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Monday, April 11, 2011

Members of Pangasinan Historical, Cultural Commission sworn in

The newly created Pangasinan Historical and Constitutional Commission (PHCC) has been finally constituted with the oath-taking of its members as part of the celebration of the 431st on Tuesday.

Governor Amado Espino Jr. officiated the oath-taking of Dr. Gonzalo T. Duque, president of the Lyceum-Northwestern University as chairman; with Dr. Perla Legaspi; Arabella Arcinue, Nida Vergara; Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Escano, Ms. Virgie Pasalo; and Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim as members.

Duque earlier headed a committee formed by Governor Espino that conducted a research and study which finally determined in 2010 the most proximate date of the founding of Pangasinan from available records in the National Historical Institute as well as documents found in the archives of the Spanish government.

The commission, headed by Duque, composed of civil society leaders, academicians and government officials, is mandated to continue to study and make an accurate account of Pangasinan and to promote the province’s art, culture and heritage.

Gov. Espino said that as part of this effort, the province through the PHCC, is the holding of a Pangasinan Writers’ Congress to promote the Pangasinan language as a medium of literary expression.

This idea was proposed by Santiago Villafania, an accomplished writer which was endorsed by National Artist for Literature Francisco Sionil Jose of Rosales. Both were last year’s Pangasinan ASNA awardees with Sionil receiving the highest ASNA Balitok (Golden) award.

Governor Espino earlier noted that unless something is done, Pangasinan will soon be a dying dialect due to what may be called “ilocanization” of the eastern and western parts of the province.

ASNA is the primitive term of “asin”, from which Pangasinan derived its name, the place being the land where salt is produced in abundant quantity.

As a corollary project, Espino said that the province may launch the Pangasinan equivalent of the Palanca award to give due recognition to outstanding work in literature of Pangasinenses who are writing in the Pangasinan language.

The award was suggested by journalist Al Mendoza, himself a Palanca awardee from Mangatarem town for his literary works.

Source: http://www.usnewslasvegas.com/provincial/members-of-pangasinan-historical-cultural-commission-sworn-in/

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A Tao 道 Sign

Le poèt de Pangasinan

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.

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A collection of ghazals in Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com


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 Beloved Idiom | A Reading of Villafania’s ‘Pinabli & other poems’ by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo


LCCN.: 2010338612

Order your copy now at CreateSpace or Amazon.com :)

"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 Literature from 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)

Photos: Book Launching at the Pearl Manila Hotel, 5 Feb. 2008


"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

Thesis: Bilay ed Caboloan - Reconfiguration of Space using a New Historicist Lens by Ayesah Tecson

from Pangasinan 'Anlong': Oral tradition into the 21st century published in Manila Times / Sunday Magazine, March 13 & 20, 2011.

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Translations of Sonnet To A Pilgrim Soul in different languages.

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

Swansong of the sea with translations in Italian, Arabic, Hindi, and Spanish.

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