arum ni’ran Anlong (2003) and a chapbook, Balikas na Caboloan (NCCA, 2005). Some of his poems have appeared in local and international print and web publications such as Balon Silew, AWARD, Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic, ANI, Philippine Panorama, Sunday Times Magazine, The Heron’s Nest, HaikuHut’s Short Stuff, Ygdrasil, In Our Own Words 1 & 2, Picolata Review, MindFire, and other online poetry journals.

Born in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan in 1971, Villafania graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pangasinan in 1991. “Sonny” as he is fondly called is an active member of the Ulupan na Pansiansia’y Salitan Pangasinan and an ardent advocate for the revival of Pangasinan as a literary language.

Villafania is currently a senior web developer/designer in Emilio Aguinaldo College – Manila.

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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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