FINALLY, a full-length movie in the Pangasinan language has been produced, thanks to the pioneering work of Christopher Gozum, a multiawarded independent filmmaker, who is the movie’s director, producer, scriptwriter, sound and video editor, and colorist.
Shot entirely in Pangasinan, “Anacbanua (The Child of the Sun),” will have its premier at the 11th Cinemanila International Film Festival on October 15-25.
The one-hour, 44-minute film is among the finalists in the Digital Lokal Section (Philippine digital films) of the competition.
Gozum, who was born and raised in Bayambang town, said he used the Pangasinan language in the film because it is the breadth and soul of every Pangasinense.
“If a [Pangasinense] stops speaking his native tongue right at the very heart of his homeland or even away from home, he will start to smell like a rotten fish. He is also as good as dead because he had lost his soul,” Gozum said in an e-mail interview.
Gozum has been based in Saudi Arabia since 2007 where he works as videographer and editor.
“I believe this type of filmmaking [that] I do – low-budget digital films that speak and assert a distinct ethnolinguistic identity communicated in my native tongue Pangasinan –is my way of reclaiming what had been lost in my consciousness and identity as a [Pangasinense] because of the politics of a so-called ‘Filipino national language’ and a ‘Filipino national culture,’” he said.
Anacbanua, which is about returning to one’s roots and the current condition of language and culture in Pangasinan, is Gozum’s second Pangasinan film.
Last year, he produced “Surreal Random MMS Texts para ed Ina, Agui, tan Kaamong ya Makakailiw ed Sika: Gurgurlis ed Banua (Surreal Random MMS Texts for a mother, a sister and a wife who longs for you: Landscape with figures),” a 15-minute experimental film based on a Pangasinan translation of Carlos Bulosan’s 1942 poem, “Landscape with Figures.”
The short film won Gozum the Ishmael Bernal Award for Most Outstanding Young Filipino Filmmaker during the 10th Cinemanila International Film Festival.
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