It is Viva Europa time once again! Allow us to ignite the fire and passion in your hearts as the European Union brings back “Bersong Euro-Pinoy” on 21 May at 6pm in Zamboanga.
The fire and fervour of European verses coupled with Chavacano and other languages from Southern Philippines continue this May through this literary festival.
The EU Delegation to the Philippines has worked in tandem with the Embassies of Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Instituto Cervantes Manila, France, the Philippine-Italian Association, Austria, Poland, Finland and Ateneo de Zamboanga University.
Dubbed “Con Buen Amistad,” or “Friendship and Partnership”, this poetry recital (Verses Versus the Virus) will be streamed live at the FB page of the EU Delegation to the Philippines:
European Union Ambassador Luc Véron, a patron and lover of literature himself, said that Bersong Euro-Pinoy will provide a platform for European and Filipino poets and literary enthusiasts to better understand and appreciate each other’s culture and to strengthen people-to-people links between and among Europeans and Filipinos.
With the “new normal” being in place, this cultural journey is even easier.
A brainchild of Instituto Cervantes, it used to be held under the framework of “Dia del Libro” gathering all diplomats and literary enthusiasts from among the members of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, EU member states’ embassies and cultural institutes.
EU and Ateneo de Zamboanga University Partnership
Literary luminaries from Zamboanga and Mindanao will read their pieces also in the mother tongue: M.J. Cagumbay Tumamac, poet in Hiligaynon, Southern Mindanao, Awardee of Makata ng Taon 2019; Sigrid Gayangos, poet in Chabacano, Zamboanga City/Dumaguete City, Awardee of Palanca Award 2018; and Errol Merquita, a recipient of Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (2011, 2015, 2017) and Satur Apoyon Writing Contest (2010), for fiction in Cebuano and poetry for children in Filipino.
These poets were mobilized by the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, this year’s academic partner along with De La Salle University.
“The Ateneo de Zamboanga University is very grateful to be part of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines’ Poetry Recital this year. In these trying times, we need words that build, words that bring comfort, words that heal, and this literary event provides that. Let us continue to seek inspiration from friendships that flourish, and celebrate our freedom to collectively rise above difficulties”, said Fr Karel San Juan, President of Ateneo de Zamboanga University.
Errol Merquita will read his original poem Pangamuyo sa Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga (sa padayong pagbakwit ug kagubot) with English translation by Ralph Semino Galán, Entreaty from Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga (On the continuing evacuation and chaos);
Sigrid Marianne Gayangos will read his poem Cuando ya busca yo con el maga palabra with English translation by Floraime Oliveros Pantaleta (When I was searching for the words);
MJ Tumamac will read his poem Pabay-an nga magbalhas sang nana ang ginasugba nga indangan which he translated into English (Let pus drip from the surgeonfish sweating on the grill).
Literary Masterpieces Around the EU
Norac’s work has been translated into 47 languages. His bilingual children's book "My Daddy is a Giant" appeared in Tagalog-English in 2005. In 2009, Norac received the Grand Prix de la Société des Gens De Lettres. He will recite his original works: "Pour Marcel Moreau" - For Marcel Moreau, his friend who is a Belgian writer too and who has unfortunately recently passed away and "Pour Mustafa, pour Mustafa Kör" (For Mustafa, for Mustafa Kör), a poem dedicated to Mustafa Kör who will in fact succeed him in January 2022 as a National Poet.
Luis García Montero (Granada, 1958) is the General Director of the Instituto Cervantes since 2018. Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Granada (Spain), he held various positions such as the director of the Secretariat for University Extension. Poet, narrator and essayist, he has received, among others, the Adonáis Poetry Prize (1982), the National Literature Prize (1994), the National Critics Prize (2003), the Madrid Booksellers Guild Prize (2009), the Poets Prize del Mundo Latino (Mexico, 2010), Ramón López Velarde Award (Mexico, 2017), Parallel 0 Award (Ecuador, 2018) or Carlo Betocchi Literary Award (Italy, 2020).
La Punta della Lingua” is an international festival, based in Ancona, Italy, dedicated to “TOTAL POETRY” that since 2006 continues to explore possibilities of interaction between poetry texts and moving images as well as other forms of hybridization of poetry with the web, theater, music and cinema.
After Zamboanga, the Bersong Euro-Pinoy goes to Manila through the De La Salle University on 28 May 2021 at 5pm. The festival will be hosted by journalist and EHEF goodwill ambassador Danie Laurel, Ph D and Ms Floraime Oliveros Pantaleta of Western Mindanao - National Committee on Literary Arts at National Commission for Culture and the Arts.