NCCA, CSC and DCLL Launches Buklugan Panitikan
Photo by Januar Junior B. Aguja
The National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), Cebuano Studies Center (CSC), in cooperation with the Department of Communications, Linguistics and Literature (DCLL) of the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), began its three-day event “Buklugan Panitikan” on April 4, 2019 at the Wrocklage Yard of the University of San Carlos-Downtown Campus (USC-DC).
The event is part of the nationwide activities lined-up by NCCA and KWF as April is National Literature Month, the month that celebrates Philippine literature and its subcultures.
The program began with an opening prayer written by Paulo Coelho, which was read by the director of CSC and instructor of DCLL, Dr. Hope Sabanpan-Yu. Following the invocation was the opening remarks by the chairperson of DCLL, Dr. Sunliegh Gador, Ph.D. She stated that April is not just the month of observing Holy Week or celebrating the upcoming National Youth Day but also the month to celebrate Cebuano literature and arts.
Dr. Sabanpan-Yu was then brought in to talk about the overview of the event as well as National Literature Month. She said that one of the objectives of the event is to promote the cultural growth of everyone from the field of arts. She hoped that the commission would help other people be knowledgeable about the different languages spoken in the country as they serve as “windows to other worlds” and the writers who are fluent in those languages “provide the keys to those worlds”.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to officially kickstart the event, with Dr. Gador and Dr. Sabanpan-Yu doing the honors in cutting the ribbon following their remarks.
Not soon after was a lecture about the process of creating a zine conducted by Jay Nathan Jore, a Carolinian graduate of Fine Arts who teaches visual design and art at the University of the Philippines-Cebu (UP-Cebu). He says that zines capture the sentiment of individual expression as people have their own stories to tell. Jore also encouraged the Carolinian community to set up a zine festival in USC.
The program paused with a lunch break, with attendees of the event enjoying a buffet lunch that was accompanied with musical performances by Alex Cañete and Yanni Abangan, a student from Accountancy. MJ Polinar, who is a Carolinian alumni, played the guitar alongside Abangan.
The program resumed with a dramatic reading of “Seguro ang Pancit” by Piux Kabahar. Angela Kate Villarin, Emmanuel Suarez and Aaron Bruce Clarin, freshmen students of Communications Media, participated in the reading alongside Clyde Inso Chan. Joanalyn Gabales, the director of Women in Literary Arts and the emcee of the event, explained that the stage play had a feminist theme as the protagonist attempts to overcome the male characters that were taking advantage of her. She also explained that because Kabahar is street smart, he is able to create realistic dialogue for the characters he creates.
Succeeding the dramatic reading was an open conversation between the audience and Cebuano writers and poets. Gabales, Haidee Palapar, Johanna Michelle Lim, Stray Poets Society members Miguel, Pat, Leah Atienza and Atty. Chappy Piramide of Swap Books Cebu then took turns in sharing their expertise about various forms of writing, including storytelling and poetry.
Concluding the event was an open mic activity, in which students who attended the event performed readings of their own original works as well as the works of their favorite poets.
While Dr. Yu highlighted the importance of science and technology in its involvement in nation building, she said that the role of humanities needs to strongly emphasized. She said that the organizers want “to expand the translation of [the university’s slogan] Witness to the Word to the Cebuano community” through this event. Gabales shared the same sentiment, saying that the event serves as a reminder to people that they need arts like music and literature in their lives. She also recalled when USC began with a college dedicated to academic fields of humanities,adding that a university cannot operate without humanities.
The event continues until Saturday, April 6 at the same venue with a line-up of activities that consist of workshops about performance poetry, storybook making, filmmaking as well as a second dramatic reading of “Ang Mini” by Buenaventura Rodriguez and open conversations with a different slate of Cebuano writers.