Press Release – Written by Jessel S. Basanta (Tuesday, 24 May 2011)
Acquiring inspiration from Sùanoy Bikol literature, the An Banwa: Kultura buda Arte kan Tabaco, Incorporated (ABKAT Inc.) (The Town: Culture and Arts of Tabaco) under the benefaction of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), held a three-day Albay Writers Workshop to channel an influx of Albay-Bikol Literature.
Thirteen budding Albayano writers underwent an earnest critiquing of their works in rawit-dawit (poetry), osipon (short story) and dula (play) in Tabaco City last May 20-22, 2011.
Underpinning the importance of form, style, and imagery, members of the panel comprised by locally renowned poet-writer Jun Rafael Belgica, literature professor Dr. Paz Verdades Santos, multi-awarded contemporary Bikolano writer Jose Jason Chancoco and locally renowned journalist-broadcaster-professor-poet Raffi Banzuela, provided their expertise on Bikol Literature.
“Magsurat sana, dae magtonong (Keep writing, and never give up),” Belgica enthused during the colloquium, citing that Bikol Literature is unique [and] beautiful so every writer should help in nurturing it.
Prof. Banzuela likewise emphasized the need for writers to study Albay literature and to never forget the beautiful legacies of their ancestors.
The locally renowned poet-journalist expressed dismay in the manner that non-Bikolanos were the ones who published the Bikol Dictionary such as Malcolm W. Mintz, Jose Del Rosario Britanico, and Jason Lobel.
“Dakulaon tabi ining oportunidad para sa satuya gabos na mamuklat an satuyang mata sa yaman kan satuyang kultura, sa gayon kan satuyang literatura, (This is a huge opportunity for us to see the richness of our culture, through the beauty of our literature),” Banzuela said. He added, everyone should provide a lending hand, every Albayano writer should strive to nurture the local literature.
The Fellows admitted to the first Albay Writers Workshop were Arlan Alzaga, Jessel Basanta, Marnel Bataller, Juliet Barboza, Vilma Barrameda, Leticia Catalan, Allaine Imperial, Frnaces Jetomo, Saturnino Macasinag, Jr., Sarah Pauline Namia, Ma. Salve Rosal, Franacis Gerard Toscano, Francis Candaza, Vicente Olavario and Jovert Balunsay.
Workshop Director Jimple Borlagdan urged the fellows to sustain the workshop ethos and conduct similar activities in their respective cities/municipalities.
Meanwhile, ABKAT is looking forward to publishing the submitted works of the fellows with the patronage of the local government of Tabaco City.
P.S.: The fellows, after having completed the workshop, have been automatically admitted as members of Albayanong Parasurat.