The contemporary Literature of Mindanao was a subject in a panel discussion in the recent Read Lit District: 3rd Philippine International Literary Festival at the Ayala Museum held Nov. 14-16, 2012.

MSU-IIT Literature and Humanities Professor Steven Patrick C. Fernandez, DFA, read “Mindanao Confidential: Decoding Personal and Political Secrets in Literature” joining eminent writers poet-laureate Ricardo de Ungria and fiction-writer Jhoanna Lynn Cruz in the panel. Also in the same session was Philippine Literature and education stalwart Dr. Isagani Cruz.

The festival organized by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) is Philippine Literature’s most prestigious. Annually, the country’s most distinguished writers engage their international counterparts in various subjects. The list of readers and participants read like a Who’s Who of Philippine Literature and Creative Writing.

National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera keynoted the festival. Name “drop-ables” who either read or discussed Lit were Gemino Abad, Krip Yuson, Marjorie Evasco, Merlinda Bobis, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Charlson Ong, Bambi Harper, J. Neil Garcia, Chari Lucero, Ruel de Vera, Jose Dalisay, Ronald Baytan, Jun Cruz Reyes, Marites Vitug, Susan Lara, Romulo Baquiran, Jr., Flor Marie Sta. Romana-Cruz, Efren Abueg, Hermie Beltran, Abdon Balde, Ian Casocot, Marne Kilates, film makers Aureaus Solito, Raymond Red, Jerry Gracio, Chris Martinez, and international writers Chris Abani, Tim, Tomlinson, Ken Spillman, David McKirdy, Juliet Grame, among numerous others.

An MSU-IIT alumnus (A.B. English ’96) invited to the festival was Ralph Semino-Galan, who has joined the admired ranks of Philippine Creative Writers and scholars of Literature. Galan is Associate Professor of the Faculty of Arts and letters of the University of Sto. Tomas.

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