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 country’s celebrated poet-artists will lead in the celebration of National Literature Month on April 10, 2017 at the MSU-IIT.
Students will be able to watch the performances of poet-journalist and TV personality Lourd Ernest H. de Veyra, performance-poets Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera, Jr., Joel M. Toledo and Carren Cecilia ‘Kooky’ M. Tuason at the Gymnasium. Local poets Kim Ashley Escalona, Rohanimah ‘Ace’ Guro, Aminah M. Kunting, Aljane Baterna and Jayson Pucot will likewise be featured during the afternoon’s performances. Admission is free.
The Institute’s resident theatre company IPAG also performs excerpts of Suga Tula during the performances at the Gym featuring the poetry of German V. Gervacio and Christine Godinez Ortega.
Prior to the performances, a forum on “The Spoken Word Poetry as Popular Art” will be held at the CASSALIDA Theatre at 4:00 in the afternoon. The forum is by invitation only.
The National Literature Month was first celebrated three years ago through Presidential Proclamation 968 which was signed in 2015. Spearheading this year’s NLM celebration are the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA), the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino and the National Book Development Board.
Activities lined up for the NLM around the country include book caravans, book exhibits, lectures and forums discussing the significant role of literature in society, writing workshops, book store hours, the World Book Day on April 23 and the International Literary Festival.
Chair of the National Youth Commission Aiza Seguerra, the NLM Ambassador this year will give a videotaped message to the MSU-IIT community during the performances at the Gymnasium.
Organizers during the NLM at the MSU-IIT are the Office of Publication & Information, the Cultural Development Office, the Department of English, the Department of Filipino & Other Languages, the IPAG and the Campus Ambassadors.
In celebration of April as National Literature Month, the Institute through the Office of Publication and Information and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts hosted Dandaniw, a poetry forum, and an open mic session on April 8, 2016 at the CASSalida Theater.
Dandaniw an Iluko word meaning ‘oral poetry’ is also a part of collaboration with the regional conference entitled Current Issues and Trends in Language and Literature: Globalizing the Local which is organized by the senior students of the Department of English, College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS).
The forum was attended by distinguished literary icons in the Southern Philippines, namely: Prof. Hobart P. Savior and Prof. Roger F. Garcia from Xavier University, Dr. Victor N. Sugbo from UP College Tacloban, Dr. German V. Gervacio and Dr. Steven Patrick C. Fernandez from Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology.
The event began with a conversation with the poets on Creative Writing, The Use of Language, and Transcreation.
“The never ending accommodation of imagination” said Prof. Savior when asked about where he gets his motivation to write. “Imagination is limitless. It may be a cliché but imagination brings you somewhere. However, your responsibility is to pin down, that your imagination is relatable to others and that your imagination is something that will do something whether personal, institutional, or on the societal level.”
It ended with an open mic session at the HRM Laboratory where some original compositions of acoustic songs and spoken word poetry were performed by members of The Authorities, a group of young aspiring writers who submit to the authority of words in giving meaning to the being. They are Ric Anthony Pacaldo, Jibril Monsanto, Karl Anthony, Raymond Beltran, AJ Baterna, Rohanimah Ace Guro, Earl Ross Espere, Faith Brillantes, and Kim Ashley Escalona.