LINGAYEN --- Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. created a technical working group (TWG) called “Dangoan Pangasinan” to plan, create, and carry out a program on Pangasinan culture and arts.
Under Executive Order No. 0073-2009, otherwise known as Pangasinan Culture and Arts Group, the TWG was tasked to do the following: formulate and implement programs on Pangasinan culture and arts; coordinate with other agencies concerning cultural and artistic performances and art exhibits; and create a working plan for the management and administration of the Sison Auditorium.
This initiative aims to relive, promote and preserve the distinctiveness of Pangasinan culture through music and arts, crafts, dance and drama which are uniquely Pangasinan.
According to the Governor, “Pangasinan’s culture is known for its diversity and uniqueness developed by an intricate blending of indigenous cultural fibers.”
Gov. Espino said that the undertaking is also of significant timing since the repair and renovation of Sison Auditorium is nearing its completion.
With its intricate design and fixture, the auditorium will house the Pangasinan’s Culture and Arts Center to host programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of performing, visual and literary arts of Pangasinan and others.
According to Gov. Espino, the Sison Auditorium was used to be the best venue for cultural shows of the country outside Metro Manila. But due to long years of neglect, the auditorium lost its luster.
With its renovation, the Sison Auditorium will reclaim its old glory as the finest auditorium outside Metro Manila, the Governor said.
The TWG is composed of Gov. Espino as Honorary Chairman; Vice Gov. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas and Provincial Administrator Rafael F. Baraan as Honorary Vice-Chairmen with various department heads and provincial employees as members. Dea Que Hoffman has been designated as executive director.
During major events such as Pista’y Dayat and “Agew ya Kawayangan” 2009, the provincial government has staged cultural nights to instill a deep sense of awareness and appreciation of Pangasinan culture among the youth. (PIO by Ninia F. Nicolas)
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