UPDATED, Feb. 2, 2013–The first edition of the Umpilan, a monthly forum on Philippine regional writing featured Bikol literature last Jan. 28, 2013 at the Natividad Galang Fajardo (NGF) Conference Room, Horacio de la Costa Hall, Ateneo de Manila University.
Panelists Prof. Kristian Sendon Cordero of the Ateneo de Naga University and Dr. Jazmin Llana of the De La Salle University-Manila discussed the development and trajectories of literatures in their region with premier Bikolano poet in English Marne L. Kilates moderating the panel.
Cordero, a prize-winning poet and author of poetry collections in Filipino, delivered a colonial and postcolonial take on Bikol publishing and translation practices. Theater and performance arts scholar Llana meanwhile delivered a “performative” paper, described by Kilates in his Facebook note as “quoting emblematic works, from Bienvenido Santos to Paulino Lim and Ben Escoto.”
Present during the discussions were National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario; Dr. Maria Luz Vilches, dean of the School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University; Dr. Alvin Yapan, chair of the Ateneo de Manila Kagawaran ng Filipino; and Dr. Edgar Samar, director of the Ateneo de Manila Institute of Literary Arts and Practices.
The event was organized by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (Umpil, or Writers Union of the Philippines), in partnership with the Kagawaran ng Filipino and the Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices of the Ateneo de Manila University.
The next Umpilan will feature Ilocano literatures this coming March.
A gallery of photos of the first Umpilan can be viewed on the Kalatas Facebook page.
–Phillip Kimpo, Jr., Kalatas