Literary Festival Helps Broaden Cebuano Literature
Photo by Gifthir Elmido
Culture is something a city cherishes, especially if it defines its uniqueness. Cebu has lately been emerging into the arts culture, which comprises of music and literature. Little do some Cebuanos know that Cebu holds local, talented writers whose names have gone unsung. These local talents were given the opportunity to share their talents in this year’s Litfest.
The second Litfest was held in the New Wing of Ayala Center Cebu on June 20, 2015, co-produced by Little Boy Productions and the university’s Cebuano Studies Center and sponsored by Happy Garaje, Ayala, Marco Polo, Center Suites, Shakey’s, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Happy Lemon.
Hendri Go of Little Boy Productions stated that he was inspired with Litfest by other literary festivals he witnessed abroad, and adding that it would be wonderful it Cebu had its very own.
This event featured various activities, such as discussions on local literature, poetry and writing, which were hosted by local writers. Panel discussions included teaching literature in Philippine schools, writing in one’s local tongue and coming out. These activities allowed the speakers to interact with the audience through question and answer sessions.
Notable people contributed in the panel discussions by narrating about their journeys and their engagements in the literary culture. Jessica Zafra, a Manila-based satirical writer, gave her talk on her upcoming travel book and her long journey through the path of literature. Carlos Celdran, an activist, spoke about his Intramuros adventures and experiences inside and outside the Philippines, where his discussion on his rebellious acts kept the audience entertained.
The literary fest became livelier with the activities Pechakucha, a 20 slide presentation lasting 20 seconds each, which presented speakers Francis Sollano, Atty. Grace Lopez, Darwin Dexter Sy, Boboi Custas, and Mark Deustch, and a story telling activity entitled Folk Fiction that gave the chance for storytellers over 20 to narrate their piece on stage. In between segments, Therese Villarante and Jerika Teodorico serenaded the crowd with musical compositions.
Local literature can be diverse, but what makes local literature unique is when it has its own identity, and thanks to the many panel discussions and storytelling, Litfest was able to show that Cebuano literature is distinctive.