Festival of the Dead: Three Poems by Noel G. de Leon

Festival of the Dead: Three Poems by Noel Galon de Leon

Festival of the Dead (Hiligaynon)

Iselebrar naton ang kaalam sang mga ginpapungko naton sa gobyerno!

Tion ini kon sa diin dapat nagapasalamat kita sa Dios

Nga ginhatagan Niya kita sang mga maalam nga opisyales.

Panginbulahan naton ang kasagad sang aton mga lider, napinsaran

Nila ang mga proyekto, parehas sang Guimaras Umbrella Festival,

Matuod-tuod nga sabat sa sakit sang balatyagon sang mga namatyan sa trahedya.

Dayawon, kag dapat lang nga ipabugal ang aton mga lider,

Kapin pa ang presidente nga padayon nga ginahimo ang iya obra

Bilang presidente sang taggumatayon naton nga pungsod Filipinas.

Maghimo pa kita sang madamo nga festival, siguraduhon naton nga representasyon

Ini sang aton kultura bilang mga Filipino: buhi, buta sang kolor, kag makawiwili

Samtang ang kalabanan sang mga crewmen sang pump boat, mga bolante,

Kag ang mga bata kag istudyante, padayon nga uhaw sa ila

Tumanduk nga baybay, gutom sa ila nga lupa, wala sing itanum,

Kag ang garok sang tyan ipalupu lang anay.

Kon ako mangin presidente, may pinasahi ako nga proyekto

Nga akon gid ipapasar, tudluan ko mangkali ang mga bata, indi

Mang-arado, kalihon nila ang lupa nga ginatindugan

Sang mga hulam nila nga balay, kag didto sila dululungan ilubong,

Tudluan ko maglangoy ang mga bata, pasalumon hasta

Sa pusud sang baybay hasta nga lamunon sila sang mga tinuga

Nga bisan ang mga maalam sa kadagatan indi makahatag ngalan.

Panginbulahan naton ang bag-ong Guimaras Umbrella Festival,

Ang pinakanami kag ginpaminsaran nga proyekto sang gobyerno

Kay bwas nga adlaw, may bag-o naman kita nga paabuton nga selebrasyon.

Festival of the Dead (Filipino)

Magdiwang tayo sa talino ng ating mga inihalal sa gobyerno!

Ito ang panahon na dapat ay nagpapasalamat tayo sa Diyos,

Dahil binigyan niya tayo ng matatalinong lingkod-bayan.

Ipagbunyi natin ang husay ng ating mga lider, naiisip

Nila ang mga proyektong tulad ng Guimaras Umbrella Festival,

Tunay na sagot sa kasawian ng mga naulila ng trahedya.

Saludo, at dapat lang na maging proud tayo sa ating mga lider,

Lalo na sa ating presidente na patuloy na ginagawa ang kaniyang tungkulin

Bilang presidente ng ating naghihingalong bansa, ang Filipinas!

Gumawa tayo ng marami pang festival, at siguraduhing representasyon

Ng ating kultura bilang Filipino: Makulay, buhay, at nakaaaliw

Habang ang marami sa mga crewmen ng pump boat, bolante,

At mga bata’t estudyante ay patuloy na inuuhaw sa sarili nilang

Karagatan, nagugutom sa sarili nilang lupa, walang maitanim,

At ang kalam ng sikmura ay pwedeng isantabi, muna.

Kapag ako ang naging presidente, may pinasahi akong proyekto

Na ipapasa, tuturuan kong magbungkal ang mga bata, hindi ko sila

Tuturuang magsaka, bubungkalin nila ang lupang kinatitirikan

Ng mga hiram nilang bahay, at doon ililibing sila ng sabay-sabay.

Tuturuan kong lumangoy ang mga bata, pasisisirin hanggang

Sa pusod ng dagat hanggang sa lamunin sila ng mga lamang-dagat

Na hindi kailanman mapangangalanan ng mga eksperto ng dagat.

Magdiwang tayo sa bago nating Guimaras Umbrella Festival,

Ang pinakamatalino at pinag-isipang proyekto ng ating gobyerno

Dahil bukas may bago na naman tayong sasalubinging pista.

Festival of the Dead (English)

Let us celebrate the wise men we chose for the government

This is the time to thank God

For the sensible public servants He gave us.

Let us celebrate the way our leaders think

Of projects like the Guimaras Umbrella Festival,

The true remedy for the unfortunate victims of the tragedy.

Salute, and proud we should be of our leaders

More so of our president who continuously does his job

As the father of this dying country, the Filipinas!

Let’s make more festivals, and make sure they represent

Our culture of Filipinos: vibrant, alive, and entertaining

While most of our pump boat crewmen, local vendors,

The children, and the students still thirst in their own

Sea, famish in their own lands, with nothing to plant,

Choosing to forget the pangs of hunger for now.

If I become the president, I have a unique project

To implement: to teach children how to dig. I will not teach them

To farm, for they will till the ground

Where their borrowed homes stand, and that is where they will be buried together.

I will teach children to swim, and dive

To the deepest part of the sea until they are swallowed by sea creatures

That remain unnamed, even by the smartest experts of the sea.

Let us celebrate our new Guimaras Umbrella Festival,

The best and well-thought-out project of our government

Because tomorrow, we have yet another festival to look forward to.

Welcome to Guimaras (Hiligaynon)

Gina-abi-abi ang tanan nga turista

Sa amon nga probinsya, diri indi lang

Matam-is ang paho, pati ang yuhom

Sang mga Guimarasnon ginasubayan.

May istorya ako, diri sa amon isla

Indi namon apin ang baybay, kundi kontra.

Paano ginlamon sini bilog

Ang isa ka pumpboat nga puno sang paho.

Kanugon! Ibaligya pa man tani

Sa manggaranon nga Intsik sa downtown

Agod makabakal sang bugas, gatas,

Ukon bulong sang bata, mal-am sa balay.

Gina-abi-abi ang tanan nga turista

Sa amon nga probinsya, diri indi lang

Isa ang pista, ang ginaselebrar

Indi lang ang katam-is sang paho.

May istorya ako, importante para sa amon

Ang payong, amo gani nga napinsaran sang amon gobyerno

Nga maghimo sang bag-o nga festival

Pagatawgon nga Guimaras Umbrella Festival.

Bongga! Amo ini ang sabat sa gutom sa isla

Ari na ang bulong nga makapaayo

Sa sakit nga dulot sa mga namatyan, may

Istorya ako. Indi ini parte sa paho.

Welcome to Guimaras (Filipino)

Gina-abi-abi ang lahat ng turista

Sa aming probinsya, dito hindi lang

Matamis ang mangga, maging ang ngiti

Ng mga Guimarasnon ay nilalanggam.

May kuwento ako, dito sa aming isla

Hindi namin kakampi ang dagat, kaaway

Paano ba nama’y nilamon nito nang buo

Ang isang pumpboat na puno ng mangga.

Sayang! Ibibenta pa naman sana

Sa mayamang Intsik sa downtown,

Upang makabili ng bigas, gatas,

O gamot ng bata at matanda sa bahay.

Gina-abi-abi ang lahat ng turista

Sa aming probinsya, dito hindi lang

Isa ang festival, hindi lang mangga

Ang aming ginaselebrar.

May kuwento ako, importante para sa amin

Ang umbrella, kaya ang naisip ng aming

Gobyerno magtatag ng bagong festival

Tatawaging Guimaras Umbrella Festival.

Bongga! Ito ang sagot sa gutom ng isla.

Narito na ang gamot na magpapagaling

Sa sakit at kirot ng mga naulila, mayroon

Akong kuwento, hindi ito tungkol sa mangga.

Welcome to Guimaras (English)

Welcome, tourists,

To our province, where mangoes

Are not the only things that are sweet, but also the smiles

Of Guimarasnon that lure the ants.

Let me tell you a story. Here in our island

The sea is not our friend, but a foe

It swallowed a pump boat

Full of mangoes whole.

What a waste! It should have been sold

To the rich Chinese in downtown,

To buy rice, milk,

And medicine for the children and elders back at home.

Welcome, tourists,

To our province, where there isn’t

Only one festival, and mangoes

Are not the only thing celebrated.

Let me tell you a story of an umbrella that

Is so important to us that our government thought

Of putting up a new festival

To be called the Guimaras Umbrella Festival.

Bongga! A real remedy to the hunger in the island.

Here is a dose of medicine to heal

The pain and devastation of the victims. I have

A story to tell, and this is not about the mangoes.

Guimaras Umbrella Festival (Hiligaynon)

Tabi-tabi phowz

Pila ang magasto magbakal sang payong?

Diin kwaon ang kwarta nga ibakal sang payong?

San-o himuon ang procurement sang payong?

Tabi-tabi phowz

Ano kapag-on ang mga payong?

Hasta san-o magamit ang mga payong?

May 2nd Guimaras Umbrella Festival ayhan?

Tabi-tabi phowz

Sin-o ayhan ang nakapinsar sang amo sini nga proyekto?

Linti. Gin-una pa ang pagbakal kang payong

Kaysa sa kandila kag pangamuyo para sa mga nagkalamatay.

Tabi-tabi phowz

Multuhon tani kamo sang baybay.

Lamunon tani kamo sang duta.

Kag isuka sang inyo mismo nga konsensya.

Guimaras Umbrella Festival (Filipino)

Tabi-tabi pohwz.

Magkano ang gagastosin sa pagbili ng umbrella?

Saan kukunin ang perang pambili ng umbrella?

Kailan gagawin ang procurement ng umbrella?

Tabi-tabi pohwz.

Gaano katibay ang mga umbrella?

Hanggang kailan magagamit ang mga umbrella?

Magkakaroon ba ng 2nd Guimaras Umbrella Festival?

Tabi-tabi pohwz.

Sino ang nakaisip ng ganitong programa?

Linti. Inuna pa ang pagbili ng umbrella,

Kesa sa kandila at panalangin ng mga naulila.

Tabi-tabi pohwz.

Multuhin sana kayo ng dagat.

Lamunin ng lupa.

At isuka ng inyong mga konsensya.

Guimaras Umbrella Festival (English)

Tabi-tabi phowz

How much will one spend to buy an umbrella?

Where will the money come from to buy this umbrella?

When will the procurement be made for the umbrella?

Tabi-tabi phowz

How sturdy are the umbrellas?

Until when can we use the umbrellas?

Will there be a 2nd Guimaras Umbrella Festival?

Tabi-tabi phowz

Who thought of this project?

Linti! You think of buying umbrellas

Instead of candles and prayers for the victims.

Tabi-tabi phowz

May you be haunted by the sea.

Swallowed by the ground.

And disowned by your own conscience.

21 October 2019

UP Visayas

IMBF 2019: BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE

ABOUT THE ILOILO MEGA BOOK FAIR 2019

The Iloilo Mega Book Fair (IMBF), launched in 2018, is a Hubon Manunulat, Book Latte, JCI Metro Iloilo, Ateneo de Manila University and Kasingkasing Press initiative aimed at gathering annually West Visayan scholars in the fields of education, literary tourism, and creative industry.

This also aimed to discuss and promote the participation of scholars, artists, and writers, and to emphasize their key positions as cultural producers in the developing literary tourism in Western Visayas and in preserving West Visayan cultures.

The first Iloilo Mega Book Fair was held at the Festive Mall Iloilo on 8-11 November 2018. The book fair brought scholars, artists, and authors to promote and discuss the knowledge that comes from books produced locally, the publication history in Western Visayas, and the emerging art culture in Iloilo City.

The book fair laid emphasis on the importance of local communities as consumer of our own cultural knowledge and cultural discoveries.

The second Iloilo Mega Book Fair is once again happening on 8-11 November 2019. This time in partnership with the City Tourism Office of Iloilo, Iloilo City Public Library, Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), and Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA) to acknowledge the importance of collaboration with the local public government institutions and other private sectors.

This year’s Iloilo Mega Book Fair’s theme is “Labaw sa Aton Kaugalingon” (Beyond Ourselves), which highlights literature in all aspects including children’s rights, teachers and librarian education, history, heritage, film, comics, food culture, environment, and artists’ rights. For questions and inquiries, you can reach us via email at kasingkasingpress@gmail.com

IMBF 2019: Organizers, Speakers, Workshop Facilitators, and Partner Volunteers

Organizers

CRISTINA ESTORQUE

Project Director

NOEL GALON DE LEON

Project Manager

OSMOND H. RUBINOS

Program Coordinator

ALLYN MAY CANJA

Lead Officer,

Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art

EARLY SOL A. GADONG

Chair, #ZineZoned: Iloilo Zine Fest

MICHAEL CAESAR TUBAL

Chair, Media and Communication Committee

MIA REYES

Chair, Iloilo Comic Book Day

KAT ASTRID

Chair, Cosplay Competition

GIL S. MONTINOLA

Chair, Workshop and Creative Consultant

Speakers

KAT ASTRID

LGBTQ Young Adult Literature

ALLAN A. DERAIN

National and Regional Literature

ELVERT BAÑARES

West Visayan Films

ISIDORO M. CRUZ

Literary Criticism

MELECIO F. TURAO

Poetry (English)

FELINO S. GARCIA, JR.

Fiction (Hiligaynon)

MICHAEL M. COROZA

Children’s Literature

GENEVIEVE L. ASENJO

West Visayan Literature

MARIE IRISH G. INOCETO

LGBTQ Rights

JOHN IREMIL E. TEODORO

Kinaray-a Literature

FERDINAND PISIGAN JARIN

Creative Non-Fiction

MA ROSALIE ABETO ZERRUDO

Art in the Communities

Workshop Facilitators

MIA REYES

Indie Comic Workshop

ERU VILLARTA

Watercolor Workshop

DENISE MARIE SILVA

Calligraphy Workshop

GIL S. MONTINOLA

Illustrator’s Workshop

MELECIO F. TURAO

Poetry Workshop

Partner Volunteers

NESSA NUEGA

ORLAND SOLIS

ZHARINA LUGO

SHAREBE EROY

PATRICIA DEPRA

ALIZA CARMONA

JICA MARIE DIAZ

CHELCIE P. PAHILA

MARY HOPE ABILO

NICOLE EDULZURA

JENNELYN MEÑOSO

KAREN CLYDE PAMA

PHILLIPPE T. HIÑOSA

JUNE IVAN GUMBAN

DANIELLE REGALADO

CHERIE IZZY AZARCON

RICHELLE MAE TABIGNE

KATHLEEN FRUGALIDAD

EVE ZARINA GALAMBAO

SANIB MARIE PRIMALION

PRECIOUS GRACE CALUBIRAN

JOHANNA MARIE T. LEONIDAS

Meet Our IMBF 2019 Speakers

ISIDORO M. CRUZ holds a Ph.D. in Literature from De La Salle University. He has received two National Book Awards for Literary Criticism/ Literary History from the Manila Critics Circle for Pungsod:  Damming the Nation: Region/Nation and the Global Order in Contemporary West Visayan Literature (University of San Agustin Publishing House, 2009) and for Cultural Fictions: Narratives on Philippine Popular Culture, Politics, and Literature (Libro Agustino, 2004).  He also won First Prize for Poetry in English in the 2003 Palanca Awards for his collection, “Bodies of Water” (which forms part of his book Redeeming the Body), and First Prize in the 1996 Philippine Panorama Literary Contests (Short Story) for “Chalk Dust.”   He holds the rank of Professor at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo, where he teaches literature.  He is the coordinator for West Visayas and concurrently the secretary of the National Committee on Literary Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

ALLAN DERAIN is a writer, a visual artist, and a teacher. He is the author of Iskrapbuk (shortlisted in the Madrigal First Book Award), his first book, and Ang Banal na Aklat ng   mga Kumag (Carlos Palanca Memorial Award Grand Prize, Loyola Schools Outstanding Scholarly Award, National Book Award, and Reader’s Choice Award), his first novel. He translated Guy de Maupassant’s stories in the collection Ang Kuwintas at Iba pang mga Kuwento. He was also the editor of the anthology, May Tiktik sa Bubong, May Sigbin sa Silong (Loyola Schools Outstanding Creative Work, National Book Award, and Gintong Aklat Award). The Next Great Tagalog Novel at Iba Pang Kuwento is his second and latest book (UP Press, 2019). He is also the illustrator of Isabelo de los Reyes’s book, Ang Diablo sa Filipinas, and of his own book, Ang Banal na Aklat ng mga Kumag. His first exhibit, Tagolilong: Lipon ng mga Aswang, Diablo, at Kumag, was held at Pardo de Tavera Room of Rizal Library in 2015. He currently teaches Panitikan and Malikhaing Pagsulat at the Ateneo de Manila University. He was a fellow for fiction in LIKHAAN UP National Writers Workshop. He was also a moderator of Heights and Naratibo. Currently, he is the director of the Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP). He finished his Doctorate in Filipino (Malikhaing Pagsulat) at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

GENEVIEVE L. ASENJO is full professor of literature and creative writing, research fellow with a project on the vocabulary of river in Kinaray-a, and chair of the Dept. of Literature at De La Salle University, Manila. She writes in three major Philippine languages: Kinaray-a, Hiligaynon, and Filipino. She authored five books: two short story collections, taga-uma@manila (National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2005) and Komposo ni Dandansoy (University of Santo Tomas Press, 2007); two poetry collections, Pula ang Kulay ng Text Message (University of San Agustin Press, 2006) and Sa Gihapon, Palangga, ang Uran/Always, Beloved, The Rain (Ateneo de Naga University Press, 2014), and a novel Lumbay ng Dila (C&E, 2010). She was an Honorary Writing Fellow in the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa in 2012 and Overseas Writing Fellow in Seoul, South Korea in 2009. She has received awards from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and National Commission for Culture and the Arts. In 2011, she founded Balay Sugidanun, an online platform for West Visayan literature. Her forthcoming collection is Ang Itim na Orkidyas ng Isla Boracay (The Black Orchid of Boracay Island) with the University of the Philippines Press.

ELVERT BAÑARES is an Independent Filmmaker; Multi-Disciplinary Artist and Educator. He has represented the Philippines in international film, art and design festivals and exhibitions in four continents and more than 20 countries across the globe. He is an Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) Winner; an Awardee of the Garbo sa Bisaya Award at VIVA Excon Biennale 2016; producer of two Gawad URIAN nominated films; a Gawad URIAN nominee himself and a three-time Gawad CCP Winner for Independent Film. He has championed Western Visayan Cinema, founding the Western Visayas Filmmakers Network and CineKasimanwa: Western    Visayas Film Festival, currently the country’s largest regional film fest. Since 1998, he has     programmed lesser known and regional Filipino films for international film festivals around the world. He was founder eKsperim[E]nto Festival of Film & New Media (2000-2005), one of the pioneering film festivals of its kind in Southeast Asia; and, Co-Founder and Programmer of the 1st ASEAN Film Festival. He is one of the rare underground filmmakers who has crossed-over to mainstream in 2008, working as Production Designer of TV’s longest running series “Maalaala Mo Kaya” ABS-CBN 2. This year, he is Regional Manager of the successful first Cinemalaya run in Western Visayas. Currently, he is a member of the NCCA’s National Executive Committee on Cinema and President of the Federation of Film Festivals in Western Visayas.

FERDINAND PISIGAN JARIN is the author of Anim na Sabado ng Beyblade at iba pang Sanaysay, which won a National Book Award for Nonfiction in Filipino in 2014 from the Manila Critics Circle and National Book Development Board and was a finalist for Madrigal-Gonzales First Best Book Award administered by the University of the Philippines Institute  of Creative Writing ( UP ICW ). He has published several children’s books; won three Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature ; and was a Writing Fellow for Sanaysay in both the Palihang Rogelio Sicat 5 (2012 ) and 53rd UP National Writers Workshop. Recently, he translated the novel of the French writer Jules Verne, “Journey to the Center of the Earth” in Filipino commisioned by theKomisyon ng Wikang Filipino ( KWF) and the National Commision for Culture and the Arts ( NCCA ) and became a Writing Fellow for 2016 Kritika, workshop on Art and Cutural Criticism by the Dela Salle University- Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center. At present, Jarin is a Professor at the Division of Humanities in the University of the Philippines-Visayas.

Born and raised in Bacolod City, FELINO S. GARCIA, JR. earned his B.A. History at U.P. Visayas,  Iloilo City and thereafter taught History in both its Iloilo City, and Miagao campuses.  He obtained an M.A. History Degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. He was a writing fellow to the 1st U.P. Visayas Creative Writers Workshop in 1988, the Silliman University National Writers Workshop in 1989, and the Iligan National Writers Workshop in 1993. His first poetry collection – Heartsong And Other Poems was published by Imprenta Igbaong in 2008. He has won the Palanca for his short story in Hiligaynon in 2007 – “Sa Hingapusan”.  He has published two short story collections in Hiligaynon under Central Books publications – SaPagtunod sang Adlaw: Mga Sugilanon, and Idolo: Mga Sugilanon sang Gugma kag Pagbiya. Kasinkasing PresS published  his Hiligaynon  translation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Sonetos del amor oscuro, and most recently, an anthology of Hiligaynon short stories – Nahauna nga Lalaki. Another one of his recent short story anthologies came out last July 2019 and is entitled –Delubyo, published by the CPU Press. He won the 2017 Translator’s Prize (Gawad Rolando Tinio) given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for his Filipino translation of the collection of stories written in Spanish entitled Cuentos de Juana by Adelina Gurrea Monasterio.  At present he is    Assistant Professor of History in the Division of Social Sciences, U.P. Visayas Tacloban College, Tacloban City. Email: felinog1@gmail.com.

MELECIO F. TURAO is the author of four books: A Few Inflammables, The Interior of Sleep: House Stories, Insatiable: A Literary Biography of Peter Solis Nery, and Cabinet Inventory: New Poems. He had won writing fellowships to the National Summer Writers Workshop in Dumaguete (1995) and the UP Institute of Creative Writing (1993, 2016). His works had gotten him awards from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Homelife Magazine, Philippine Panorama Magazine, as well as shortlists at the Philippines Free Magazine Annual Literary Awards. His interests center on marginal realities and the largely ignored: such as folk myths, village idiots, and cultural anomalies. His current project is a book called Talking Things.

Karen, also known as KAT ASTRID, is an author-slash-ttrpg game dev-slash-artisan. She’s part of an all-LGBT indie anthology named “Crows on Heartstrings” in 2016, composed of LGBT authors and artists from all over the world. She’s also released a variety of zines that tackles topics from magic and occult to love. Her first anthology under KasingKasing Press is “Full Circle”. She’s also the other half of the PupKat Games, creators of the newly debuted Kittens & Krakens. She is also the co-owner of a local artisan shop named Briarwood Crafts. She is currently working on several projects including her light novel “Project:Cineraria” to be co-released with the ttrpg set in the same world and podcast. She owns two cats named Sera and Bakugo.

Si JOHN IREMIL TEODORO na tubong Maybato Norte, San Jose de Buenavista, Antique ay isang premyadong manunulat sa Kinaray-a, Filipino, Hiligaynon, at Ingles. Awtor at editor siya ng mahigit dalawampung libro. Ang kalipunan ng kaniyang mga sanaysay na Pagmumuni-muni at Pagtatalak ng Sirenang Nagpapanggap na Prinsesa ay nanalo ng National Book Award mula sa Manila Critics Circle at National Book Development Board. Naging finalists din sa naturang gawad ang kaniyang libro ng mga tula na Kung ang Tula ay Pwedeng Pambili ng Lalaki at koleksiyon ng mga kritisismo na Sa Sariling Pulong: Mga Sanaysay Tungkol sa Filipino Bilang Pambansang Wika. Associate Professor siya sa Departamento ng Literatura ng De La Salle University kung saan siya rin ang Graduate Program Coordinator, at Associate for Regional Literature ng Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center. Sa kasalukuyan, siya ang sekretaryo heneral ng Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL).

ERU VILLARTA who was originally from Bulacan started as a self-taught watercolor artist. His passion for arts was initially a hobby until people started noticing the value in his works. Three years into serious painting, he was able to launch a Solo Exhibition in Manila. He moved in Iloilo way back December 2015 and was introduced to the Iloilo crowd by his soldout miniature collection “Buhay Pinoy” launched through the first Produkto Lokal fair. He’s been consistently working on commissions while focusing on his communications day-job since then. He also started engaging acrylic and digital medium more recently and he’s eyeing to launch a new collection soon.

The Iloilo Mega Book Fair (IMBF), launched in 2018, is a Hubon Manunulat, Book Latte, JCI Metro Iloilo, Ateneo de Manila University and Kasingkasing Press initiative aimed at gathering annually West Visayan scholars in the fields of education, literary tourism, and creative industry.

This also aimed to discuss and promote the participation of scholars, artists, and writers, and to emphasize their key positions as cultural producers in the developing literary tourism in Western Visayas and in preserving West Visayan cultures.

The first Iloilo Mega Book Fair was held at the Festive Mall Iloilo on 8-11 November 2018. The book fair brought scholars, artists, and authors to promote and discuss the knowledge that comes from books produced locally, the publication history in Western Visayas, and the emerging art culture in Iloilo City.

The book fair laid emphasis on the importance of local communities as consumer of our own cultural knowledge and cultural discoveries.

The second Iloilo Mega Book Fair is once again happening on 8-11 November 2019. This time in partnership with the City Tourism Office of Iloilo, Iloilo City Public Library, Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), and Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA) to acknowledge the importance of collaboration with the local public government institutions and other private sectors.

This year’s Iloilo Mega Book Fair’s theme is “Labaw sa Aton Kaugalingon” (Beyond Ourselves), which highlights literature in all aspects including children’s rights, teachers and librarian education, history, heritage, film, comics, food culture, environment, and artists’ rights.

For questions and inquiries, you can reach us via email at kasingkasingpress@gmail.com  

Why You Should Support West Visayan Writers: Road to the 2nd Iloilo Mega Book Fair

If one may scan through the archives of our literature in Western Visayas, we may be able to discover that there is actually a lot that we are missing. A long list of literary materials had been written in the past, stored in the deep corners of libraries that people no longer visit. This, if we may say, is a treachery to our heritage. We are endowed with so much to read and discover but had constantly disregarded the importance of these written works.

The establishment of Kasingkasing Press in 2015 marked a major milestone in the regional literary scene. It opened doors of opportunity to the local writers for their works to be published and to be heard. But where is the public when local writers celebrate the birth of their books? They are not interested.

In addition, local publication struggles to elbow their way to the readers with the dominance of capital-oriented bookstores that continue to promote the ideology of the mainstream reading language. Furthermore, with the inevitable rise of technology in this generation, the young readers became programmed to be dependent on screens and may no longer appreciate the physical form of books. Few remain to enjoy the smell of a newly-opened book and the physicality of actual pages. As a result, the regional literary scene became a marginalized group of determined writers and artists, and the local literary materials are reduced to mere learning materials in school, which, in reality, does not promote appreciation but just treated as a mere requirement.

For instance, the powerful poem of Milagros Geremia-Lanchica, entitled Lupa kag Baybay sa Pinggan, is barely even known, much more read, by her own people in Antique. Local literature is seemingly almost non-existent to the majority. Lucky are the writers, artists, teachers, and students who have immersed themselves in these literary materials for they are aware of the treasures they possess in their hands.

There is an apparent need to raise awareness among the contemporary generation on and recognition of the great West Visayan authors and their exemplary works.  Promoting local literature is still a challenge because, despite the growing number of writers in the region, the public is oblivious of the literary wealth Western Visayas holds. Appreciating and promoting local literature is to embrace local knowledge, perpetuate cultural traditions, and most importantly, to use and appreciate local languages.

Thus, the first Iloilo Mega Book Fair was initiated last November 2018. The event was organized through a collaboration between Kasingkasing Press, Book Latte, and Hubon Manunulat. It was established mainly to promote reading culture among Ilonggos and shift the rich local literature of the region to the mainstream. The event brought together writers and artists from all over the region to share their love for art and to call for promotion.

One may say this is a continued legacy of the prolific Ilonggo writers in the past carried over by prominent writers like Ramon L. Muzones, Conrado J. Norada, Agustin Misola, Quirino B. Baterna, Leoncio P. Deriada, Ma. Luisa S. Defante-Gibraltar, Alice Tan Gonzales, Nilo P. Pamonag, Crisostomo B. Balairos, Resureccion G. Hidalgo, Alain Russ Dimzon, and several others, who made possible the transition from classic to contemporary Hiligaynon texts. Despite its rich history and development, Hiligaynon literature, and local literature in general, had been struggling for appreciation and usage outside of the literary scene and academics.

For Kinaray-a, the establishment of local literature was pioneered by the likes of Alex C. Delos Santos, Maria Milagros Geremia Lanchica, Ma. Felicia Flores and other Karay-a writers, paving the way for emerging young writers of the language.

Today, contemporary writers in Western Visayas inherited the responsibility to continue the call for recognition, appreciation, and usage of local literature. The Hubon Manunulat in Iloilo, comprised of Gil S. Montinola, Early Sol A. Gadong, Noel Galon de Leon, Dulce Maria V. Deriada, Norman T. Darap and other young Hiligaynon writers, have been in an attempt to institutionalize local writing and promote local literature in Iloilo. The next generation of Kinaray-a writers, which includes John Iremil E. Teodoro Glenn S. Mas and Genevieve L. Asenjo, brought more attention to Kinaray-a literature by exposing the language to a national level, which in turn, helped develop the love for writing among Antiqueños through language-inclusivity in national and regional workshops.

Akeanon literature, which had been quiet since, is now starting to make a name for itself with the help of Akeanon writers like Melchor F. Cichon, John E. Barrios, and Alexander de Juan.

More than just a promotional event, the Iloilo Mega Book Fair initiates to be an avenue where the public would have a wider grasp of local literature and develop in them the appreciation for local books and works. Books by local authors published by local publications are actually intended to the local audience. To keep the local literary scene alive and the local publishing industry sustained, people should start reading again. And not just random books, but the local works that speak the local languages and convey narratives of local traditions. People should start scanning libraries for classic texts and discover the diverse and wide-range local literature we have.

Local literature have been struggling to survive since. It may perhaps be alive in the academe but it is still not as often used as it should be. Existing archives are neglected by the public and it takes a determined initiative and expansive support to keep local literature not just alive but thriving.

The upcoming Iloilo Mega Book Fair 2019 on November 8-11 calls for this support. Participation is encouraged among writers and artists and appreciation from the general public. Buy books of our local writers, read them, immerse in the local languages, and be part of the reading public that the region needs.

We love to hear your comments on this article. Please feel free to email the Publisher at kasingkasingpress@gmail.com or message us in our Facebook page: Kasingkasing Press.

Is Hiligaynon a Dying Language? (Road to the 2nd Iloilo Mega Book Fair 2019)

When a language dies, it carries with it the essence of a culture, the unique and distinct sound of its identity, and the rich oral literature that perfectly captures the past and that tells rich narratives of the people who speaks that language.

When one thinks of literature, it is immediately assumed that it is boring. Dragging. Just stories that have already been told a thousand times. When one sees a book, we push it away, imagining the long, tiny lines that we have to go through to get its essence. And when one enters a library, we typically choose the least-paged books so that we will get over it quick. This is true for the majority of people and only a few will disagree. This is because we have come to despise reading, much more read a literary material in our local language.

The only time Ramon Muzones, Anghel Magahum, and Magdalena Jalandoni would be read is probably when one of their works is a reading requirement. The only instance people would get to know Leoncio Derianda is probably when they have read his works in magazines or if students research about his well-written works because it is a term paper. And one would only get to know Alice Tan-Gonzales if by chance, you have come across one of her Palanca-winning works. These Ilonggo writers are only well-known among their peers, inside the literary circle, or to few people who reads Ilonggo literature. In reality, however, these writers are barely known to the general public. The most notable reason for this is because there are not much readers in Iloilo who read local literature.

Hiligaynon literature was the first to develop in Panay. Hiligaynon writers were already writing and garnering recognition for themselves even several decades ago. As the lingua franca of Panay, Hiligaynon was used by the elite who were very much into literature. As it developed, more writers have emerged to continue writing in Hiligaynon and it became an official language eligible for the Carlos Palanca Memorial  Awards for Literature.

Hiligaynon literature have thrived and developed  over the years. Contemporary writers established names for themselves. In 2015, Kasingkasing Press, a local publishing house based in Guimaras, opened to cater the need for support of local writers. It was a major milestone for the regional writers in Western Visayas since publication has now become accessible to them. The publishing house was also an initiator of several big literary events in the region, such as: the ZineZoned, the Iloilo zine festival; the Magsugilanonay Kita: West Visayan Mother Tongue Books Summit; and the Iloilo Mega Book Fair.

The University of San Agustin also hosts the San Ag Writer’s Workshop, which started on 2003, whose aim is to help emerging writers, not just from Western Visayas, to be part of growing literary circles in the country. Several Ilonggo writers have also gained recognition from award-giving bodies in the country. More young and emerging writers from Iloilo are also gradually writing their way to the limelight.

As a language that has a developed literary identity and numerous promising writers to carry its legacy, Hiligaynon is far from dying. As a matter of fact, it may never die at all. The road that lies ahead of it is only going forward and even beyond that.

Many Ilonggo writers carry Hiligaynon in their writings. With the establishment of literary groups and institutions in Iloilo, the language will develop further. It will reach a far wider audience and readership and its natural beauty, along with the testified works of past writers, will entice more people to write.

In the upcoming Iloilo Mega Book Fair in November, Ilonggos will witness a huge wave of artists and writers flood the city. These artists and writer will be there to promote local literature and will be persistent with this cause. For in this cause is where their artmaking thrive, and artists, naturally fueled with passion, will channel through their art the demand for a bigger mark in a city and in a population that seemed to have forgotten the glory of literature and artistry, that seemed to have neglected the role of art in the foundation of their humanity, and that seemed to have failed in seeing the importance of literature in their core as Ilonggos.

These artists demand your attention, your appreciation, and your support. They are carrying your heritage, the responsibility that should be shared by the entire Iloilo. To speak Hiligaynon is not enough to perpetuate its glory. It is with writing and performance that we truly see its full beauty and its development, far from being dead.

One way to support this cause is to come to the 2nd IloIlo Mega Book Fair on November 8-11, 2019 and support our artists. They are your artists.

We love to hear your comments on this article. Please feel free to email the Publisher at kasingkasingpress@gmail.com or message us in our Official Facebook Page: Kasingkasing Press (https://www.facebook.com/KasingkasingPress/?ref=br_rs)

ABOUT THE ILOILO MEGA BOOK FAIR 2019

The Iloilo Mega Book Fair (IMBF), launched in 2018, is a Hubon Manunulat, JCI Metro Iloilo, and Kasingkasing Press initiative aimed at gathering annually West Visayan scholars in the fields of education, literary tourism, and creative industry.

This also aimed to discuss and promote the participation of scholars, artists, and writers, and to emphasize their key positions as cultural producers in the developing literary tourism in Western Visayas and in preserving West Visayan cultures.

The first Iloilo Mega Book Fair was held at the Festive Mall Iloilo on 8-11 November 2018. The book fair brought scholars, artists, and authors to promote and discuss the knowledge that comes from books produced locally, the publication history in Western Visayas, and the emerging art culture in Iloilo City.

The book fair laid emphasis on the importance of local communities as consumer of our own cultural knowledge and cultural discoveries.

The second Iloilo Mega Book Fair is once again happening on 8-11 November 2019. This time in partnership with the City Tourism Office of Iloilo, Iloilo City Public Library, Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), and Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA) to acknowledge the importance of collaboration with the local public government institutions and other private sectors.

This year’s Iloilo Mega Book Fair’s theme is “Labaw sa Aton Kaugalingon” (Beyond Ourselves), which highlights literature in all aspects including children’s rights, teachers and librarian education, history, heritage, film, comics, food culture, environment, and artists’ rights.

For questions and inquiries, you can reach us via email at kasingkasingpress@gmail.com  

AGITOY West Visayan Gay Literature Sampler (Noel G. de Leon, Editor)

BLURBS FROM THE EDITOR

Short Stories. Included in this collection are some of the best Western Visayan writers. The four stories that can be read in this chapbook may be considered as the writers’ significant contribution not only to the field of regional literature but also to the ongoing discussion in understanding the issues of identity and gender in the community. This chapbook does not attempt to prescribe what is wrong or right with regard to the issues. Instead, it mirrors and describes the lives of the agi in and out, as well as in the space, of Western Visayas─ the agi who continue to communicate their experiences to the public in the most creative way of writing.

Poetry. Here are some of the most fearless voices among West Visayan writers. The poems mirror not only the  writers’ craftsmanship in language, but also their awakened sensibilities in tackling social issues such as  kaagian. May the voices and the poems in this collection serve as guide to understanding ourselves, the others, and our nation. May   these poems make way for the literature from the region to continue to thrive, while at the same time recognize and respect gender and identity.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

I gratefully acknowledge the following, who contributed trust, support, time, and other forms of assistance, without which this chapbook would not have been possible: Norman T. Darap, Jesus C. Insilada, Bryan Mari Argos, Winston C. Gallo, Michael Caesar Tubal, Elsed Togonon, Macky    Torrechilla, Julbert Paloma, Reyson Peralta Samulde, Jan Rae Aguilos, O Pomar Sabido, Pietros Val R. Patricio, Rei Hontanar, Ken Lerona, Marvin Monfort, Gaga Rang, Alex C. Delos Santos, Kevin Pison Piamonte, John Iremil E. Teodoro,    Felino S. Garcia, Jr., Gil S. Montinola, and Daisy Fillo.

Agi, agi may putay sa dahi by Alex C. Delos Santos is   included in Agi, agi may putay sa dahi  (Hiraya Media Arts, 2006).  Ang Sto. Nino na Walang Ulo by John Iremil E. Teodoro is included in Bubon (University of San Agustin Publishing House, 2006). Sa Pagtunod sang Adlaw by Felino S. Garcia, Jr. is included in Sa Pagtunod sang Adlaw (Central Book Supply, Inc., 2011).

They are reprinted here with the permission of the authors.

THE EDITOR

Noel Galon de Leon lives and works as a teacher of Filipino and Creative Writing in the Visayas. He is based in Iloilo City where he is a member of the faculty of UP Visayas, Iloilo City Campus. He previously won a prize for his poetry in the 2018 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and his work has appeared in local and national literary magazines and journals.

Iloilo Mega Book Fair 2019

Iloilo Mega Book Fair 2019

27-29 September 2019  .  Festive Walk Mall Iloilo

Publishers and writers who wish to join may reserve a slot with project manager

Noel Galon de Leon by calling/texting 0919.315.6752 or sending an email to

kasingkasingpress@yahoo.com or kasingkasingpress@gmail.com.

Please be ready to email your project proposal or letter of intent to join the book fair.

Kilitaay kita tanan!