Wednesday, June 17, 2009

HUDHUD HI ALMARIO (June 15, 2009)

Last June 7, National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario, also known as the poet Rio Alma, gave a free lecture on Reklamasyon sa Pambansang Gunita before the aspiring fellows of Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA) at the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) New Building in University of the Philippines in Diliman.
It was just a week after he retired as CAL dean and received with open arms his successor in singer/choir conductor Dr. Elena Mirano from the Arts Studies Department.
Now, Rio Alma is back with vengeance and a 183-page book entitled Huling Hudhud Ng Sanlibong Pagbabalik at Paglimot Para sa Filipinas Kong Mahal (2009) published by C&E Publishing Inc.!
Within its 81/2 ” x 11” frame, his triptych fits perfectly not only his tribute to heroism!
First to Aliguyon, as Rio Alma's First Voice.
A representation of our precolonial past or what Rio Alma would consider as Sinauna't taal na kamulatan, Aliguyon becomes Almario, or vice versa, strategizing for both his vision and mission:
Hudhud is more than just a song with 200 stories divided into 40 episodes.
As an outstanding Southeast Asian Cultural Piece, it was declared by the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as one of the Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on May 18, 2001, six years after UNESCO included our Ifugao rice terraces in the World Heritage List in 1995.
Rio Alma is one with hudhud scholars like Prof. Ruby Rosa Ayalde Jimenez who wrote in her article Malayyo Ngayawan-Beyer’s Hudhud Tagtagen ad Namugong: A Narrative of Its Makings in De La Salle University's Ideya: Journal of the Humanities : “But, unless Filipinos themselves appreciate its worth, not only in preserving Ifugao ethnicity,but also in building our national identity, efforts to document it, are flawed, tarnished, and pointless.”
Next to Dr. Jose Rizal, or his Second Voice, that would best stand for the Konstelasyon ng mga kaisipang liberal at demokratiko.
Beyond his being the first and only Filipino and Asian among the great Spanish and Latin American writers anthologized in the The Oxford Companion to Spanish Literature (1978), Rizal is elevated by Rio Alma into the god-like level through his songs of praise -- “Ngayong Sabado sa Banaue” (p. 20), “Portada ng Puerto Princesa” (p. 30), “Pagdalaw sa Dambanang Lapu-lapu” (p. 40), “Eden Nature Park” (p. 51), “Ang Hawla ni Alex” (p. 62), “Tatlong Dambana sa Batac” (p. 71), “Panonood sa Sinulog” (p. 81), “Paghahanap kay Julia Campbell” (p. 94), “Umaga sa Malolos” (p. 105), “Isang Resolusyong Pangkagipitan” (p. 121), “Cagsaua, Pagkaraan ni ‘Reming’” (p. 133), “Gallera Ivatan” (p. 144), “Intramuros ng mga Lungsod” (p.152), hanggang “Sa Kanto ng Claveria at San Pedro” (p. 165).
Last but not least to his secret Third Voice.
To this day, it is for Rio Alma to know and for us to find out who -- on Rizal's 148th birthday to be celebrated via the launch his Huling Hudhud Ng Sanlibong Pagbabalik at Paglimot Para sa Filipinas Kong Mahal (2009) with no less than the U.P. President, Dr. Emerlinda Roman, as the guest of honor, and Grace Nono, as the featured artist.
Together with the book is another book Ang Hudhud ni Rio Alma: Panunuring Pampanitikan edited by Romulo Baquiran Jr. with criticisms by himself, Roberto Anonuevo, Niles Breis, Michael Coroza, and yours truly.
As early as 1 p.m. they will offer a seminar called Mga Epiko at Mga Katutubong Tula sa Filipinas conducted by Rio Alma himself, all under one roof, at the C&E Publishing Inc. Information and Resource Center at 1616 Quezon Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City!
Speaking of offerings, the Creative Entertainment Guild in cooperation with Tourism Office of Quezon Province gives its event of the season dubbed Modelo de Turismo on June 21. 6 p.m., at the Queen Margarette Hotel in Lucena City featuring the collections of top designers like Patis Tesoro, Randy Ortiz, Rholand Roxas, Matche Matienzo, Christopher Quejano, to name a few. “Modelo de Turismo,” celebrity manager Arnold Vegrafiya said, “ is a cultural antidote to the poison created by the negated publicity caused by political, economic, and social problems the province is facing.No wonder it gains full support from Ever Bilena, Tesda, Globe, Pillar Plants & Antiques, Holistic Gym, Placenta, Bench, and MardioNadera Photography, among others.” “The show promotes not only Tagalog but Filipino heritage, in general,” added Hon. Alona Obispo, Board Member and tourism,culture and arts committee chairperson, “by highlighting the natural resources God gave to the longest province in the country.” Modelo de Turismo is produced by Gerry Canales and organized and directed by Ferdie Nadera for the benefit of tourism in the province.
In 2007, Year of the Chicken, bird flu pandemic devastated parts of Asia. In 2008, Year of the Horse, equine influenxa decimated Australian racing. In 2009, Year of the Pig, swine flu has killed of pigs around the globe. It might get worse next year. What could possibly go wrong during the Year of the Cock?
The way others treat you when you are there is something to be considered. But the way they respect you when you are not around is much more important.

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