Monday, January 12, 2009


The 13th Writers' Night was dark indeed.
Last year, the man who invited everyone to come over – Rene O. Villanueva – was unknowingly urging each and everybody to his wake!
So, before we proceeded with our annual writers feast (courtesy of Carlos Palanca Foundation, Figaro, and San Miguel Corporation, and Tanduay, among others) we paid tribute first to one of the best playwrights and fictionists for children who succumbed to stroke due to diabetic complications at the Philippine Heart Center at the age of 53.
On Friday, December 5, his first death anniversary (with his co-faculty, Prof. Monico Atienza at the Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas) -- we will try to gather together all the slaves to love for words to its 14th year.
But this time, it will be Writers' Day -- since it will start as early as 9 a.m. to open an exhibit of photos, T-shirts, souvenirs, and other memorabilia from the University of the Philippines Writers' Workshop from 1965 up to 2008 – at the Faculty Center's Galeria 1, among the booksale of such writer-friendly publishing houses as Anvil, C&E, Milflores, New Day, to name a few, as well as the university presses of U.P., Ateneo de University, and University of Santo Tomas.
In the afternoon, around 2, at the Pulungang Claro M. Recto, University Professor Emeritus Dr. Gemino H. Abad will deliver his UP ICW Centennial Panayam entitled The Poem is the Real: A Poetics with his former dissertation advisee, Dr. J. Neil Garcia, as the master of ceremonies.
Violinist Jonathan Livioco's serenata will serve as the sweet transition from Forum on Best First Books to the the awarding ceremonies of the 8th Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award with Jose Claudio Guerrero as moderator. This year's finalists include Irma Dimaranan's Naglalayag (U.P. Press), Jerry Gracio's Apókripós (U.P.Press), Alvin Yapan's Ang Sandali ng mga Mata (AdMU Press).
However, Zosimo Quibilan's Pagluwas (U.P. Press) got the nod of judges Mayette Bayuga, Jun Cruz Reyes, and Kristian Cordero of Bicol, who became the first writer from the regions ever to win the said award two years ago, thus, paving the way, to the likes of his Kabulig colleague, Victor Dennis Nierva, who recently won the National Book Award 2008 for his poetry collection Antisi*Pasyon asin iba pang Rawitdawit sa Bikol asin Ingles / Anticipation and Other Poems in Bikol and English, translated by Marne L. Kilates and H. Francisco V. Peñones Jr. (Goldprint) tying with bigwigs Mostly in Monsoon Weather: Poems New & Revisited, by Marne Kilates (UP Press) and Passage: Poems, 1983-2006, by Edgar Maranan (Bookmark).

Film, television, and stage actor Arnold Reyes will read the excerpt from the 2006 National Book Award-winning novel of Quibilan -- who's one of the Fellows for Poetry and Fiction at the 35th and 45th U.P. Writers Workshops, respectively, which we directed in Samal Island in 1999. Now Los Angeles-based, he married his co-fellow, Sunshine, reminiscent of the Jose Lacaba-Marra Lanot love story during the first U.P. Writers Workshop in 1965). By the way, his batchmate then was Tagaytay 5's Axel Pinpin who will launch on December 3, 6 p.m., at the U.P. Balay Kalinaw his book Tugmaang Matatabil (Mga Akdang Isinulat sa Libingan ng mga Buhay) [Glib Poetry (Writings from the Graveyard of the Living)], his second full-length published collection -- and his first after his release via court order from detention!

All the Nine Muses of the Arts by National Artist Napoleon Abueva (who also did the Magdangal statue, or The Female Oblation, inaugurated during the supposedly luckiest day, August 8, in front of the College of Arts and Letters New Building) will somehow be given a good bath, at last, during Water Rocket Show at the Hardin ng mga Diwata.
Then, limelight will shift to the Institute of Creative Writing's downstair neighbor, Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan, where another National Artist, CAL dean Virgilio S. Almario, will launch Likhaan Journal 2, with him as its editor. Featured poems and stories in the U.P. Centennial edition are written by Kilates and Maranan with Abdon M. Balde, Jr., Romulo Baquiran, Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Jr., Luis Katigbak, Phillip Yero Kimpo, Jr., Amado Angelo Rodriguez Lacuesta, Susan Lara, Rowena Tiempo Torrevillas, and Roland B. Tolentino who will receive their copy and money from the financier himself, Chancellor Sergio Cao. Other contributors like Cordero and Kilates with Ony Carcamo, Mookie Katigbak, and Carlos Piocos III will show their wares!

From 8 p.m. onwards, invited guests included poets Yanna Acosta, Cynthia Alexander, Teo Antonio, Joey Ayala, Blankahon, Giniling Festival, Heber Bartolome,Mike Coroza, Susan Fernandez, Gary Granada, Los Chupacabras, Matilda, O.G Sacred (or the rappers from Jim Libiran's Tribu), Romancing Venus, Cesare Syjuco and family, and Cy Tamura, will perform for a mini-concert while U.P. Writers Club will take care of the rest of the evening with other student writers group like Quill, Ugat, Ex Libris, and Lingua Franca, among others, from different universities with writers organizations. Traditionally, open mic follows.
As ever, the atrium will be transformed into a writers plaza with food and drink stalls, tables, and chairs where guests can get in and go out of the theater to watch the night-long extravaganza.
Right now, we are updating our directory of the U.P. Writers Workshop (one of the three national workshops with Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology Writers Workshop and Dumaguete or Silliman University Writers Workshop) so for your contact details kindly call us at # 922-1830 or email us your updated biography at

The largest cell in the human body is the female egg.
Take time to live: it is the secret of success
take time to think: it is the source of power.
Take time to play: it is the secret of youth.
Take time to read: it is the foundation of knowledge.
Take your time for friendship: it is the source of happiness.
Take time to laugh: it helps lift life's load.
Take time to dream: it hitches the soul to be the stars.
Take time to worship: it is the highway to reverence.
Take time to pray: it helps bring God near and washes the dust of earth from your eyes.

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