Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BALAGTASAN (PART 2) (February 09, 2009)

This afternoon at 1, watch us, with Mike Coroza and Teo Antonio, host the Jose Corazon de Jesus way -- the Pambansang Balagtasan 2008.

Yes, today -- as if in honor of birthday bards Donato Mejia Alvarez, Roberto Anonuevo, and Romulo Baquiran, Jr. -- we will perform at the University of the Philippines Theater (renamed Teatro Sarsuwela), for the first Balagtasan National Finals of high school students.

Initially scheduled last December to cap the U.P. Centennial celebration, it will coincide with the on-going Sarsuwela Festival from February 4 to 28.

The entire project -- conceptualized by the U.P. Sentro ng Wikang Filipino director, Dr. Galileo Zafra, author of the Gintong Aklat awardee Balagtasan: Kasaysayan at Antolohiya (1999), was sponsored by Sen. Edgardo Angara and supported by the Department of Education, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, U.P. President Emerlinda Roman, U.P. Diliman Chancellor Sergio Cao, and the College of Arts and Letters Dean, National Artist Virgilio Almario.

The show, directed by Dr. Apolonio Chua, will highlight each team composed of two mambabalagtas, one lakandiwa, and a coach.

From Region 3 , the Northern Luzon champion San Pedro High School, Hagonoy, Bulacan will be represented by Alyssa Gonzales, Jemimah Alvarez, and Nick Andrew Corpuz with Carolina Gabriel as trainer.

Their Southern Luzon counterpart comes from Nabuslot National High School, Pinamalayan Oriental, Mindoro for Region 4B with Janine M. Valencia, Jeorge Lumague, and Irish D. as their poets trained by Edna. Cardeño.

Visayans should cheer for UP High School-Iloilo's and Region 6's pride in Van Jayson Tam, Tristan Bill Abad, Ruby Rose Baldevarona, who were directed by Prof. Sol Penuela and Prof. Joel Labos who had proven their literary worth during the Pagpupugay sa mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining when they interpreted Rio Alma's poetry.

For Mindanao, Molave Vocational Technical School, Zamboanga Del Sur already made Region 9 proud with Sharon Grace C. Astillero, Gerald R. Cabardo, and Nova Carl V. Torralba reaching the finals under the tutelage of Regina Meniora and Eulalia Rabago.

Though at this point, we believe they are all winners, still, for 20-30 minutes, we shall discover the who's who in Balagtasan Teenage Edition based on these topics:
Nakatutulong ba ang mga call center at iba pang outsourcing sa bansa?
Dapat dagdagan ng isa pang taon ang hayskul.
Lumalala ang sitwasyong pangkapayapaan sa bansa.
Dapat bang may uniporme sa eskuwelahan o wala?

Judges, aside from Sen. Angara and Dean Almario, will be National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Dr. Isagani Cruz, and Dr. Benilda Santos, who will base their decision on the following criteria: Piece (60%) and Delivery (40%).

Tropeong Angara awaits the National Champion who will receive P20,000, too.

Eventually, their Balagtasan pieces will be published for teachers, trainers, students, scholars and the like.

We thought that would be it for Team MTV.

But last week Teo gave us a letter of invitation to do a Balagtasan showcase in Tipanan in Clamshell 1, Wow Philippines in Intramuros on February 21 at 3 p.m. And we cannot say no -- not because it is from Synergeia Foundation Inc. alone -- because it is likewise from the University of Asia and the Pacific where his brod, Dr. Emilio Antonio Jr., is its School of Economics' former dean and its Center for Research and Communication Foundation, Inc.'s incumbent president.

A day after, as though the Balagtasan mania is on the go, the University of Santo Tomas, Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and DAKILA Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism invited us to ARTURA: Renaissance of the Filipino Pride (Art and Culture for a Cause) on February 27, 2009, 2 p.m, at One Esplanade SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. Expected are 450 delegates -- tourism students, school administrators, parents, and guests -- active in the tourism industry. Actually, what gave us the go-signal was the fact that this is fund-raising event for the benefit of the Aetas in Sitio Buok, Bamban, Tarlac.

Like Artura, Organik Muzik, for its Luzon leg, will also feature us jamming with spoken word and rap artists.

Jim Libiran's Tribu rappers and Lourd de Veyra's Radioactive Sago Project will be with us on the 70s Bistro stage – where you can be who you are!

Catch this Joey Ayala's NCCA Music Committee's contribution to the Philippine International Arts Festival at 46 Anonas Street in Proj. 2 in Quezon City on Feb. 27 at 9p.m.

After we received Ken Jamandre and Gem Cabrera's rehearsal call, Hermie Beltran texted us. Instantaneously, the scene during the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Pasinaya 2009 flashbacked with angel Eva Mari Salvador , with halo and all, came down from heaven sharing a gospel! What the said CCP's Associate Artistic Director for Cultural Resource and Communication Services was saying was that when we guested last August 23 on their radioshow Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon, they got the greatest reviews and the highest ratings ever! Wow, what else, did we imagine but CCP President Nestor Jardin approving our proposal to have a regular weekly Balagtasan on radio.

Teo's dad, Emilio Mar. Antonio Sr., the last official King of Balagtasan, must be laughing out loud among the clouds!

Meanwhile, news from the City of Majestic Waterfalls: you only have until February 15 to join the 16th Iligan National Writers Workshop brought to you by the NCCA, with the Mindanao Creative Writers Group, Inc., and the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension. It will be held on May 25-29, 2009 in Iligan City. Available are 16 slots -- five from Luzon and Visayas and six from Mindanao (one is for the Manuel T. Buenafe Writing Fellow for Muslim or Lumad writers). Your application form may be downloaded at (go to Department of Research-MMIDU). Send your application to the 16th INWW Director, Christine F. Godinez-Ortega c/o OVCRE, MSU-IIT, Iligan City. For more information, kindly contact Pat Cruz or Alice Bartolome or Cherly Adlawan # (063) 3516131; or e-mail,, or

Keep our communication lines open, feel free to email us at

Q: Which part of a man's body that has no bone full of veins pumps liquid and responsible for making love?
A: Heart.

Our hearts have three poisons: (a) greed, (b) anger, and (c ) fear. In giving, we heal greed; with compassion, we appease anger; with faith, we overcome fear.

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