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AdZU, EU highlight Mindanaoan Poetry in Bersong Euro-Pinoy 2021

Philippine Information Agency
20 May 2021, 18:38 GMT+10

Celebrate the rich culture and beautiful languages of Southern Mindanao with Ateneo de Zamboanga University and the European Union Delegation to the Philippines this May 21, 2021 in Bersong Euro-Pinoy.

"The Ateneo de Zamboanga University is very grateful to be part of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines' Poetry Recital this year. In these trying times, we need words that build, words that bring comfort, words that heal, and this literary event provides that. Let us continue to seek inspiration from friendships that flourish, and celebrate our freedom to collectively rise above difficulties", said Fr Karel San Juan SJ, President of Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

AdZU, through the Ateneo Center for Culture and the Arts (ACCA) and the School of Liberal Arts (SLA), together with De La Salle University (DLSU), brings together literary luminaries from Mindanao for Verses Versus the Virus, a poetry recital which will be streamed live at the FB page of the EU Delegation to the Philippines at exactly 6PM. Dubbed "Con Buen Amistad," the virtual poetry recital will feature poems in Chavacano and other languages from Southern Philippines.

European Union Ambassador Luc Veron, a patron and lover of literature himself, said that Bersong Euro-Pinoy will provide a platform for European and Filipino poets and literary enthusiasts to better understand and appreciate each other's culture and to strengthen people-to-people links between and among Europeans and Filipinos.

Mindanaoan Poets and their Masterpieces

For this year's Bersong Euro-Pinoy, three artists from Southern Mindanao come together to read their poems in their mother tongues.

Sigrid Marianne Gayangos, born and raised in Zamboanga City, will read her poem Cuando ya busca yo con el maga palabra with English translation by Floraime Oliveros Pantaleta (When I was searching for the words). In 2018, she received the Palanca Award for her poetry collection "Of Monsters, Math and Magic". Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Fantasy: Fiction for Young Adults, Maximum Volume: Best New Philippine Fiction 3, Philippine Speculative Fiction 12, Likhaan Journal 13, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, OMBAK Southeast Asia's Weird Fiction Journal, The Best Small Fictions 2019, and Everything Change Climate Fiction Anthology, among other publications. She is currently based in Dumaguete, where she is finishing her collection of short stories.

Errol Merquita, from Los Amigos, Davao City, will read his original poem Pangamuyo sa Brgy Diatagon, Lianga (sa padayong pagbakwit ug kagubot) with English translation by Ralph Semino Galan, Entreaty from Brgy Diatagon, Lianga (On the continuing evacuation and chaos). He is a recipient of the University of the Philippines Chancellor's Medal for Culture and Arts (2002) and Most Distinguished Alumnus Award (2016). His poems and short stories are published in National Commission for Culture and the Arts Ubod Series, Philippines Graphic, Davao Harvest, Mindanao Harvest, Philippine Humanities Review, Likhaan: Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature, Literature of Fragile Environments, The Literary Apprentice and The Loch Raven Review. He has won numerous Carlos Palanca awards for fiction in Sebuano and poetry for Children in Filipino. He served as program coordinator in various United Nations agencies. He is currently managing emergency and early recovery projects in the Islamic City of Marawi under an INGO.

M.J. Cagumbay Tumamac, a writer and reading advocate from southern Mindanao, will read his poem Pabay-an nga magbalhas sang nana ang ginasugba nga indangan which Eric Gerard H. Nebran translated into English (Let pus drip from the surgeonfish sweating on the grill). In 2019, Tumamac was hailed as the Makata ng Taon during the 231st birthday celebration of Francisco "Balagtas" Baltazar. His works also received the National Children's Book Award and the Salanga prize. Currently, he has works published in Words Without Borders, the International Magazine for International Literature, Ubod Online, and TLDTD, a biannual journal for Filipino poets and poetry.

After Zamboanga, the Bersong Euro-Pinoy goes to Manila through the De La Salle University on 28 May 2021 at 5pm. The festival will be hosted by journalist and EHEF goodwill ambassador Danie Laurel, PhD and Chavacana writer and translator, Ms. Floraime Oliveros Pantaleta.

Take on this literary journey with us and ignite the fire and passion in your hearts through the literature of our people. (EDT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City courtesy of Ateneo de Zamboanga University Communications Office)

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