Bersong EuroPinoy slated April 16 at Instituto Cervantes
INSTITUTO CERVANTES de Manila brings back the “Bersong EuroPinoy,” a unique poetry chain of Filipino and European poems, April 16, 2 p.m., at Instituto Cervantes’ Salon de Actos.
An interesting poetry recital started in 2009, Bersong EuroPinoy was initiated by Instituto Cervantes as part of the celebration of its Día del Libro (International Book Day). It is often regarded as a “depiction of the brotherhood of languages” as it brings together renowned Filipino poets as well as different participants from various embassies of the European Union. For that reason, Bersong Europinoy has just been awarded the “Gawad Jaime C. de Veyra” by the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino.
Members of the EU diplomatic corps recite poems in their own language, choosing both their own works and those of the other poets. They will then intersperse the readings with English translations of the poems.
Celebrated Filipino poets, on the other hand, participate in the event by reading their own works written either in English or Filipino.
“Following the tradition of our Berso sa Metro reading campaign in the Light Rail Transit Authority where Filipino commuters
have been receiving their daily dose of Spanish- Filipino poetry, we are now expanding our campaign with the Bersong EuroPinoy, which aims to share the poetry from renowned artists all over Europe to Filipinos,” says Instituto Cervantes director José Rodríguez.
Last year’s celebration of the Bersong EuroPinoy saw the participation of 10 European countries and 10 Filipino poets. Three Filipino poets then performed a friendly debate via poetry in the tradition of the Balagtasan to cap off the event.
This year’s celebration will feature the works of Philippine national hero José Rizal in commemoration of his 150th birth anniversary. Filipino poets participating in this event include Siege Malvar, GP Abrajano, Alice Sun-Cua, Santiago Villafania, Rebecca Añonuevo, Shirley Lua, Jun Balde, Cles Rambaud, and John Torralba.
EU countries featured in the poetry recital include Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom.
Bersong EuroPinoy is organized by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines, Spanish Agency International Cooperation for Development, Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, British Council, Goethe Institut, and the embassies of Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. » Read more...
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