Monday, September 14, 2009


While the whole world is waiting for the Supreme Court to act on our petition enumerating grave abuse of discretion (i.e. the blatant disregard of the process of selection conducted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines; the unexplained deletion of the name of hospitalized Dr. Ramon Santos from the final list of nominees; the insertion of the names of Jose "Pitoy" Moreno, Francisco "Bobby" Mañosa, Carlo J. Caparas and Cecile Guidote Alvarez in the list of awardees, among others) – the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) honors our future National Treasures in the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas awardees who will receive the legendary Manuel Baldemor trophy:

Tomas Agulto “for his poetry and other work endowed with the intensity and metaphor that reflect the inner life and consciousness of those at the fringes of society”;

Bartolome Tan Chua “for his leadership in, advancement, and propagation of modern Chinese poetry in the Philippines”;

Mario O’Hara “for his dramatic films of meritorious quality, through which he and his world view poke at the conscience of a society that closes its eyes on the surrounding mire of oppression and poverty”;

Zeus Salazar “for his essays and examinations in the fields of history and the social sciences, where he recognized and gave shape to the concepts of the native identity, consciousness, and the honor of the Filipino”;

Alfred Yuson “for his fiction and poetry that both and interchangeably reach the peaks in the use of language”;

Paul Zafaralla “for his admirable essays, and criticism, that enabled him not only to advance Ilocano art and culture but put forward themes and subjects that have to do with the nation and the world.”

Every last Saturday of the National Language Month, UMPIL gathers together its past, present, and future members. On August 29, UMPIL will welcome not only writers but teachers and students of literature as well since we in the Board of Directors decided to offer Pambansang Seminar para sa Pagtuturong batay sa Panitikan which will start at 9 a.m. at the G.S.I.S. Museo ng Sining managed by Ryan Palad.

National Artist Virgilio Almario will be the keynote speaker. We contacted Department of Education's Dr. Lolita Andrada through Sol Reyes but she instead sends Cristina Chioco to update us on the new Secondary Education Curriculum. Dr. Theresa de Villa, the University of the Philippines Open University's Faculty of Education dean, will demo-teach. After lunch, Wika ng Kultura at Agham Inc.'s Dr. Isagani Cruz and International Institute for Film and Arts's Dennis Marasigan are invited to shed light on Cultural Literacy Index.

Dr. Mario Miclat's daughter, Banaue, will perform before Teo Antonio and us do our rites; he with Pananalig sa Panitik and we with our Chairman's Report. Coincidentally, as if in celebration of Ateneo de Manila University's sesquicentennial anniversary, this year's Gawad Pedro Bucaneg goes to Height for “its long and persistent support for and encouragement of good writing and literature not only in-campus but in the national arena as well” while Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez recipient will be Dr. Edna Manlapaz for her “extraordinary and admirable knowledge of literature, language, and gender studies.”

For details, kindly visit our website

Who says drinking beer makes people fat?
It make them lean…
Lean against walls, doors, trees, friends, strangers, and lampposts.

Valery is a petit bourgeois intellectual, no doubt,
but not every petit bourgeois intellectual is Valery.

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