Monday, September 14, 2009

HOW FREE THOU ART (September 14, 2009)

AKBAYAN Rep. Risa Hontiveros and Rep. Walden Bello are inviting us all now after they sponsored House Resolution No.1305 urging a Congressional Inquiry in aid of legislation on the irregularities in the selection of 2009 Order of National Artists.
Rep. Del de Guzman, the Committee on Basic Education and Culture chair, summoned Department of Education Undersecretary Vilma Labrador, together with other members of National Commission for Culture and the Arts Board of Commissioners like Executive Director Cecile Guidote Alvarez, Domingo Bakilan, Marietta Chou, Prudencia Cruz, Ricardo de Ungria, Elmar Beltran Ingles, Usec. Eduardo Jarque Jr., Ambeth Ocampo, Fr. Harold Rentoria, Sen. Mar Roxas, and Jose Laderas Santos.
The public hearing is scheduled today, 1 p.m., at Conference Rooms 3 and 4 of the Ramon Mitra Building at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City
Team MTV (or Mike, Teo, Vim) was toying with the idea of testing our Pambansang Alagad ng Singit arguments for our next Balagtasan on September 17, 6 p.m., at the Stage Area of Mall of Asia's SMX Convention Center during the Manila International Book Fair which will begin on Wednesday, September 16, 10 a.m., and until the end on September 20, 8 p.m. Sponsored by the Book Development Association of the Philippines, the Balagtasan during the 30th M.I.B.F. was the brainchild of its president Lirio Sandoval who earlier suggested the debate on the freedom of expression as our possible topic.
We are seriously considering it especially now that censorship is still a wolf in sheep's clothing!
Kooky Tuason's two-and-a-half year show Bigkas Pilipinas had never experienced suspension from Jam 88.3 until last week. Her crime? Playing the recorded versions of Francesca Beard's All Of The Goodness and Jose Lacaba's Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Juan de la Cruz (read by Romnick Sarmienta via National Book Development Board's Tulaan sa Tren project which we directed). On what grounds? The poems both contained such incriminating words as “fucking” and “libog,” respectively.
Well, if there is one group that has been using its F-word to mean “freedom” it is the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts Alumni Foundation, Inc. It is committed to its mandate of conducting projects and activities that will lead to the further development of the visual arts in the Philippines. This coming Saturday, September 19, from 1 p.m. onwards at the Bahay ng Alumni, University of the Philippines, Diliman – UPCFAAFI will be holding a Grand Homecoming dubbed as Isang Siglo ng Paglikha!
Speaking of creation or creativity, we would like to extend our congratulations to the Philippine Society of Geriatric Medicine for its 10th Annual Convention's success in coming up with Frontiers of Philippine Geriatrics: An Integrated Approach at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila. Last September 12, we talked about Creative Writing for Comfort Women as part of its discussion on Appropriateness of Complementary and Alternative Medical Treatment. Indeed, we were mighty glad since, 10 or 15 years ago, we did not even get this respect we are enjoying lately from the health professionals!
By the way, you only have until tomorrow, September 15, to beat the the deadline to Gawad Isagani R. Cruz Pinakamahuhusay na Aklat sa Filipino. This is open to all books written in Filipino within 2000-2008 period under the following categories: literatura, wika at pagsasalin, pilosopiya at kritika, humanidades, agham at agham panlipunan, reference, auto/biograpiya, journalism, comic book/graphic novel, at ispiritwal/self-help book.
For details, kindly call Rhod Nuncio via or 524-4611 loc. 509 / 552(fax) or visit or
When an apple is green, It’s ready to be plucked. When a girl is 18, She is ready to… Vote. You dirty mind. Election is near. Vote wisely.
Do you know the relation between two eyes?
They blink together
They move together
They cry together
They see things together
And they sleep together
Even if they never see each other—
That’s friendship!

INSIDE THE PALANCA (September 07, 2009)

After agreeing to emcee the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature awarding ceremonies, the first thing we got was a call reminding us to stick to the script.
National Artist Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera was chosen to be the guest speaker, so why worry?
Well, right before his speech last September 1 at the Manila Peninsula's Rigodon Ballroom, in came Mr. Carlo J. Caparas, one of the judges in Dulang Pampelikula.
Dr. Lumbera congratulated the deserving winners whom he compared with the recently proclaimed National Artists – including CJC who won for Visual Arts and Film but was criticized by the former since the latter's nomination was rejected twice during two deliberations at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Their verbal jousts in both print and broadcast media unconsciously alerted us to quickly proceed with caution to Mrs. Sylvia Palanca-Quirino and Carl Anthony Palanca conferring Dr. Lumbera the Gawad Dangal ng Lahi.
With no ad lib, we segued to Mrs. Palanca-Quirino for her message as the Carlos Palanca Foundation's Director General.
But, mounting tension filled the air, when all of a sudden, we saw CJC stand a few meters away from the elevated stage as if waiting for his turn to rebutt Dr. Lumbera's argument earlier: “Ang dangal na dulot ng parangal ay hindi laging kanais-nais. Kailangang malinis ang kamay ng nag-aalay nito. At walang ginawang manipulasyon ang tatanggap upang magkamit ng karangalan. Ang burak ng transaksiyong politikal ang nagpapamura sa dangal na tinatanggap at tumatanggap na rin.”Deus ex machina took us by surprise.
In the form of journalist Alma Anonas who ambushed CJC for a longish interview!
Then, without further ado, we went on to introduce the judges and the judged!
Two of our colleagues from the University of the Philippines -- Reuel Aguila and Eugene Evasco – made the Hall of Fame Awardees 22, all in all, since 1995.
However, the Hall of Famer of Hall of Famers was the indefatigable Edgardo Maranan, who bagged two more first prizes: one for his essay entitled A Passage Through The Storm and another one for his poetry collection written for children called The Google Song and Other Rhymes for Children. Richelle Ann Lim and Mica Roi Torre, shared the spotlight with the veterans -- Alex Cortez, Ricky Davao, Robert Sena, Soxy Topacio, and Lou Veloso -- who acted in Dennis Teodosio's Asunto. The two kids read the 33rd-time Palanca Awardee's poems with other buenamanos in English (namely Heidi Abad and Frank Peňones) and in Filipino (like Evasco, Jess Santiago, and Mike Coroza) – who did a Balagtasan sa Radyo with Teo Antonio and us, last Saturday over DZMM's Radyo Patrol Sais Trenta for the show Pasada Sais Trenta Sabado hosted by Henry Omaga-Diaz and Nina Corpuz. We eventually learned that it was also simulcast over DZMM's Teleradyo, Channel 26 in Sky Cable, so it was also a Balagtasan sa Telebisyon!
Tomorrow, at 6 p.m., U.P. Diliman Chancellor, Sergio Cao will have a concert with guest pianist, Raul Sunico, the new Cultural Center of the Philippines's Artistic Director, at the College of Music's Nicanor Abelardo Hall. A dinner hosted by U.P. President Emerlinda Roman, for former Dean Sunico's predecessor, Nestor Jardin, also the CCP president, on September 14, same time, at the U.P. Executive House.
And this is what recognition is all about.
As Dr. Lumbera put it last Tuesday night: “Ang parangal sa inyo ay walang bahid ng pamumulitika, pagkat ang tanging hinihingi nito sa pinararangalan ay magpatuloy na lumikha ng masining at makabuluhang mga akda sa mga darating pang araw.”
Can you see what is so special with the following phrases?
How come abbreviated is such a long word?

IN MEMORIAM (August 31, 2009)

Last Sunday, we were torn between Ninoy and Nanoy.
As a compromise, our family decided to watch Philippine Stages Foundation's critically acclaimed Ako Si Ninoy at the SM North's Cinema 9 – as Frank Rivera's birthday treat for our panganay Psalma who turned 12 last 24 August!
On the other hand, we heeded the Ergoe Tinio' call to discuss performance poetry before Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo fellows with our technical assistant in poet Nanoy Rafael.
Before we could say S-L-A-M, we got slammed by a sad news from Kris Lacaba who texted us about 30-year old Mae Astrid Tobias who succumbed to lupus last 23 August.
Unspoken word stayed the same.
We offered silent prayer as we reminisced the said former Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting president's short happy life immortalized by her books Bayong ng Kuting, Ang Aking mga Kaibigan sa Gubat, Pumbakhayon, Halikpon, or Bakawan which was launched only last 21 July during the celebration of National Children's Book Day.
Among us was two-time Makata ng Taon Louis Jon Sanchez, who instantly could not help but remember our common friend who was reportedly found inside his condo unit's toilet, with his hands and feet tied, and stabbed to death last 16 August!
We were talking about our 28-year old Winton Lou Ynion, a poet and a cum laude graduate from West Visayas State University, whom we first met 10 years ago during the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop which we directed in Samal Island.
Like Winton, Atty. Ernesto Superal Yee was also found dead in his bed last 23 May in Tanjay, a town near Dumaguete City, after serving as one of the 48th Silliman National Writers Workshop's panelists last summer.
However, the culprit in the case of Atty. Yee, our former National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Committee on Literary Arts colleague, is believed to be ataque al corazon.
Cardiac arrest, too, claimed the life of 81 year-old fictionist Ponciano Pineda who was awyer, considered “the Father of the Commission on Filipino Language” the day before we could celebrate Buwan ng Wika.
If we would consider the poet in former Pres. Corazon Aquino (1 August) or master rapper Francis Magalona (6 March) -- we already lost almost 12 writers in six months!
From fictionist Genoveva Edroza Matute (21 March) to journalist Antonio Castillo (12 June) to columnist Susan Fernandez (2 July) to poet Godofredo Reyes (5 July) to essayist Reynaldo “Ronnie” Alejandro (7 August) to fictionist Leticia Agnes Salanga who belonged to 7th ,U.P. National Writers Workshop in 1978 with César Ruiz Aquino, Juaniyo Arcellana, Joey Ayala, Eric Caruncho, Marjorie Evasco, Eric Gamalinda, Lemuel Garcellano, Lilia Gómez (a.k.a. Augusta de Almedda), Edna Mae Obien-Landicho, and René Villanueva, among others.
Our Victim #13 would be the National Artist Awards!
What a pity, indeed, for NAAWA!
Like Lazarus, NAAWA rose from the grave by virtue of a temporary restraining order against this year's awarding ceremonies issued by the Supreme Court.
While Concerned Artists of the Philippines was celebrating a fresh lease in life by calling for photo-statements submitted last Friday at ‘70s Bistro – another fatal blow was dealt – an alleged insertion in the NAAWA document.
If our memory serves us right, before there's no E.O. 236 provision in the NCCA website!
Songs of married couple:
First night “Aray Naku!””
1-5 years “Araw-araw, Gabi-gabi”
6-15 years “Paminsan-minsan”
16-25 years “Sana Kahit Minsan”
26-49 years “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?”
50 years up “Maalaala Mo Kaya?”
If your father is poor, it’s your fate. But if your father-in-law is poor, it’s your stupidity!


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.

PITIKBULAG (August 17, 2009)

The first thing we did last January 23 upon receiving from gmail Elmer Borlongan's Banyera, his most favorite acrylic painting which he finished in 1995, was to set it as desktop background.
Everytime we opened our laptop, we would instantly remember our project, PitÍk-Bulag, Letra at Liwanag, A Celebration of Contemporary Filipino Art & Poetry, an interaction of our leading visual artists and poets in the National Language to produce paintings and poems, and compiling it into a deluxe coffee table book.
Similar to the said old Filipino children’s game, 15 poets and 15 painters were paired sight-unseen by raffle for them to collaborate in two ways: (1) the poet writes a poem on an existing painting by the partner-artist; and (2) the painter creates a new painting on an existing poem by the partner-poet.
After seven months, we were able to write our poem entitled Karagatan and he created a painting for our favorite poem Waka sa Kamay translated by Marne Kilates:
1. Choka for Mr. Thumb
When they raised
Mr. Fat Finger,
Fatter became
The confusion of this fate.
War broke out,
Which the Philippines
Did not spark.
Who came between
Was smacked.
2. Tanka for Mr. Forefinger
He pointed and poked
At the one who disobeyed.
The eyesBehind the hood
Fingered and betrayed.
3. Bussokusekika for Mr. Middlefinger
Nothing he did,
The weak in the middle,
The warrior
Whose emperor was desire.
Nothing he could do. Nothing.
4. Sedoka for Mr. Ringfinger
Motherland, they
Took advantage of.
The guilty
Put her to trial.
And for her beauty
She was condemned!
5. Katauta for Mr. Littlefinger
The decision:
“Asia for Asians!”
And they fingered her.
As we collaborated with Borlongan (who opened last August 14 his exhibit with his wife Plet called Bolipata and Borlongan: A Two-Part Invention at Ayala Museum's ArtistSpace in Makati City) so did Leonardo Aguinaldo with Egay Samar, Egai Fernandez with Mike Coroza, Pandy Aviado with Ayer Arguelles, Manny Baldemor with Jerry Gracio, Buddy Ching with Joey Baquiran, Charlie Co with Teo Antonio, Fil Dela Cruz with Fidel Rillo, John Santos with Bobby Añonuevo, and Steve Santos with Becky Añonuevo.
National Artist Virgilio Almario co-edited the book with poet/translator Kilates.
Rio Alma wrote poems for Fernando Amorsolo's Dalagang Bukid and Mariang Sinukuan; Carlos Francisco's Sa Magdamag ng Moryon, Vicente Manansala's Barong-Barong, Bagwis, and Isda; Hernando R. Ocampo's Halimuyak and Kronika; Jose Joya's Norturne; and Ang Kiukok's Pakwan which art director/book designer Rillo used for the cover.
The book will be launched next Tuesday, August 25, 6 p.m., in a grand exhibit, curated by Susan de Guzman and Giselle Kasilag, at the Government Service Insurance System's Museo ng Sining at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, Financial Center in Pasay City.
There is an on-going Quezon Art Exhibit at that venue, too, featuring the works of Quezonian artists from August 7 to 29, the very day of the 35th Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) Convention highlighting the 1st Pambansang Seminar para sa Pagtuturong Batay sa Panitikan and the 22nd Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas.
August 21 was declared a holiday but Ryan Palad – Pitikbulag's moving spirit and manager of GSIS Public Relations Facilities Department -- had the museum open to give our kababayans the chance to see the works of our local artists including writer Orlando Nadres whose play Huling Hagbong will be staged at the GSIS Theater this coming Friday, at 6 p.m. “The period play,” according to Palad, “is set on the eve of World War II , discussing situations in Tayabas and other Tayabasin personalities. Hagbong is a "forgotten" tradition in Tayabas, or an asalto or a surprise party. What makes the play interesting is that it uses Tayabasin words and punto.”

The whole nation is mourning, having lost a dedicated mother. Now all we have left is a wicked stepmother.
If a bird fell in love with a fish, where would they live? Who keeps the fins, and who loses its wings? It’s an irony but that’s how cruel yet poetic love can be.

THE RETURN (August 10, 2009)

Today, Nueva Vizcaya has opened its arms to a long-lost daughter in National Artist Edith Tiempo during the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Likhaan: University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing's Pagpupugay sa mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining.
While other National Artists were leading the arts community in an indignation rally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, 90-year old Mom Edith was dreaming of coming home after more than 60 years.
In Bayombong, he correspondence began with novelist Edilberto Tiempo.
After a semester at U.P. where he was taking up M.A. while she law, they got married and migrated to Negros Oriental.
She followed her husband at the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop in 1947 after she graduating magna cum laude from Silliman University in 1947. She finished M.A. English there in 1949 and Ph.D. English at the University of Denver in 1958. Before going back to the Philippines, she taught at Wartburg College in Iowa (1964- 1965), Western Michigan University (1965- 1966), and Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist College (1978- 1979).
In 1962, Philippine literature's First Couple had another baby -- after Rowena and Maldon -- the Silliman National Writers Workshop – where we participated in 1987 after joining its Semestral Workshops.
The Tiempos are synonymous with Dumaguete.
Sadly, Bayombong is unaware they were able to produce a National Artist.
Pres. Marilou Abon of the Nueva Vizcaya State University helped her kababayan, Dr. Mauricia Borromeo, finish what the latter started: paying tribute to our lone female National Artist for Literature!
An exhibit with a Raul Funilas sculpture, reading materials, and other mementoes from the CCP Visual Arts office headed by Karen Flores; a Puttungan where she will be named “Casta” or “beautiful and powerful” in Gaddang; a conference about her with Oscar Campomanes, Ralph Galan, Ferdie Lopez, Jack Wigley, and Lito Zulueta as paper presenters; and a literary concert serve as front acts to our Pagpupugay sa mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining.
Before the signing of a resolution declaring her birthday on Earth Day, April 22, a municipal holiday, we asked her about the National Artist 2009 fiasco and she answered: “The head of a country or state who is truly enlightened provides the populace with the exercise of freedom not just for the government’s considerations but, most important, freedom as every individual’s right and privilege. To be aware of freedom as the individual’s possession requires the respect for his personality, for his considered actions, for his beliefs and decisions. A favorite American saying goes this way: “Your freedom ends where my nose begins;” this saying stresses how personal this requirement for freedom goes, with the specific anatomy as the limit that one’s freedom can go. What is meant by a country’s head being enlightened? By this enlightenment is meant the awareness that at the very primary root of freedom is the human presence, humanity that demands respect – because without this respect one might as well be dealing with the most fearful and undomesticated of animals. A well-run government’s decisions are based of course on respect for rules and regulations, and the respect always as rooted in the awareness of the acknowledged group’s right and well-considered performance of its duty.”
Mom Edith calls it freedom as respect and humanness.
Did you know that there are two National Artists married to each other: Amado V. Hernandez (1973) and Honorata “Atang” de la Rama (1987)?
If yesterday didn’t end up the way you planned, just remember: God created today for you to start a new one! The best is yet to come.

NATIONAL? ARTIST? (August 03, 2009)

The National Disaster Consciousness Month was about to end when this tragedy struck.
No, it was not the demise of democracy icon in former Pres. Corazon Cojuangco Aquino whose contribution to Philippine culture was not limited to Kris Aquino only but also to the creation of the Presidential Commission on Culture and Arts (now National Commission for Culture and the Arts) via Executive Order No. 118 in 1987 that, after five years, in 1992, was enacted into law -- Republic Act 7356 – from a bill jointly authored by Senators Edgardo Angara, Heherson Alvarez, Leticia Ramos Shahani, and Congressman Carlos Padilla.
Nor of the last director of Surian ng Wikang Pambansa (before it became the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino) in Dr. Ponciano Pineda, who died one day before the Buwan ng Wika.
We are talking about the death of the National Artist Award!
As expected, nominations were submitted after the deadline last December 31 to the National Artist Secretariat created by the National Artist Award Committee.
Then, experts from the different art fields sat on a First Deliberation to prepare the short list of nominees while a Second Deliberation.
That joint meeting of the Commissioners of the NCCA and the Board of Trustees of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) decided on the final recomendees.
And we – being a part of the First and the Second Deliberations -- recommended Manuel Urbano a.k.a Manuel Conde (Film and Broadcast); Lazaro Francisco (Literature); Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (Visual Arts, Painting, Sculpture and Mixed Media); and Ramon Santos (Music).
Nothing was heard on June 11 at the Malacaňang Palace the time and place the awards should have been given.
Until last week.
On July 29, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced in a press conference that Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo conferred the Order of National Artists under Proclamations 1823-1839.
Former Sen. Alvarez's wife, Cecilla Guidote-Alvarez (Theater); Magno Jose “Carlo” Caparas (Visual Arts and Film); Francisco Maňosa (Architecture); and Jose “Pitoy” Moreno (Fashion Design) were added to list.
In the past, nothing happened when Pres. Fidel Ramos allegedly “accomodated” historian Carlos Quirino in a new category called “historical literature” in 1997.
Pres. Joseph Estrada returned favor, they say, when he gave it to his musical director Ernani Cuenco in 1999.
So, when it was the turn of Pres. Arroyo, she reportedly followed her predecessor's footsteps with Dr. Alejandro Roces (Literature) in 2003, with Abdulmari Asia Imao (Visual Arts) in 2006, and with Alvarez, Caparas, Maňosa, and Moreno this year!
However, if we got used to D.N.A. or Dagdag National Artist, could we still take L.N.A. or Laglag National Artist?
Sad to say, the critically acclaimed composer and musicologist was able to prove the truth behind it.
Last Friday, the scheduled tribute to Dr. Santos by the University of the Philippines College of Music -- where he served as dean and university professor emeritus – became more of a call for action than a concert.
Joey Ayala, in his private capacity not as the head of the NCCA Committee on Music said: “Sa proseso ng pagpili ng NA, ako’y bulate lamang, nandoon sa ilalim bilang facilitator ng unang pilian. May musician pa doon sa basement ng proseso. Ewan kung bakit nawala. Baka di type ng mga nasa iitaas na palapag ang trabaho ng mga unang napili. Baka may problema sa budget at may kailangang tanggalin. Who knows? Ako, nais kong magawaran nito dahil may kasamang economic benefits na makapag-bibigay-buhay sa mga proyekto. Kung patay na ako, wala na akong magagawang proyekto. Tanggap ko na kahit na sino ang magawaran ng NA Award, laging may ‘di masisiyahan, at mayroon din namang masisiyahan.”
So what must be done with this title given to “a Filipino who has been given the highest recognition for having made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts, namely, Music, Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film, Broadcast Arts, Fashion Design and Architecture, and Allied Arts”?
The world-famous singer-composer had this proposal: “Sa latest round ng NA Awards mukhang maraming ‘di nasisiyahan, lalong-lalo na sa sirkulo ng mandiriwa na aking kinikilusan. Ang sagot ko lamang sa mga text ay “gumawa kaya tayo ng sariling award.” Bakit? Sapagka’t kapag ang damdamin at opinyon ng mga ‘di nasisiyahan ay ‘di kayang sakupin ng nagbibigay ng NA Awards, kahit ano’ng mangyari, ‘di talaga ito masasakop. May sarili silang agenda. Kung ‘di nasasakop ang agenda ng mga ‘di nasisiyahan, e di gumawa ng sariling award. Hindi naman maaaring “baguhin natin sila” – e kung tayo ang baguhin? Inaalay ko nga ang salitang Mandiriwa para sa award, kung nanaisin. Mandiriwa: isang kumikilos sa larangan ng diwa, at ipinagdiriwang ang Dakilang Malikhain na nasa bawa’t nilalang.”
He coined the term after he and his team conducted a SiningBayan Workshop under his Bagong Lumad Artists Foundation, Inc. so he would love to offer it as an alter-native: “Kapag mas marami ang award, mas masaya! Kaya kayang mamahagi ng award na walang poot, inggit, pagkukulang, pulitikahan, at iba pang nakasisirang resulta? Bakit isa lang? Siguro kung walang cash involved, mas maraming award ang puedeng ipamigay. Kung may sponsor, ok lang. Pumapangit nga lang ang trophy kasi linalagyan ng pangalan ng kumpanya o produkto na ‘di maganda ang pagka-layout. Nagmumukhang advertisement. Tanong ko talaga ito – economics aside, bakit tag-isa lang ang “Pambansang Alagad ng Sining”? National Artist for Cinema, isa lang. National Hero, isa lang. National Bird, isa lang. Yung One Town One Product nga, isa lang. Paano tayo magiging malikhain at diverse tulad ng likas nating kakayahan kung laging isa lang ang ine-encourage? Di kaya divisive ang award, lalung-lalo na kapag debatable, subjective, at qualitative ang larangan (tulad ng sining at nasyonalismo) ng award? Buti kung, tulad ng boxing at karera at lotto, may malinaw na panalo't talo.”
Is this Marcosian machination made on April 2, 1972 still relevant? Is the honor created by virtue of Proclamation No. 1001 significant after it was first posthumously conferred on Filipino painter Fernando Amorsolo?
Institutions like Philippine Meteorological Society (PMS) had been doing their share by sponsoring on-the-spot art contests won by such elementary pupils as Gerrika Shi (Saint Jude Catholic School), first; Jamia Mei Tolentino (St. Stephen High School), second; Trisha Co Reyes (St. Stephen High School), third; and high school students like Roy Gallardo (New Era High School), first; Hayami Kudo (Marikina Science High School), second; and Justen Tolentino (St. Stephen High School), third. Eyerything under the sun of its theme: PAG ALERTO, WALANG PELIGRO! As artists, how alert we are?
At exactly the 12th hour, 34th minute, and 56th second of the 7th of August, four days from now, the time and date will be 12: 34: 56 07/08/ 09.
Or 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9!
If I could sum up all the causes of hurt, pain, and hatred In one word. It is just…


As early as May 18, Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid already passed this P.S. Res. No. 1068 during the Fourteenth Congress' Second Regular Session.
In the said resolution, Filipino poet/critic, Dr. Gemino H. Abad, was congratulated and commended for making the country proud.
Dr. Abad became the first and only Filipino to receive the Premio Feronia – Citta di Fiano 2009 in the Foreign Author Category three Saturdays ago, July 11, at the Castle of Fiano Romano, Italy for his work In Ordinary Time: Poems, Parables, and Poetics.
Italy's most coveted literary achievement, Feronia Prize was established in 1993 by the Associazione Culturale Allegorein to give awards in four categories: poetry, narrative, criticism, and a special award to a foreign author.
Aside from free travel expenses and stay in “Lo Stivale,” Dr. Abad received his 3,600 euros prize money, plus his invitation to the Mediterranea.
He was no stranger to that world-famous Italian festival.
In 2007, Dr. Abad was there in Rome, where he met Gezim Hajdari, the Albanian poet who translated his book In Ordinary Time (U.P. Press, 2004) into Italian and who collaborated with Amoa Fatuiva in sending their translation manuscript to the aforementioned competition.
During the awarding ceremonies, Dr. Abad was asked to read (though he is famous for his patented anti-Alzheimer's disease therapy, that is, reciting poetry from memory) all the poems the judges loved: Cebu's Guitars; Where No Words Break; and Let There Be No More.
A Ph.D. in English literature (University of Chicago, 1970, Dr. Abad co-founded the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC) which published Caracoa, a poetry journal in English. His other works include Fugitive Emphasis (poems, 1973); In Another Light (poems and critical essays, 1976); A Formal Approach to Lyric Poetry (critical theory, 1978); The Space Between (poems and critical essays, 1985); Poems and Parables (1988); Index to Filipino Poetry in English, 1905-1950 (with Edna Zapanta Manlapaz, 1988) and State of Play (letter-essays and parables, 1990). He edited landmark anthologies of Filipino poetry in English, among them Man of Earth (1989), A Native Clearing (1993) and A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, ’60s to the ’90s (1999). U.P. has elevated him to the rank of University Professor, the highest academic rank awarded by the university to an exemplary faculty member. He currently sits on the Board of Advisers of the Likhaan: U.P. Institute of Creative Writing and teaches creative writing as Emeritus University Professor at the U.P. College of Arts and Letters where he graduated with a B.A. English degree in 1964.
Now, Dr. Abad can be in the same breath with such past Feronia Prize winners as poets Adonis and Natan Zach from Israel; poet/playwright Amiri Baraka (formerly known as LeRoi Jones) from the United States; playwright Alfonso Sastre from Spain; writer Predrag Matvejevic from Bosnia-Herzegovina; writer Michel Butor from France; writer/novelist Ismail Kadare from Albania; poet/critic Roberto Fernandez Retamar from Cuba; poet/author Mahmoud Darwish from Lebanon; fictionist Yvonne Vera from Zimbabwe; writer/literary scholar Dubravka Ugresic from Croatia; poet/author Saadi Yousef from Iraq; poet Kunwar Narain from India; poet Muhammad Benis from Morocco; and novelist Agotha Kristof from Hungary.
Is this the shape of things to come since he is placed on the same Italian pedestal with the Nobel Prize in Literature honorees namely Germany's poet/novelist/playwright/ printmaker/sculptor Gűnther Grass who got it in 1999; China's writer/playwright/translator Gao Xingjian who got it in 2000 and novelist/literary critic John Maxwell Coetzee from South Africa (or South Australia) who got it in 2003?
Well, this gospel made it to the What's Hot list almost simultaneously with the gossip that Malacaňang might include comics author Carlo J. Caparas, theater director Zeneida Amador, fashion designer José Moreno, architect Francisco Mañosa and executive director Cecile Guidote Alvarez of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to the roster of National Artists for 2009.
Will Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announce it during her last State of the Nation Address?
In the meantime, instead of waiting to death, we could perhaps busy ourselves with beating the deadline of Ubod Writers Series on August 15.Twelve writers who have not released book-length titles will be given a chance to have their first book. Four manuscripts written in four languages of each of the three major Philippine Island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will be chosen. The manuscript should be 40-60 pages in chapbook length of 20-40 poems or 5-10 short fiction. The most exceptional pieces in their manuscript shall be translated into Filipino or English. If you are interested, please e-mail or call 426-6001 loc. 5320-5321. More so, the Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) is accepting applicants for the 9th Ateneo National Writers' Workshop(ANWW) to be held from Oct. 19-22. Deadline of submission will be on Aug. 30. For more information, visit , or call 426-6001 loc. 5320 or e-mail .
Or, on the hand, the join 2009 NCCA Writers' Prize, originally conceptualized by poet/critic Virgilio Almario who experienced what they would label as the D.N.A. (or Dagdag National Artist) Syndrome when he was proclaimed on 25 June 2003. Anyway, to bag that P250,000 grant (in four tranches), you have to submit first your curriculum vitae, your three- to five-page concept paper about your project's rationale in four printed copies, and your initial output to the following categories:
Novel – Filipino (first 50 pages);
Poetry – Ilocano (10 poems; 1 poem per page);
Drama – Bicolano (1 act for a full-length drama, 2 1-act plays);
Drama – Cebuano (1 act for a full-length drama; 2 1-act plays);
Essay – Kapampangan (3 chapters or no less than 50 pages).
Deadline of submission of application is on October 15. But, for more details, visit
One of the previous NCCA Prize winners is Joel Toledo who launched last Monday at his latest 59-poem collection entitled The Long Lost Startle published by the University of the Philippines Press, with an introduction by Dr. Abad.
It took place at Mag:Net Gallery (Katipunan) where New York Writers Workshop president Tim Tomlinson will conduct his free poetry workshop this afternoon at 2.
Later, on the same stage, at 6 p.m., Rio Alma will launch the compact disc recording of his poetry known as Tigre sa Zoo with the artist/proprietor himself, Rock Drilon, providing cocktails. Rock, by the way, just opened his one-man show of recent paintings on 25 July, at Pablo Gallery at Unit C-11 South of Market Condominium, Fort Bonifacio where Johnny Alegre's Affinity jazz group performed live. Kindly contact 9863887 for inquiries.
Last Saturday, too, Kapeng Musang, a night of Cordillera music and indigenous films from local filmmakers, was held in celebration of fair trade and love for our most exotic and rarest coffee in the world at Cordillera Coffee inside SM Baguio.
Monkeys and girls are the same. They always fight over a banana. Rats and boys are the same. They are searching for new holes.
Every ticktock of a clock corresponds to an action. When it ticks, something is done and when it tocks, I hope you do not regret happened in the ticks because no matter how hard you try, you can never bring back the time and actions done.

TAN-OK TI KAILOKUAN (July 20, 2009)

The Pride of Ilocandia, Dr. Paul Zafaralla's English translation of Eliseo Bragado Contillo's Tan-ok ti Kailokuan, the biography of Dr. Godofredo S. Reyes, is supposed to be published soon.
However, Dr. Reyes could not wait for the said book about him, foreworded by Juan S.P. Hidalgo Jr., a former editor of Liwayway, and edited by Cles Rambaud, editor of Bannawag, the best-selling weekly Iloko magazine, where he used to contribute.
The Poet Laureate of Ilocandia -- who excelled in Bucanegan or the extemporaneous verbal joust in Iluko -- died from a “lingering illness” on July 5 at the age of 91.
A businessman, mayor, governor, congressman, educator, and founder/president/chairman of the board of St. Mary's College in his hometown in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur -- Dr. Reyes practised medicine in Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, and Nueva Ecija after served as the battalion surgeon of the 66th Infantry that fought in Northern Luzon during World War II.
During the wake, his 84-year old physician-wife who is first president of the University of Northern Philippines -- Dra. Dedicacion Agatep-Reyes -- vowed to continue her husband's legacy in promoting "veteranism": "In any manner, please feel free to tell me if there's anything I can do to support your endeavors in serving our veterans well."
Though wheelchair-bound, Dr. Reyes tried to attend the signing of the $787 billion US economic stimulus bill, including $198 million in benefits for Filipino World War II veterans like him.
He urged everyone to "wait for a little while longer."
Who said that doctors are patient too?
To this day, after 60 years, we are still looking forward to witness the United States government removing the provision in the Rescission Act of 1946 which declared that “the services rendered by Filipino veterans under the American flag are not considered as active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.”
U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney, in her speech during the celebration last February, admitted that it was the right time to honor not only a great friendship: “But the men and women whose heroism allowed everybody as free people, able to choose our own destiny.” She promised to Dr. Reyes and the rest: “Teams will be sent to 15 different sites to process the claims of U.S. veterans in order to reach all the veterans in the country for free. If you are not well, don't risk your life coming to us. We'll find you and come to you. The U.S. Veterans Affairs Office has processed around 2,000 claims. We give out $8 million a month in the Philippines to World War II veterans, and the lump sum in the stimulus package is an additional benefit.”
Sad to say, Dr. Reyes would not be here anymore to see such place as Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Fast Track Center or the temporary processing centers in provinces as well as the time when PV AO will coordinate with the regional offices of the foreign affairs department and local government officials.
He was laid to rest two days ago.
But his name is as immortal as, say, Carlos Angeles, Manuel Arguilla, Gregorio Brillantes, Pedro Bucaneg, Carlos Bulosan, Isabelo de los Reyes, Leona Florentino, Francisco Sionil Jose, Salvador P. Lopez, Jose Ma. Sison, and even Ferdinand Marcos whom Dr. Reyes included in the roster of great Ilokano writers of GUMIL Filipinas – Gunglo dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano iti Filipinas – or the Ilokano Writers Association of the Philippines, which he presided for 13 years.
Last June 20, during the U.P. General Alumni Faculty Homecoming and Reunion, Dr. Reyes (AA’38; MD’43) was one of the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards together with Prof. Araceli T. Baviera (AA’38; LLB’54cl), Carolina Gozon-Jimenez (BSBA’59), Dr. Florence Macagba-Tadiar (AA’54; MD’59; MPH’77; MHA’83), Atty. Ismael A. Mathay, Jr. (AA’51; BSBA’52), Dr. Serafin D. Quiason (AB’52c;) Justice Emilio A. Gancayco (LLB’47), who delivered the acceptance speech, on their behalf.
In 1988, Dr. Reyes was given the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for Iluko poetry, alongside with National Artists Francisco Arcellana (Fiction in English), Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero (Drama in English), and Edith L. Tiempo (Poetry and Fiction in English). Other winners then were Liwayway A. Arceo (Filipino Fiction), Teo S. Baylen (Filipino Poetry), Genoveva Edroza-Matute (Filipino Fiction), Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil (Essay in English), Ramon L. Muzones (Hiligaynon Fiction), and Edilberto K. Tiempo (Fiction in English).
Now, it will be the turn of his translator, Dr. Zafaralla, to be recognized.
Again, the awarding ceremonies will coincide with the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) Convention to be held on the last Saturday of next month, August 29, at 3 p.m., at the GSIS Museo ng Sining, GSIS Main Office, Financial Center, Reclamation Area in Pasay City.
Based on this year's theme Literacy from Literature, the 35th UMPIL Convention will have the PAMBANSANG SEMINAR SA EDUKASYONG BATAY SA PANITIKAN that will highlight in the morning at 8 its guest of honor in National Artist, former Dean Virgilio Almario, with other such expects on literature-based education and cultural literacy index as U.P. Open University's Dr. Theresa de Villa who was the U.P. Integrated School's former principal; De La Salle University and Far Eastern University's Dr. Isagani Cruz who was a former Department of Education Undersecretary; and International Institute for Film and Arts's Dennis Marasigan who was the Tanghalang Pilipino's former artistic director.
Seminar fee is P1,000 inclusive of lunch, two snacks, copies of lectures, and certificate of participation. Commission on Higher Education chairperson Dr. Emmanuel Angeles helped us with a CHED Memorandum while we wait for a Department of Education Memo from Sec. Jesli Lapus. For details, please call us at # 922-1830 or email us at or visit our website
Three golfers -- Jesus, Moses, and an old man – get to the 18th tee. It is all tied. All three have the same score. Jesus' second shot goes into the water and lands on a rock. He walks on the water out to the ball and hits it within a foot of the hole. Moses' second shot also goes into the water and sinks. He parts the water and then hits his ball within a foot of the hole. The old man also hits his second shot into the water, but it lands on a waterlily. A frog comes out of the water and takes the ball. Just then a bird swoops down and grabs the frog and carries, with the ball, right over the 18th hole where the frog drops the ball right into the cup. Moses turns to Jesus and says: “You know, I really hate playing with your Dad.”
This is God. Tonight, I will be handling all of your problems for you. I do not need your help so sleep well. I love you. P.S. And remember, if life happens to deliver a situation that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it yourself. Kindly put it in the SFGTD (Something For God To Do) Box. I will get to it in my time. All situations will be resolved, but in my time, not yours. Once the matter is placed in the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all wonderful things that are present in your life now.

TIM IS IN TOWN (July 13, 2009)

Six years ago, there was this major conference called Sangandaan 2003 which was meant to commemorate, culturally that is, all the arts and media, whether Filipino or American or Filipino-American, born out of the love-hate relationship between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America from 1899 to 2002.

It was held here on July 6-30, 2003, jointly sponsored by the University of the Philippines, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the San Francisco State University, in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the National Historical Institute, the National Library, the National Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University, and the City College of San Francisco.Indeed, it was more than just a feast for the eye since, aside from visual art and photo exhibits, there were theatre productions, dance performances, concerts, filmand broadcast series, literary, and even culinary events.

And it was not confined to the so-called imperial Manila only because we had Drs. Nicanor Tiongson, Helen Toribio, Priscelina Patajo-Legasto, and Cynthia Banzon-Bautista, among others, as organizers who are known for their social conscience and commitment. It was no surprise if it had an outreach component in Baguio, Dagupan, Pampanga, Los Banos, Legazpi, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Bohol, and Davao.Anyway, their main aim was to confront, understand, and come to terms with the fact of American colonization in order to hasten the processes of decolonization andnation-building in the Philippines, on the one hand; and the creation of a strong identity and galvanization of all Filipino-Americans into a dynamic force in the United States, on the other.As one of the paper readers, we were obliged to examine both Filipino and Filipino-American cultures , explore these legacies of colonization, and, at the end of the day, empower ourselves as persons and as citizens of nations sharing cultural identities.

Well, we thought we had everything in our heart and mind since we were able to finish Abadillismo: Alejandro G. Abadilla's Filipinization of Free Verse as a Rebellion against American Occupation – not on “Filipino” time -- with audio-visual presentation and all.

But, before the said international conference, the annexation of our country, for us, was just a toss up between Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base.

The Americanization of anything Filipino was limited to nothing else but our ever-reliable jeepney.Eddie Mesa and all the Elvis Presleys of the Philippines were good enough to stand for the Filipino imitation, rejection, assimilation or transformation of elements from American culture during and after the American colonial period.

Ilocanos in Hawaii, we believed, can represent the Filipino diaspora and the expression of rights of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the U.S. in the last century.

Plus, the continuing definition and affirmation of Filipino cultural identities,here and abroad, were simply symbolized by each and every dancer or human kinetics major from U.P. or Philippine High School for the Arts, for instance, migrating to Hongkong and other parts of the world in the name of Mickey Mouse and other mascots in Disneyland.

Until we met Tim Tomlinson.

There was this David Bowie or Gary Oldman deadringer, depending on your generation, who offered me a seat beside him in a bus on 9 July 2003 from the Philippine Social Science Center.

Instantaneously, since he was who shared with us our common anti-Bush denominator, we did not notice that we got inside the Jesuit campus in Katipunan quite quickly for a dinner with the rest of the Sangandaan participants .

Funny how time flew when he told us that he was into literature, too.

All of a sudden, it occurred to us that he was the guy Dr. Tiongson was referring to when he mentioned someone who would love to conduct a fiction workshop – free of charge!

Within a week, we were able to form a group of teachers and students from everywhere who jampacked our ICW office simply to find out the need for creating a rich first draft.

Beforehand, we were aware that he is a founding member and president of New York Writers Workshop.

But, eventually, we discovered during his short stay that he would not be an M.F.A. holder from Columbia University for nothing!

Of course, he has been teaching workshops since 1991 at various institutions including New York Writers Workshop, the Writer's Voice, Webster University, Cha-am, Thailand, and the Media Development Authority, Singapore.

A fictionist and a poet, Tim's fiction has appeared in many venues, including The Missouri Review, The Gettysburg Review, Libido, Hampton Shorts, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and The North American Review. Recent stories can be found online at Pif and Del Sol Review while his haikus have been published in Black Bough, Modern Haiku, Parnassus Literary Journal, Potpourri, and Time Haiku. His articles on travel, scuba diving, and the arts have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, Musician, Downtown Express and Spa Magazine.
He consults with television and screenwriters for the Media Development Authority in Singapore. He is fiction editor of the webzine
Teaching at New York University courses on writing and contemporary culture, Tim is the co-author of The New York Writers Workshop Portable MFA: A Guide to the Craft of Writing (Writer's Digest, May 2006).

Now, Tim Tomlinson is back.

With his Filipina wife, Deedle Rodriguez. Once more, he would like to give a workshop. Gratis et amore. For poets, this time. He will impart to us the importance of short poetry at Rock Drilon's Mag:Net Gallery along Katipunan on July 27 at 2 p.m. In his latest email, while he is in Cebu, he told us the title of his workshop:

“I'm calling it Finders, Keepers: Poetry Workshop. The idea comes from something Raymond Carver used to say in workshops -- when he heard something he liked, he'd say, "that's a keeper." This one will help poets find a few things, with hopefully a keeper or two among them. I'm enjoying a collection by Rio Alma -- finding inspiration and ideas, and one or two moves I'm going to have to steal. We'll see if I discover any keepers for the reading.”

Later, same day, same place, as part of our monthly O.M.G., or Open Mic Gig, National Artist Virgilio Almario will launch the compact disc of his poetry entitled Tigre sa Zoo featuring G.P. Abrajano, Rebecca Añonuevo, 7 p.m.,Teo Antonio, Michael Coroza, Njel de Mesa, Oshin Kitane, Ruth Elynia Mabanglo, Victor Nierva, Jovy Peregrino, Frank Rivera, Iona Santos, and other surprise guests.

For details, please visit nd or

Monkeys and girls are the same. They always fight over a banana. Rats and boys are the same. They are searching for new holes.

Every ticktock of a clock corresponds to an action. When it ticks, something is done and when it tocks, I hope you do not regret happened in the ticks because no matter how hard you try, you can never bring back the time and actions done.


When the 1901 Philippine Commission was selecting for us our National Hero, the initial winner by a unanimous vote was Marcelo Hilario Del Pilar.
The said patron saint of Filipino journalist -- who founded Diarong Tagalog in 1882 and edited La Solidaridad which he co-published in 1889 -- lost to Jose Rizal.
All because he died -- on the fourth of July in 1896 – in a pathetic fashion?
Compared to the latter's dramatic death by firing squad, his was due to tubercolosis!
Now, nevertheless, this poet hailed for his parodies is immortalized, for the sixth time, not by his alma mater, University of Santo Tomas where he finished law in 1880, but by another national, the University of the Philippines through its College of Mass Communication.
His ideas and ideals inspired them to give the annual award that honors a Filipino media practitioner whose professional integrity and commitment to public service are reflected in his or her exemplary achievements in print, film, radio, television or the new media.
Named after his most famous penname, the UP Gawad Plaridel for this year will be awarded to the independent filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik for his outstanding contributions to filmmaking via some of his classics like Mababangong Bangungot [Perfumed Nightmare] (1977), Turumba (1981), Sinong Lumikha ng Yoyo? Sinong Lumikha ng Moon Buggy? (1982), Why is Yellow Middle of Rainbow? (1994), Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi (1996), among others.
The artist formerly known as Eric de Guia, this self-taught cineaste – who is a former U.P. Student Council president -- has a Master in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business before serving as a researcher for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris from 1968 to 1972.
A recipient of the Berlin Film Festival International Critics Award (1977), Mannheim Film Festival Top Cash Award (1981), to name a few -- Kidlat Tahimik joins past UP Gawad Plaridel awardees Eugenia Duran-Apostol (2004, Print Journalism), Vilma Santos (2005, Film), the late Fidela “Tiya Dely” Magpayo (2006, Radio), Cecilia “Cheche” Lazaro (2007, Television) and Pachico A. Seares (2008, Community Journalism).The awarding ceremonies is scheduled on July 10, 1:30 pm, at the Cine Adarna of the UP Film Institute where UP Pres. Emerlinda Roman, Chancellor Sergio Cao, and CMC Dean Roland Tolentino and other officials will hand his trophy sculpted by National Artist Napoleon Abueva.
Double-gifted, indeed, is our Philippine indie cinema lately since Kidlat Tahimik, its Father, also won the Natatanging Gawad Urian Lifetime Achievement Award last year while its Grandfather, Manuel Conde is reportedly one of the latest National Artist for Film.
Same day, at 8pm, you can watch Philippine Ballet Theatre's interpretation of the Maranao epic, Darangen ni Bantugen at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Up to July 12, at 3pm, the PBT will be dancing a full-length production of the pre-Islamic epic that tells the story of the Maranao people and the odyssey of their local mythical hero, Bantugen.
Even before the ballet’s premiere in May 2008, Darangen ni Bantugen has been declared by UNESCO as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity. This time, the epic, portrayed in classical dance form, is choreographed by Gener Caringal and Ronilo Jaynario, with music by Jesse Lucas and set and costume design by National Artist Salvador Bernal. PBT is offering a 50% discount on ticket sales for students. If you have any questions, and if you want to avail of the said offer, you may contact the PBT Office at 09178422392. On Saturday, July 11, start your day as early as 8 a.m., by joining students, teachers, others for a storytelling workshop with South African writer/artist/storyteller Gcina Mhlophe. Ms. Mhlophe will share her views on what makes a good storyteller. Make it an opportunity to learn or, perhaps, earn from your untapped skills and talent. Workshop fee of P300 includes a workshop kit, snack and coffee, tea or juice. For details, kindly contact Maricel Montero or Liza Lim or Charlot Cachuela at 523-1797/98, 536-0595 or email This special event is held in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa.
Eventually, at around 3 p.m., in celebration of the 7th birthday of our angel, Awit, artist/inventor Paz Abad Santos will inaugurate her interactive gallery for expressive arts therapy – which we baptized as “Arterapi” -- at the TILAMSIK NG SINING at 119 Scout Limbaga and Scout Ybardolaza Streets.
Tita Ching, as she is fondly called, is part of a one-of-a-kind exhibit entitled Draped in Silk that opened last July 1 at the Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Ayala corner Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues in Makati City.
Other artists featured are Ambie Abano, Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Marina Cruz, Araceli Dans, Steve de Leon, Dopy Doplon, Margarita Fores, Danilo Franco, Jeannie Goulbourn, Katrina Goulbourn-Feist, Dan Lichauco, Tats Rejante-Manahan, Maxine Syjuco, Michelline Syjuco, George Tapan, Patis Tesoro, Wig Tysmas, Ann Wizer, and Tesoro's Philippine Handicrafts. Subtitled The Journey of the Manton de Manila, it narrates the story of a 16th century precious cargo, of Chinese silk embroidery, and of a maritime trade between Asia and Europe. Its curator, artist Jeannie Javelosa, cannot help but wax historic: “The Philippines, then a Spanish colony, was a port of call for galleons that sailed to and from Mexico. One of the many coveted merchandise brought by these galleons were embroidered silk shawls from China, which were to become known as the Manton de Manila. The dainty and bright embroidery of these Chinese-made shawls captured the imagination of Spanish from all walks of life, and adapted as part of their fashion and costumes for dance and music. The exhibit explores the many anecdotes surrounding these captivating shawls, including the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade and the manton's influences on Philippine embroidery traditions. In contrast, artists and designers from various creative fields showcase contemporary works inspired by the manton -- from illustrations, painting, and photography to couture, installations, and décor. It runs until December 29.”
If you prefer telliing tales that are read, you may submit to Patubas: An Anthology of West Visayan Literature your poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, drama (preferably one-act), excerpts from longer works like novels and full-length plays and screenplays, with translations for non-English or Filipino pieces. You are encouraged to submit three to five short pieces or one to two longer pieces (excluding translations for non-English/Filipino pieces) to allow the editor as well as the project coordinators to decide which pieces to include in the anthology. Submissions should also be accompanied by a 150-200-word narrative description of the author as well as a picture. Ten years after the release of Patubas, published by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and edited by Palanca Hall of Famer, Dr. Leoncio Deriada, the Capiz Council for Culture and the Arts (CCCA) headed by Bryan Mari Argos, through its literary division, Yanggaw Capiz Writers' Group (YCWG), headed by Marcel Milliam will accept all submissions which should be in .doc or .rtf format and should be sent as an email attachment to patubas2@ not later than July 15. Only submissions sent via email will be entertained.
If the bird of knowledge is the owl
if the bird of freedom is the dove
and the bird of strength is the eagle --
what is the bird of birth control?
Destiny belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams and have the courage to pursue it. Do not stop when you are tired. Stop when you are done.


We felt we shortchanged ourselves when we fell short of beating the deadline for a short conference. Organized by the Tate Modern Public Programmes, The London Consortium and the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study at the University of London, it is open to anybody -- or somebody like DJ Spooky, Sadie Plant, Tom Shakespeare, Clare Wigfall or Steven Connor -- who is ready, willing, and capable of presenting or performing about spatial or temporal shortness for up to seven minutes. Shortly, we are haunted by our short abstract of less than 200 words that we failed to submit on time. To this day, we can do nothing but shake our head now that we can easily shortlist everything short under the sun. Last week – when Prof. Randy David of the University of the Philippines declared that he would seriously consider running against Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo should she seek a seat in the House representing the second district of their home province of Pampanga in 2010 in a battle dubbed as David vs. Goliath -- inspired us so much since so many short things took place in so short a time. We could have written more than such text messages we got last Fathers' Day as “Life is too short. Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Laugh when you can. Apologize when you should. Let go of what you cannot change. Love deeply and something will change it. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. For your own sake.” Or about punch lines as cruel as “What a coincidence that Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died on the same day. One had a lot of fun with Majors, while the other had a lot of fun with minors.”

Or about such aphorisms as “Kapag nasa katri na, tiyakin kung may hayden camera.”
Or about short attention spans of the youth, for example, during Philippine Online Chronicles Presents: Pilipinas 2.0 last June 25 when different individuals and organizations that advocate for and propel change in Philippine society gathered together at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila auditorium.
Or about music samples of a Martin Nievera challenging the Republic Act No. 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, whose Chapter II, Section 37, states that the rendition of the National Anthem, whether played or sung, shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe.
Or about ephemeral relationships as that of that Democrat who made a pitstop at an Argentinian strip club to get a lap dance from Andrea Rincon or that Republican who gave everything up for a hot sex with a hot babe from Buenos Aires.
Or about quick-fire recipes to, say, the 7th Doreen Fernandez Food Writing Contest under this year's topic on biskwit.
Or about orgasms caused by a short imaginary cable car ride from either Caticlan to Boracay or from Dolores to Mt. Banahaw.
Or about nanophilology in tanaga or dalit or diona, for instance, instead of haiku that has been taught in schools for years as if part of our prehispanic literary past.
Speaking of shortness, too, the National Book Development Board (NBDB), Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), Vibal Foundation, and the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP) are allowing your short poetry to take Part 2 of Tulaan sa Tren readership promotion campaign. The NBDB will accept original, unpublished poems with the theme Journeys/Paglalakbay. Entries may be in English, Filipino, or any of the regional languages (with English or Tagalog translation if written in a regional language) and should be up to 200 words long. Only one (1) poem per author will be accepted. The Board of Judges will select three (3) winners each for the English and Filipino categories. For each category, the Grand Prize winner will receive P5,000.00, second prize winner will receive P3,000.00, and third prize winner will receive P2,000.00. Winning entries will be posted in LRT trains alongside the works of established Filipino poets and will be published in a compilation of Tulaan sa Tren 2 poems. The NBDB shall share copyright with the authors for their winning poems for purposes of broadcast and/or publication in the NBDB’s readership campaigns. Entries must be submitted along with the Official Entry Form. The author’s name and address must only appear in the Official Entry Form and must not appear on the entry. Entries may be e-mailed to e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or sent postmarked no later than July 22, 2009 to: Office of the Executive Director National Book Development Board 2/F NPO Bldg. EDSA cor. NIA Northside Road Diliman, Quezon City. Tulagalag, another mobile poetry project, was recently launched by KM64 in cooperation with Artists' Arrest. It is open to all anti-Constituent Assembly and anti- Charter Change masterpieces written and designed on 12"x12" illustration board. Collaborative artwork and poetry can also be submitted in any medium or language. Even experiments are welcomed.
Award-winning works will be exhibited at the pink fence along Commonwealth Avenue during the Pres. Arroyo's State of the Nation address slated on July 27 but postposed due to the threat of influenza AH1N1.Today, you can submit your entries at Mag:net Katipunan, from 7pm to 9pm and tomorrow at the Conspiracy Garden Cafe, from 6pm to 9pm. Or you can text your poems # 09278313273 or # 09322743366 or email them at For details, please visit their websites and Yesterday, by the way, Dr. Luzviminda Kwong, Philippine Society of Oncology Inc. president and Dr. Gil Vicente, their 2009 Midyear Convention chair, fulfilled their dream of coming up with a Cancer Book for the Layman at the Megatrade Hall 1, Megamall in Mandaluyong City. Being artists in their own right, they both allowed arts to get in the way treating their patients. So it is not surprising to find out that they included an on-the-sport painting contest for kids 12 years old and below as well as photo competition which they opened to all amateurs and professionals camera bugs who can tackle the theme : Compassion and Cancer. The entire Sunday was full of raffle draws and booth exhibits on nutrition, allergies, skin problems, hair concerns, oral hygiene and the like. Not to mention, free consultation or second opinion with specialists in their project called Pasilip Ka, an endoscopic exam of the upper airway!
The long and short of it, through the arts we can, as the King of Pop sings it, heal the world!
To help attract more people back to the fold of the Church, Hugh Hefner will publish a new magazine called PRAYBOY.
While Bob Guccione will publish... REPENTHOUSE.
Be with people who know your worth. You don't need too many people to be happy. Just a few real ones who appreciate you for who you are.

LIFE BEGINS ANEW (June 22, 2009)

The Cultural Center of the Philippines's life begins anew.
At 40.
While its principal patron, former First Lady Imelda Marcos is in the thick of the fight for $390 million cache of jewellery confiscated from her 23 years ago, CCP never looked back since its formal inauguration on September 8, 1969 – three years after it was created by former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos via Executive Order No.30.
Just this week, alone, mirrors how CCP has been tireless and true to its commitment in promoting and preserving arts and culture we can consider Filipino.
More so, how it evolves from, say, its Royal Danish past to its rehabilitated, decentralized, and expanded present under the leadership of its incumbent president and artistic director in former Ballet Philippines dancer, Nestor Jardin, who won the 2008 John D. Rockefeller Award as "a cultural leader of rare energy, commitment, and vision who has set an extraordinary example both regionally and internationally."
Yesterday saw the CCP sponsoring with Cartwheel Foundation, Inc. at its Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino a Floy Quintos-directed concert called Reconnecting with our Roots: A Cultural Exchange celebrating the identity, tradition, and modernity of Tala-Andig of Miarayon, Bukidnon, the Umajam of Cabanglasan, Bukidnon, the Ichananaw of Tinglayan, Kalinga, Cultures in Harmony, St. Scholastica’s College School of Music and Philippine Research for Developing Instrumental Soloists (PREDIS) with Cultures in Harmony – a group of classically trained American musicians – that had been conducting exchange workshops with our tribal communities annually since 2007.
Today is devoted to the recital of Tanghalang Pilipino and Philippine High School for the Arts' one-two punch in Pragress and Dong-ao, twin adaptations of Francisco Sionil Jose's masterpieces, before it will be staged around the country to highlight what good governance is all about.
Tomorrow, Virgin Labfest will once more stage unpublished and unproduced plays from playwrights -- both emerging and established -- in a two-week fiesta full of trainings, talkings, and toastings for the launch of the all the scripts collected in one book entitled like the greatest hits of a balding balladeer – after five years --"Best of the Virgin Labfest."
Visual Literary, and Media Arts co-head Herminio Beltran Jr. through her angels, Betty Uy-Regala and Ester Eban, reserved Wednesdays for poets who did the opening salvo of CCP's Brave New Works: Breaking Boundaries project – focusing on the Spoken Word, Theater, Dance, Visual Arts, and Music-- until July 26, the last day of Cinemalaya Cinco.
Or is it until August 16 during the closing of the 13 Artists Awards and Exhibition of works of Buen Calubayan, Don Djerassi Dalmacio, Kawayan de Guia, Racquel de Loyola, Christina Dy, Patricia Eustaquio, Winner Jumalon, Raya Martin, Iggy Rodriguez, Don M. Salubayba, Jaypee Samson, Pamela Yan-Santos, and MM Yu?
Two weeks ago, on June 10, while the almost everybody was in Makati to kick some Con Ass – Wordjam kicked off with its initial offering entitled Bukambibig under the direction of Njel de Mesa.
We, together with our Balagtasan partners in rhyme Teo Antonio and Mike Coroza, hosted the said trip back to the future of orature with Khavn de la Cruz, Angelo Suarez, and Radioactive Sago Project's Lourd de Veyra and Jay Gapasin. Poetry groups like Linangan ng Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA) was represented by Ony Carcamo, Francisco Montesena, Enrique Villasis while Neo-Angono Artists Collective had Philip Anorico, Richard Gappi, Marlon “Nunong” Olinares, and Raul “Tata” Funilas whose 8.5-foot Pres. Ramon Magsaysay sculpture was unveiled recently at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center Inc. in Quezon City. On June 24, it will be protest poets' turn through Angal at Atungal, showcasing National Artist for Literature Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera with Heber Bartolome, Axel Pinpin, Jesus Manuel Santiago, and members of the Kilometer 64 Poetry Collective and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP). It will be directed by Bonifacio Ilagan and be hosted by Mario Miclat and Ruby Alcantara. Next month, on July 1 to be exact, is alloted to the Karinyo of Mykel Andrada, J. Neil Garcia, Rhandee Garlitos, Nerisa del Carmen Guevara, Sharon Pangilinan, Roselle Pineda, Aida Santos, Anna Leah Sarabia, Roland Tolentino, and other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender poet-performers with Ed Cabagnot as the event host.
While Music Underkunstruktion: Hearing The Future Symphonic on July 15 is the red-letter day for musicians, the moment for dancers is Wi-fi Body Independent Contemporary Dance Festival 4: The Evolving Body!
Festival director Paul Morales, associate director Angel Lawenko Baguilat, and World Dance Alliance-Philippines president Basilio Villaruz, to name a few, have collaborated for this dance-o-rama with the CCP, Contemporary Dance Network Philippines (CDNP), National Commission for Culture and the Arts, U.P. Dance Company, Japan Foundation Manila, and STEPS Dance Studio.
“From June 25 to July 5, aside from the gala of the contemporary dance panorama, we have activities like IndepenDance, New Choreographers Competition, 2nd Step, In Focus, Emerging Talent Showcase, Uncensored bodies, Photo exhibit: The Dancing Body, Plenary: Contemporary Dance Network Philippine contemporary Dance Workshops, among others,” founding director and 2001 Alab ng Haraya Awardee Myra Beltran announced.
“On June 27, at 8 piyem, New Wave will feature me with Raul Alcoseba, Robbie Hayden, and Christine Santillan,” a leading choreographer/dancer/teacher Nory Bereber added, “not to mention the world premiere of my new pieces called To Whom It May Concern as well as the workshop I will conduct on June 28 at 1 piyem. ” For his Mama Mila, created for the closing gala on July 5, he will dance with Mica Bernas, Gerlin Francisco, and Elena Laniog who was with him during their heydays in Iloilo National High School's Dagyaw Theater and Dance Company that represented the country since 1990 in various international dance festivals in Japan, Thailand, Spain, Egypt, France, Spain, Germany, Rome, United States, Canada, and Portugal. His claim to fame, aside from being the principal dancer during opening and closing Ceremonies of 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar – he is personal dance instructor of lookalike: BB Gandang Hari!
O di ba mas maganda kung may arts sa buhay mo?
To catch them all, please call CCP Marketing Dept. 8321125 local 1801 to 1808 0r 8323681/ CCP Box Office 8323704 Tickets available at all Ticketworld outlets 8919999.
AN award-winning ad by Durex condom: “To all those who use our conmpetitors' products: HAPPY FATHERS DAY!”
Study shows that Swine Flu Virus is acquired through air. Ecologists say that the best way to clean the air is by rain. We Filipinos wonder why rain in summer. Now we know. God truly loves us.