Friday, May 14, 2010

DIA DEL LIBRO (April 19, 2010)

Last Saturday, Instituto Cervantes Manila commemorated El Día Internacional del Libro a week earlier.
April 23 was chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization during its General Conference in 1995 to pay homage to books and authors.
It began in Catalonia where they gave a rose for every book sold during St. George' Day on the 23rd of April.
On this symbolic date, too, British poet/playwright William Shakespeare, Peruvian writer Garcilaso de la Vega, and, of course, Spanish poet/playwright/novelist Miguel de Cervantes died in 1616.
By the way, it was also the deathday of Catalan writer Josep Pla in 1981 as well as the birthday of Icelandic writer Haldor K.Laxness in 1902 (who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1955), French novelist Maurice Druon in 1918, and Colombian writer/journalist Manuel Mejía Vallejo in 1923.
Here, the International Book Day was celebrated for a week. And Instituto Cervantes Manila -- in cooperation with the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines, Ministerio de Cultura de España, Spanish Agency International Cooperation for Development (AECID), Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, Filipino-Spanish Friendship Day, Light Rail Transit Authority, Icon Graphics, among others -- did it our way. Via the Jeepney Poetry Tour! Together with world-famous Spanish poet José Luis Gómez Toré who flew from Europe, we travelled with Filipino poets Mookie Katigbak, Jose Lacaba, Marra Lanot, Ramon Sunico, Joel Toledo, and Alfred Yuson. Mike Coroza was present and Teo Antonio was absent. So they convinced us to face Mike in a friendly poetic debate or balagtasan. How can we say no to an innovative reading campaign that bagged the very prestigious Anvil Award of Merit – for Educational Public Relations Program on a sustained basis -- in the 45th Anvil Awards Competition! Yes, the keyword is “sustained.” Since three years ago, Berso sa Metro had been there at the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metrostar Express (MRT3) and had done the showcasing of Spanish poems with their Filipino translations. “Since October 2007, commuters taking the metro have been receiving their daily dose of Spanish poetry. With the combination of our Spanish heritage, Filipino love for poetry and the ubiquitous jeepney—this poetry tour is real innovation and true creation of culture,” says Instituto Cervantes director José Rodríguez. Anvil Awards, or the Oscars of Public Relations in the Philippines from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines, recognized such effort that aims not only “to strengthen the cultural bond between the Philippines and Spain” but also “to educate the passengers in Spanish literature through the wide array of poetic masterpieces by various Spanish, Latin American, and Filipino poets on a daily basis while riding a train.” For this year, Instituto Cervantes extended it and elected the King of the Road amidst fare hike crisis.
We had live poetry recitals in three different sites in Metro Manila while taking the jeep, or was it the jeep taking us?
Barcino Wine and Tapas Bar at The Fort offered us a hearty and heavy brunch before we could even begin our reading at A Different Bookstore in Serendra, also at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City where the theme we touched was City Life. After lunch, our two electric jeepneys with two backup vans went to Powerbooks at Greenbelt 3 in Makati City where we dealt with Memories, Dreams, and Nightmares until 6 p.m. Quezon City was our last stop when our topic was open, at last, so we opted to go political.
To vote or not vote that was the question.
And we did not dare endorse the son of the senator whose favorite song was Impossible Dream.
It came into full circle, for us, when we arrived at Magnet Gallery in Katipunan last Saturday.
Instituto Cervantes' Deputy for Cultural Affairs Jose Ma. Fons and Ito Rivera, were there for our meeting with Rock Drilon.
The said Don Quixote and Sancho Panza of Dia Del Libro witnessed us, with Mike and our instant lakandiwa, Dax Cutab, in an impromptu balagtasan during the open mic portion of Happy Monday Poetry Night's third anniversary party last March 1.
National was our language there.
Nonsensical was our issue then.
However, they still requested for a repeat this time for Berso sa Metro.
Or la poesia viaja en jeepney.
Well, it must be the crowd's cheers and jeers which did the explaining for our pasajeros from Manila to La Mancha.
Like last April 17.
From 12 noon until 12 midnight, when the performance of neo-ethnic band Kadangyan finished, this was, indeed, a good trip.
And Cultura en Manila has this Poetry in Motion blog contest for those of you who felt the same.
Teams must document their experience during the Jeepney Poetry Reading Tour. They should then create a blog featuring their unique story, the joy that poetry reading brought them. The blog must capture the excitement of the event through pictures and videos. The more exciting the entry, the bigger the chance to win.
All entries must be made available online before April 23. The entry with the highest number of online votes in combination with the selection of the Cultura team as the entry with the utmost creativity and innovation will win the Grand Prize or free Spanish courses at Instituto Cervantes (any level for each member of the winning team), set of books, and mystery prizes to be announced on Día del Libro itself, plus its official T-Shirt if you follow the following rules: (1) The contest is open to all but is limited to groups with two to three members each, teams must be either in pairs or in a trio of people. (2) Photos/videos of subjects taken during the Jeepney Poetry Reading Tour should be the main highlight but contestants can use other photos/videos that are significant to their presentation. (3) All team members should be present, at least, two out of the three venues. If all three are featured, the more points. (4) The winners (both the team and the lucky voter) will be announced at 7:30 p.m. on April 24, and they must be present to claim the prize. (5) Employees of the Instituto Cervantes and their relatives are not eligible to participate. (6) Instituto Cervantes will have the right to use any of the submitted pictures/videos, always crediting its author. For details, kindly contact Instituto Cervantes at # (632) 526 1482 or visit and
Y tú, ¿qué opinas? ¡Hasta pronto!
The ant always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.
You always have enough joy to keep your heart singing.
Enough sorrow to give you understanding,
Enough hope to enrich your vision,
Enough trials to keep you strong,
Enough leisure to refresh your spirit,
Enough love to make your world beautiful.

No comments:

Post a Comment