PHILIPPINE PEN ANNUAL CONFERENCE
December 6, 2008
Bulwagang Pambansang Alagad ng Sining
4th floor, Cultural Center of the Philippines
CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Manila
"LITERATURE FROM THE MARGINS: Changes in the Literary Canon"
Launching of PEN books
Stage Presence: Philippine PEN Anthology of Drama edited by Jose Victor Z. Torres Past and Present: Philippine PEN Anthology, Volume I, Edited by Elmer A. Ordoñez, Marjorie Evasco, Susie Tan and Lilia Ramos de Leon House of Jacob by Ester V. Daroy)
First Literary Session: "Struggle/People's Literature"
Chair: Rolando Tolentino
Panelists: Lualhati Abreu, Mila Aguilar, Gelacio Guillermo, Domingo Landicho, Jose Rey Munsayac, Axel Pinpin, Alexander Martin Remollino, Norman Wilwayco
The Jose Rizal Lecture (CCP, Silangan Hall)
Introduction of Lecturer: Jose Victor Torres
Lecturer: Fr. Rolando de la Rosa,O.P., Rector, UST
Second Literary Session: "Gender Issues in Literature"
Chair: Shirley Lua
Panelists: Ronald Baytan, Karina Bolasco, Neil Garcia, Thelma B. Kintanar, Jessica Zafra
Third Literary Session: "Critical Issues/Special Topics"
Chair: Elmer A. Ordoñez
Panelists: Susan Lara, Malou Jacob, Rosario Cruz Lucero, Bienvenido Lumbera, Charlson Ong, Ma. Luna Sicat Cleto, Jun Cruz Reyes
Election of Board of Directors/Officers
Presiding: F. Sionil Jose, Philippine PEN Chair
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 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 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 Literaturefrom 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)
"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
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