Wednesday, August 28, 2013

NEWS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS | In celebration of National Language Month

NEW YORK CITY |  On August 19, 2013, I was the featured Poet in a Celebration of National Language Month at the Philippine Consulate General in New York City. It was an evening of music, poetry and Balagtasan.

The lovely Kay Habana and the 12-year-old Jessmar Ruel Bahia sang several beautiful Philippine songs. I offered a poetry recital: an evolution of Philippine poetic styles from the American colonial period to the post-colonial period to the contemporary present. I recited poetry by Jose Corazon De Jesus (aka Huseng Batute), Alejandro Abadilla, Jose F. Lacaba and Rio Alma. Then I read a couple of my own works. The translations I did of several of the Filipino poems were projected on a screen so that non-Filipino audience members could understand what I read. 

The evening ended with an entertaining Balagtasan presentation by Frances Dominguez, Sofia Garcia Abad, and Shirley Cuyugan O’Brien. The Balagtasan is a form of debate in poetic verse. The three verse-spouting widows debated the resolution: "Where should Filipinos best retire: in America or in the Philippines."

I wish to publicly thank the Philippine Consulate General New York, specifically Vice Consul Khrystina P. Corpuz for inviting me to recite my poetry. In the U.S., there are not many opportunities to hear Philippine literature spoken in a public setting. I was able to gather young people who have been interested in learning more about the Filipino language, most especially to speak it. It was also a distinct honor to be able to perform Philippine poetry in front of a discerning audiences of Filipino speakers, who very audibly showed their appreciation for all the performers. Although it was a very modest celebration, the guests lingered after the event, and we shared a meal at the art gallery.

I hope that there can be more opportunities for language-based events to be presented in New York and elsewhere. Such events can help bring together second- and third-generation Filipino Americans who seeks to be rooted to their history, language and heritage.

What follows is a report that was originally posted on August 27, 2013 in the Briefing Room department of the Official Gazette of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines.  --rg


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Photo by Department of Foreign Affairs Republic of the Philippines
BALAGTASAN, MUSIKA AT TULAANG FILIPINO, ITINAMPOK SA PAGDIRIWANG NG BUWAN NG WIKANG PAMBANSA SA NEW YORK

27 Agosto 2013 – Idinaos noong ika-19 ng Agosto ng Konsulado Panlahat ng Pilipinas sa New York ang pagdiriwang para sa Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa.

Sa kanyang pambungad na pagbati, ihinayag ni Pangunahing Konsul Mario L. de Leon, Jr. ang kanyang pananalig na ang wikang Filipino ay nakapagbibigkis sa pamayanang Filipino-Amerikano sa anumang dako ng Estados Unidos. Kanya ring hinikayat ang mga kabataan na matutunan ang paggamit ng wikang Filipino, sa pakikipagtalastasan sa kanilang mga tahanan man, sa mga kaibigan o pamayanan. Ipinagmalaki niya na ang mga kaugaliang kagaya ng Balagtasan, at pagbigkas ng mga awitin at tulang Filipino ay dapat na palawigin ng ating mga kababayan upang higit itong makilala sa buong mundo.

Naghandog ng mga awiting Filipino si Bb. Kay Habana at ang 12-taong gulang na si Jessmar Ruel Bahia na lubos na ikinalugod ng mga nanunuod. Samantala, si Ginoong Randy Gener naman ay nagtanghal ng isang ebolusyon ng tulang Filipino na sinimulan nyang pagbigkas ng mga tula nila Jose Corazon De Jesus, Jose F. Lacaba, Alejandro Abadilla at Virgilio Almario, at itinapos nya nang paglalahad ng dalawang tulang kanyang sariling akda.

Pinakatampok nang gabing iyon ang isang Balagtasan na isinagawa nina Frances Dominguez, Sofia Garcia Abad at Shirley Cuyugan O’Brien. Tinalakay sa balagtasan ang paksang “Saan Mas Mainam Magretiro ang mga Pilipino, sa Amerika o sa Pilipinas?” Marami ang nahikayat, kasama na ang mga kabataan, na matutong pagbabalagtas matapos nilang masaksihan ang galing ng tatlong makata sa kanilang pagtatanghal.

Ang buwan ng Agosto ang itinakda ng Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino upang dakilain ang Filipino bilang Wikang Pambansa. Nagsasagawa ng Pagpupugay sa Watawat ng Pilipinas tuwing Lunes, nagpapatugtog ng musikang Filipino at nagpalabas ng mga pelikulang Filipino noong ng Sinehan sa Summer ang Konsulado bilang pagdiriwang ng Buwan ng Wika. WAKAS

dfa.gov.ph


This entry was posted in Briefing Room, Department of Foreign Affairs.

http://www.gov.ph/2013/08/27/balagtasan-musika-at-tulaang-filipino-itinampok-sa-pagdiriwang-ng-buwan-ng-wikang-pambansa-sa-new-york/

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