“An Pagbungsod,” grand launch of Bikol literary titles slated August 15
Naga City—August 15, 2009 will be a date to remember in Bicol’s literary history as Bikol writers release five books and a literary magazine. Dubbed as “An Pagbungsod” it will be held 6PM at the alfresco area of the Avenue Square in Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City.
The grand launch will feature “Yudi Man: Mga Osipon para ki Nunuy asin ki Nini,” a collection of short-stories for children by Premio Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikolnon winners as edited by Carlos A. Arejola and Lorna A. Billanes, and illustrated by Boyet Abrenica; “Pagsasatubuanan: Poetikang Bikolnon,” a book of literary criticism on Bikol poetics by Jose Jason L. Chancoco; “Tigsik,” a compilation of tigsik(s), a Bikol ethnic poetic form by Aida B. Cirujales; “Sayod Kong Tataramon/Tuwiran Kong Sasabihin,” a collection of stage and screenplays by Carlos A. Arejola; “Bagyo sa Oktubre,” a collection poems in Filipino by Honesto M. Pesimo, Jr.; and “Bangraw kan Arte, Literatura asin Kultura,” a Bikol literary magazine edited by Estelito Jacob, Jun Pesimo and Marissa R. Casillan with Manny Salak as lay-out artist. All of the titles are published by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and printed by the Goldprint Publishing House.
Carlos A. Arejola has been called the poster boy of Bikol Lit. in lecture circuits. He convenes an annual Bikol writers’ workshop, chairs a region-wide literary competition, and has, along with other stout-hearted Bikol artists, initiated other projects to win wider adherence for Bikol writings. His drama and poetry have won the Palanca Awards and other national literary prizes. He works for the Camarines Sur Provincial Capitol.
Lorna A. Billanes edits, translates, and teaches language and literature at Miriam College in Quezon City. Her fiction has won prizes from the Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Literary Awards and the PBBY Salanga Wrters’ Prize. She holds an M.A. degree in Creative Writing from UP Diliman where she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English Studies. She co-edits Yudi Man Mga Osipon para ki Nunuy asin ki Nini with Carlos Arejola.
Jose Jason L. Chancoco has won national awards and fellowships for his poetry, essay and fiction in English, Filipino, Bikol Naga and Iriganon. He won two gold medallions in a single year (2005,for stories for children and 1-act play for children categories) in the Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikolnon, a feat so far unduplicated. He is currently pursuing a law degree.
Tigsik Queen Aida B. Cirujales teaches at the Gainza Central School and was a finalist in the rawitdawit (poetry) category of the Premio Arejola in 2007.
Honesto M. Pesimo, Jr. has won national awards for his poetry and was cited in the rawitdawit category of the Premio Arejola in 2004 and 2007. He teaches at the Concepcion Pequeña High School and Mariners’ Polytechnic College.
Estelito Jacob, Jun Pesimo and Marissa Reorizo-Casillan co-edits Bangraw kan Arte, Literatura asin Kultura. Issa Casillan was the gold medallion winner of the osipon (fiction) category of the Premio Arejola in 2007. Esting Jacob is an award-winning poet and fictionist and is an avid painter. Apart from his poetry prizes, Jun Pesimo is an award-winning photographer.
Boyet Abrenica is one of the region’s most notable young visual artists today. He has designed literary titles and books of history and is the art director of Biggs Food Corporation.
Manny Salak is a senior graphic designer of Goldprint Publishing House. He was a finalist in the 25th National Shell Painting Competition.
The grand launch is in coordination with the Development Institute of Bicolano Artists Foundation, Inc., Premio Tomas para sa Literaturang Bikolnon, Kabulig-Bikol and the Avenue Plaza Hotel. The Naga College Foundation Cultural Arts Center will render performances during the launch. Noted Bikol writer and scholar H. Francisco V. Penones will be the keynote speaker.
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