A literary forum, a Spoken Word Poetry Contest for students, and the turnover of memorabilia of one of Iligan City’s poets have been lined up to celebrate this year’s National Literature Month (NLM) in Iligan City on April 24, 2019.
The literary forum to be held in the MSU-Iligan institute of Technology’s (MSU-IIT) College of Arts & Social Sciences’s Bulwagang Filipino will have lectures by Dr. Raul G. Moldez, a board member and former President of Bathalad Mindanao; Dr. Arlene J. Yandug, a faculty of Xavier University (XU) and Manager of the XU Press; and Dr. Lilia Abregana Cotejar, Chair of the XU English Department, College of Arts & Sciences.
Moldez will speak about the Filipino society and environment of the late Gumercindo Maratas Rafanan’s narratives. Yandug will talk about the poetry of Cebuano poet Adonis Durado in translation, and, Cotejar will tackle women’s pre-colonial identity in novelist Ninotchka Rosca’s “State of War”.
At 2:00 in the afternoon of the same day, a Spoken Word Poetry Contest “Sangka sa Garay” will be held at the MSU-IIT Admin Lawn for MSU-IIT students. Cash prizes and certificates await the winners of the contest which is open to all bonafide students of MSU-IIT.
To cap the NLM celebration, the Iligan City Government through its Ethnic Center and Museum will hold the turnover ceremony of the late Rafanan’s memorabilia consisting of the late poet’s books, other publications, photos and trophies, a rocking chair, a table and a typewriter to the City Museum.
Rafanan was a widely-published poet and fictionist in Bisaya magazine with some of his novels serialized in its Comics section. He has won prizes for his poetry and fiction, among them UMPIL Gawad Balagtas Award, and the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial awards.
The one-day affair is hosted by the Mindanao Creative Writers Group and its Multi-Media Arm, the MSU-IIT Filipino & Other Languages Department, the MSU-IIT Culture and Arts Studies Center, the Iligan City Ethnic Center and Museum and the Iligan City Government.
The MSU-IIT hosts the 2018 National Literature Month (NLM) on April 24-25, 2018 at the Mini-theatre and at the Kalinaw Hall of the Institute for Peace & Development of Mindanao (IPDM).
The nation celebrates NLM by virtue of Presidential Decree 986 signed on February 10, 2015 by then President Benigno Aquino III.
The NLM celebrates Francisco ‘Balagtas’ Baltazar Day and honors other national writers like Emilio Jacinto and the National Artists for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, Cirilo F. Bautista, Virgilio Almario, F. Sionil Jose and the late Jose Garcia Villa, Edith Tiempo, and Francisco Arcellana, among others.
Last year the Institute celebrated NLM emphasizing the Spoken Word Poetry or, what is popularly known among the young as ‘Hugot’.
Stellar performances by some of the pioneers of the Spoken Word Poetry in the country like Kooky Tuason and Lourd de Veyra, Vim Nadera and Joel Toledo were held at the Gymnasium. Their local counterparts joined them through the performances of their own compositions in Sebuano and in Filipino.
This year’s celebration will have the participation of children of evacuees, members of the Iligan National Police Office and women troopers of the Philippine Army’s Task Force Ranaw.
Workshops and a showcase will follow a forum on playwriting, poetry and on storytelling for children by invited writers Santiago S. Diokno, Rebecca T. Añonuevo and Genaro Gojo Cruz.
Diokno is scion of the prominent Diokno family in Manila. He is a prize-winning playwright, architect, contractor-businessman and a media practitioner. He finished a degree in Mass Media and Literature from De La Salle University and a degree in Architecture from the California College of Arts in the US.
Añonuevo is a prize-winning poet and in 2013, she received the SEA (Southeast Asian) Write Award from the King of Thailand. She finished her doctorate at the De La Salle University where her dissertation was adjudged the best. At present, she is President of the Navotas Polytechnic College. She has published six collections of poetry and she runs her own publishing company. She and her lawyer-husband, JP Cuñada were former writing fellows of the Iligan National Writers Workshop.
Gojo-Cruz is likewise a former writing fellow to the Iligan National Workshop. He is a faculty of the Department of Literature of the De La Salle University. A prize-winning poet in his own right, he has published sixty (60) books of stories for children.
The Institute’s resident cultural groups, the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) and the Kalilang Traditional Cultural Ensemble will perform during the NLM program.
The NLM celebration is funded by the National Commission for Culture & Arts and the Institute. The Project Director is Dr. Christine F. Godinez Ortega.
Fulfilling its mandate as Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) Center of Development in Filipino, and in its pursuit to develop the culture of research, MSU-IIT’s Department of Filipino and Other Languages (DFIW), through its dynamic chairperson, Dr. Mary Ann Sandoval, and hardworking faculty members, successfully organized the 1st Salindunong Conference and 11th National Conference in Filipino on April 2-4, 2018 at Grand Caprice Restaurant and Convention Center, Cagayan de Oro City.
The impetus of the conference is to provide a responsive venue for the discussion and wider dissemination of information and challenges about language and literature in academic setting and multidisciplinary research to bring about meaningful cultural integration in Asia and the world, which is aptly captured through its tag name ‘Salindunong’ – a term authored by DFIW’s faculty member and writer Prof. German Gervacio that means transfer (salin) of knowledge (dunong) – and its conference theme “Language, Literature, and Multidisciplinary Research towards Cultural Integration”.
Salindunong attracted 96 participants, 73 research presenters, and 43 student-participants. The parallel sessions featured three to well-selected papers from Philippine and foreign researchers, which focused on different areas in Language and Literary Studies, and other disciplines: Language Teaching, Discourse Studies, Registers and Variation, Translation, Language Policy, Literary Criticism, Folklore, and Cultural Studies, to mention a few.
The keynote speakers are Dr. Joi Barrios-Leblanc of the University of California-Berkeley, who presented ‘Understanding/Interrogating Cultural Integration o Kung bakit tayo dapat magsimula sa talinghaga?’; and lexicographer Dr. Deny Kwary of Airlangga University, Indonesia, who talked about ‘The Representation of Australian, Philippines and Indonesian Culturally Bound Terms in English Learner Dictionaries’.
The plenary speakers include experts in the field of lexicography, to wit, Prof. Yamada Shigeru of Waseda University, Japan, who discussed ‘Recent Changes of English-Japanese and Japanese-English Dictionaries’; and Prof. Hai Xu, Ph.D. of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China, who deliberated about ‘Internationalism vs Anglocentrism in English Learners’ Dictionaries’.
The other plenary speakers are Philology expert, Dr. Joanna Szerszunowicz of Bialystok University, Poland, who talked about ‘Figurative Language and Cultural Symbol: Polish Perspective’; and former MSU-IIT professor and Palanca awardee Prof. Anthony Tan, Ph.D., who discussed ‘Indigenous Tausug Gnomic Verses’.
A technologist from Queensland University of Technology, in Australia, Prof. Margot Brereton, Ph.D., was also invited to discuss ‘Bringing Transdisciplinary Design Research to Literacy, Culture and Language in the Digital Era’.
After ten years of organizing conferences in Filipino, it has been the department’s dream to host an international conference, which was realized now through the department’s coordination with other universities in Region X, namely, Xavier University (XU) – Ateneo de Cagayan, Central Mindanao University (CMU); and its international collaborator, the Faculty of Humanities of Airlangga University, Indonesia.
Also in attendance during the opening program were MSU-IIT’s Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Dr. David Almarez, representing Chancellor Dr. Sukarno D. Tanggol; Dr. Rolito Eballe, Dean of CMU’s College of Arts and Sciences, representing CMU President Dr. Ma. Luisa R. Soliven; Fr. Roberto Yap, SJ, and Dr. Juliet Dalagan, President and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of Xavier University, respectively. Officials from CHED Region X were also present to extend their warmest congratulations to the host institutions.
Speaking on behalf of Dr. Jinky Bornales, MSU-IIT’s Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension, Dr. Marie Joy Banawa, the Dean of the College of Arts and Social Sciences and faculty member of DFIW, appreciated all the efforts of the Institute and the faculty members of DFIW through her closing remarks, and challenged all participants to continue the handover of research-based knowledge to the most important clientele – the students.
by Michelle Jeanne C. Caracut, Office of the Chancellor (with reports from members of NCWoLL Documentation Committee)
Featuring award-winning writers and language education experts as resource persons and a geographically well-represented audience, the first National Conference-Workshop on Language and Literature (NCWoLL) organized by MSU-IIT’s Department of English exceeded all expectations during its three-day run last week.
The Department of English was overwhelmed by the response from participants since opening registration for the NCWoLL in the morning of November 9 at the Amphitheater of the Institute’s College of Engineering and Technology (COET).
As many as 300 teachers from various private and public elementary and high schools, and state universities and colleges, as well as undergraduate and graduate students – twice more than the expected number – registered for the November 9-11 NCWoLL.
The participants came from the National Capital Region, Visayas Region, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Calabarzon, Soccsksargen, Davao, and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
The NCWoLL served as an avenue for experts and participants to share trends and current practices and discuss challenges and solutions to issues concerning the teaching of the English language and literature. It consisted of a series of plenary sessions, paper presentations, parallel workshops, and a cultural night.
The plenary speakers for the NCWoLL were Dr. Rolando B. Tolentino, Professor of the University of Philippines-Diliman and former director of the UP Film Institute; Dr. James Howard McLellan, Senior Assistant Professor of the University of Brunei Darussalam; Dr. Melanie P. Estacio, Language Program Supervisor of the Department of Education, Region XI, Davao City; and Dr. Aurelio P. Vilbar of the University of the Philippines-Cebu.
Dr. Steven Patrick C. Fernandez, playwright and director of the MSU-IIT’s Culture and Arts Studies Center and the Cultural Development Office, also served as a plenary speaker.
Palanca-award winning poet, essayist, and fictionist, former dean of the Institute of Arts and Sciences of Far Eastern University (FEU), and former faculty of the English Department of MSU-IIT, Dr. Jaime An Lim keynoted the NCWoLL.
Sharing his thoughts on the politics of language and literature, An Lim pointed out that language and literature “are not free from the hold of politics. If anything, politics is very much part in the very history and nature of language and literature.”
He explained this premise through the lens of Philippine history, particularly looking at how the Spanish and English languages flourished in the country as mediums of communication, as well as instruments of domination and power.
“There is no space in our country that is not polluted by the inescapable exhalation of politics. Politics, not just as the art and practice of governance or organized control over a community or country, but politics, as in general and complex web of power relations among various entities and elements. In a multicultural and multilingual setting, politics is especially omnipresent,” An Lim said.
The NCWoLL was conducted in partnership with FEU.
FEU Institute of Arts and Sciences Dean Joel M. Chavez was on hand for the opening of the conference-workshop. Chavez came to MSU-IIT together with 21 of his colleagues and students, including the Program Head of FEU’s Department of English, Dr. Philip Jay N. Alcoberes.
MSU-IIT Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol welcomed the conference-workshop participants and challenged them to think of different approaches in the teaching of literature and language.
“Language and literature are keys to nation-building,” Tanggol told the participants.
Department of English chairperson Dr. Nelia G. Balgoa, for her part, gave the rationale for the activity that saw fifty-four research papers presented.
The research papers presented focused on the following topics: Analyzing Discourse Dynamics; Discoursing the Legal, Academic, Cultural, and Conversational Texts; Strategizing Teaching and Testing; Reconstructing Texts and Developing Effective Strategies; Language Change , Attitudes and Etymology; Decoding Missing Voices in Philippine Languages; Analyzing Markers and Arguments for Comprehension; Contextualizing Images and Themes in Social Media, Radio, and TV; Exploring Social Media Influences on Academic and Intellectual Communication; Echoing Identities in Literary Genres; Linguistic Approach to Reading Literary Genres; Assessing Cultural Relevance of IMs to MTB-MLE; Applying MTB-MLE Framework in the Classroom; Indexing Indigenous Identities through Cultural Practices; Relativizing Language, Texts, and Culture; Communication, Media and Internet; and, Writing Discourse.
Five parallel workshops were also conducted during the NCWoLL.
These workshops were the following: Discovering Iligan’s Diyandi through a Grammar Class by Prof. Arthur P. Pizaro (FEU); Postponement and Performance by Prof. Ariel R. Valeza and Prof. Eda Lou Ochangco (FEU); Storytelling Workshop with Michelle C by Asst. Prof. Michelle Jeanne C. Caracut (MSU-IIT); Doing Action Research in Language and Literature by Dr. Ivie C. Esteban and Dr. Alita T. Roxas (MSU-IIT); and, The Language of Peace and Conflict Resolution: Conversation on the Construction of Meanings and Non-Violent Processes by Prof. Saturnina S. Rodil (MSU-IIT).
Performances by the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG), OCTAVA Chorale Society, and the Kalilang Ensemble, showcasing Mindanao’s diverse culture, highlighted the NCWoLL’s cultural night. The AB English Organization (ABEO) Playhouse also performed Anton Chekhov’s “The Boor” for the conference-workshop participants.
NCWoLL is a realization of the Institute’s Memorandum of Understanding with FEU. The second NCWoLL is slated to be held next year at FEU.
Photos by: NCWoLL Documentation Committee and Ms. Mae Lucille A. Bayron, OPI
The Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists), in partnership with Mindanao State University Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), will hold a literature teachers’ training workshop focusing on 21st Century Literatures from the Philippines. This will be on 4-5 September 2017, Monday-Tuesday, at MSU-IIT, Iligan City.
In the 2010 Cebu Congress, PEN passed a resolution to “work more closely with the education sector, its leaders, planners and administrators, its teachers and students, and the education publishing industry, to improve literature education in the country. The Philippine PEN recognizes that literary taste is shaped in the schools, especially the public school system; it is where generations must be taught to appreciate the outstanding works of our very own writers, works that constitute the soul of our nation.”
Since 2011, PEN has organized a series of literature teaching workshops across the country. Called “For Love of the Word: Workshops on Teaching Philippine Literature in High School and College,” this project is geared toward retooling and upgrading the skills of literature teachers in both secondary and tertiary levels. Workshops were successfully held in Manila, Iloilo, Cebu, Baguio, Naga, Bohol, Calbayog, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao.
As part of the PEN Civil Society Programme, the workshop is supported by PEN International, Clifford Chance Foundation, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
The resource speakers and facilitators for the PEN workshop will be: Dr. Christine Godinez Ortega, who will talk about local resource materials and publications; Dr. Ulysses Aparece, who will conduct lecture-workshop on teaching creative nonfiction, and Dr. Jaime An Lim, who will cover poetry.
As part of the program, a writers’ forum will feature award-winning intellectuals and writers based in Mindanao who will read their work and talk about the topic “Writing to Sustain our Home, our Habitat.” They include Steven Patrick Fernandez, German Gervacio, among others.
There is no registration fee. Workshop materials and a certificate of participation will be given each participant. Participants will have to take care of their own travel arrangements, accommodation, and meals. Slots are limited. For pre-registration, please submit the names of your participant/s and institution to PEN. You may email [email protected] or text +639151285710 (contact person: Shirley Lua) or +639176123775 (Chem Pantorilla, Department of Filipino and Other Languages, College of Arts and Social Sciences). Deadline for pre-registration is on 20 August 2017.