De La Salle University - Manila

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Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center

Mga Gunita't Bagay na Pamilyar at Di Pamilyar

Published: June 19 , 2007

John Enrico C. Torralba, Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC) writing fellow for poetry for SY 2006-2007, conducted a lecture last June 19 at the Ariston Estrada Seminar Room of De La Salle University - Manila. The talk was entitled "Mga Gunita't Bagay na Pamilyar at Di Pamilyar." (pdf/45kb)

The talk was opened by Dr. David Jonathan Y. Bayot of the Literature department, and Torralba was introduced by Dr. Janet Hope Tauro-Batuigas. Torralba's audience was composed of students and professors from the DLSU Literature and Filipino departments. The talk was primarily about his poetics and how he constructs and develops his work as a Filipino poet. He showed examples of how he creates poetry, while also providing poems by other Filipino writers. He used some of his works as illustrations of his development as a poet. Three of Torralba's students, namely Terrie Ann Martinez, Celine Cabatit, and Lark Catanghal, read his poems. There was an open forum after the talk.

Ms. Malou Jacob of the BNSCWC gave the closing remarks. The event was organized by the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center.

Bienvenido N. Santos Literary Museum now open

Published: March 21, 2007
A clay bust of Bienvenido N Santos as a display in the venue

From the University of Nueva Caceres, Bicol, the works of celebrated Filipino fictionist Bienvenido N. Santos have found a home in the recently-inaugurated Bienvenido N. Santos Literary Museum, located inside the DLSU-M library.

This literary museum, which is being administered by the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center, gathers a rare collection of Santos's mementos - photographs, video clips, awards, original manuscripts, and published works.

The venue also features materials containing interesting anecdotes about the late fictionist, as well as significant things that helped Santos come up with his renowned works like a typewriter, which Santos borrowed from another icon of Philippine Literature, Dr. Isagani R. Cruz.

A clay bust of BNS is also displayed in the venue.

The Bienvenido N. Santos Literary Museum will have exhibitions exploring the different aspects of his artistry. Lectures, workshops, and other activities will also be held in the museum to further enrich the BNS experience of both students and visitors.

In the inauguration ceremonies last March 21, Santos's grandson Bienvenido Santos-Cortes-who was with his mother, BNS's daughter Mrs. Lina Santos-Cortes-expressed his happiness with his grandfather's "homecoming." In his brief speech, he recalled that his lolo once lived with the Lasallian Brothers.

DLSU-M President Br. Armin Luistro FSC led the whole community in inaugurating the museum. He was joined by Museum Installer Prof. Mary Ann Josette E. Pernia, Library Director Ms. Ana Maria Fresnido, University Fellows Dr. Marjorie Evasco, Dr. Isagani Cruz and Dr. Cirilo Bautista, Vicente Groyon III, Dr. David Jonathan Bayot, and Prof. Cris Barbara Pe.

Multi-awarded poet releases first book: Pula ang Kulay ng Text Message

Published: July 22, 2006
Book Cover on Pula ang Kulay ng Text Message

The Department of Literature with the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC) and the Literature Circle led the book launching of Genevieve Asenjo's Pula ang Kulay ng Text Message on July 22 at the Ariston Estrada Seminar Room.

Asenjo, assistant professor of the Department of Literature and assistant director of BNSCWC, is a three-time Palanca awardee. She is also part of the Ubod New Authors Series published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts in 2005.

Published by the San Agustin Publishing House, Pula ang Kulay ng Text Message, is her first poetry collection, in Kinaray-a and Filipino. It was written in a span of 10 years (1995-2005).

The publication was prompted by the Fray Luis de Leon Creative Writing Grant given to her in 2005 by the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City. Asenjo was one of the first recipients of the grant.

Most of the poems in the collection were published in national magazines like Sunday Inquirer, Philippine Free Press, Home Life, Mirror Weekly; in journals like Ideya of DLSU-Manila and SanAg of San Agustin; in anthologies like Ani of CCP and Aklat Likhaan of UP; in books like Salatan and The Rise of Kinaray-a, and in the website - A Critical Survey of Philippine Literature.

The collection chronicles the influences and growth of Asenjo as a poet. Dr. Cirilo Bautista in his blurb notes: "Ang pang-araw-araw na daigdig ang tinutukoy ng mga tula ni Genevieve Asenjo, kaya't ang kabalintunaan ang malakas niyang sandata upang ipahayag ang kanyang saloobin at damdamin. Natitiyak kong dahil mahusay ang hawak niya sa wika at matapat ang kanyang pagsusuri sa kanyang kapaligiran, siya ay magiging isang mahalagang makata ng ating bansa."

Panata ng Isang Misis sa Panahong de-Glorya

Ang ating yakapan at halikan
Sa madaling-araw.

Tilaok ng manok
Ang harurot ng mga sasakyan
At kailangan mo uling mag-baka-sakali
Sa mga ahensya at kompanya.

Kaagad mong binuksan ang tv
Hindi na ang bintana
Sa pagbasa ng panahon
Sa nagmamadaling balita:
Isang binata ang kumitil ng buhay
Nang matuklasang di-sapat ang diploma
Sa pagsilo ng maipang-gasolina
Sa katawan, isipa't kaluluwa.

Umusal ako ng panalangin,
Maingat tulad ng pagkapautong-patong ko
Ng mga kumot at unan.
Gusto kong sigla at ningning
Sa aking mga mata ang iyong baunin
At hindi, ay hindi ang pira-pirasong
Sugat sa isip at dibdib
Sa pagkapaslang gn sistemang kontraktwal
Sa pangarap nating humihigit pa
Sa pagkain tatlong beses isang araw.

Itong panalig, palangga,
Ang una nating ipapakibaka
Upang manatili tayong buo
Pinakamaiksi man
Ang ating yakapan at halikan
Sa mga madaling-araw.

Excerpt from Pula ang Kulay ng Text Message

First Premio Ambahan Winners Bared

Published: February 2006
Premio Ambahan Winners

First Premio Ambahan winners bared three third year students of the College of Business Economics and three pupils of the Pundasyon Hanunuo Mangyan School of Bulalacao in Oriental Mindoro won the top honors in the recently concluded 1st Premio Ambahan.

Sponsored by the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center, the Premio Ambahan is a poem writing competition that aims to popularize the Ambahan, the traditional written and recited poetry of Mindoro's Hanunuo Mangyan.

The contest was open to Lasallians who took up Litera 1 in School Year 2005-2006 and to Mangyan students in Mindoro. The on campus award ceremony for Lasallian winners was held on March 26 at the Ariston Estrada Seminar Room, while the awarding for the Mangyan students took place at Calapan, Mindoro on February 11.

The winners from the University are Ralph Lawrence Manga (BS Interdisciplinary Business Studies), John Joseph Tamarres (BS Economics and Legal Management), and Diana Valencia (BS Advertising and Management). The three won for their poems Paglalaro, Atletang Pilipino, and Piloto, respectively.

Meanwhile, the poems of Sed Casidsid, David Casidsid, and Angelyn Calinog were named the best Ambahan in the original Mangyan language. Present during the Calapan ceremony were Executive Vice President Dr. Carmelita Quebengco, Mindoro Governor Arnan Panaligan, and BNSCWC Director Malou Jacob.

The on campus ceremony was attended by representatives of various schools, namely Arellano University, DLS College of Saint Benilde, National Teachers College, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and University of the Philippines.

Each was encouraged by the organizers of the competition to join DLSU-Manila in its efforts to raise student's consciousness of indigenous poetry. Ambahan is a set of poetic expression with a measured rhyme of seven syllable lines. It is a poem of social character used by parents to educate their children; by lovers in courtship; to welcome strangers; and on occasions "when something embarrassing, unpleasant, delicate has to be expressed.

NCCA publishes La Salle writers works

Published: January 12, 2006
A picture of La Salle Writers

From left (first row): Dr. Ronald Baytan, Enrico Torralba, Debbie Ann Tan, Ernesto Carandang II, and Isidro Hildawa; (Second Row): Malou Jacob, Maricris Calilung, and Genevieve Asenjo.

Three faculty members and three alumni are among the featured authors of the Ubod New Authors Series published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) through the National Committee on Literary Arts.

Launched in December 2005 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the series consists of 50-page chapbooks of selected poems, fiction, creative nonfiction and drama in English, Filipino and other Philippine languages written by young and promising Filipino writers. Ubod is the Tagalog and Cebuano word for "heart extracted out of palm or bamboo."

It includes works of Lasallian writers Genevieve Asenjo (MFA CREA '03), Enrico Torralba (BSC LGM '96), Ernesto Carandang II, Maricris Calilung (AB CAM '96), Debbie Ann Tan (MFA CREA '02), and Isidro Hildawa (MFA CREA '03).

A recognition ceremony, in honor of the writers, titled "Ubod ng Husay: Lasallian Writers from NCCA Ubod New Authors Series 2005 was held at the Marilen Gaerlan Conservatory on January 12.

Asenjo, a three-time Palanca awardee, is an assistant professor of the Literature Department and the assistant director of Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center. Her contribution in the series is Taga-uma@manila kag iba pa nga pakigsapalaran, fiction in Kinaray-a.

Torralba and Carandang's books are Estranghero at iba pang mga tula (poetry in Filipino) and Mga Kwentong Lagalag (fi ction in Filipino), respectively. They are faculty members of the Filipino Department. Meanwhile the alumni's published books are Regarding Space, poetry in English, by Hildawa; Fate's Line, drama in English, by Tan; and Tsubibo: Maiikling Kuwento sa Malaking Palaruan, fiction in Filipino, by Calilung.

La Salle pays homage to Cirilo F. Bautista

Published: November 24, 2005

The Department of Literature and the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center will pay tribute to Palanca Hall of Fame and Centennial Literary Awardee Dr. Cirilo Bautista on November 24, Thursday, 5:30 p.m., at the Marilen Gaerlan Conservatory.

A full professor of the Literature Department and a University Fellow, Bautista is one of the most formidable and influential figures in Philippine literature. He is a poet, fictionist, essayist, critic, theorist, columnist, and academic.

He is the author of 17 books, including: The Cave and Other Poems (1968), Charts (1973), Sugat ng Salita (1986), Stories (1990), Breaking Signs: Lectures on Literature and Semiotics (1990), Boneyard Breaking: New Collected Poems (1992), Kirot ng Kataga (1995), Words and Battlefields: A Theoria on the Poem (1998), The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus (2001, comprising The Archipelago, 1970; Telex Moon, 1981; and Sunlight on Broken Stones 1999), Bullets and Roses: The Poetry of Amado V. Hernandez (2003), and Galaw ng Asoge (2004).

He is a recipient of many awards and fellowships, including the Fernando Ma. Guerrero Award for Literature, "X" Award for Telex Moon, Excellence Award for a Novel-in-Progress from the Roman Foundation, Makata ng Taon 1993, nine Palanca awards for poetry, fi ction, and the essay, Palanca Hall of Fame Award, Gawad Manuel L. Quezon, Gawad Balagtas, three National Book Awards, Knight Commander of Rizal, Centennial Literary Award, Angel and Celerina Reyes Distinguished Professorial Chair in the Humanities, Annual Dove Award, Parangal Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan, St. Miguel Febres Cordero Research Award, and Gawad Gatpuno Antonio Villegas. He was cited in The Oxford Companion to the English Language (1992) and The Traveller's Guide to Asian Literature (1993).

His works have appeared in anthologies and journals published in the U.S.A., Great Britain, Japan, The Netherlands, China, Taiwan, Rumania, Hong Kong, Germany, and Malaysia.

He writes a weekly column, "Breaking Signs," for the Philippine Panorama. He is also a member of the Manila Critics Circle, Philippine Writers Academy, and Philippine Literary Arts Council.

2005 BNSCWC launches Premio Ambahan

Published: 2005

The Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC) launches Premio Ambahan, a writing competition to promote Mangyan's traditional written and recited poetry.

Ambahan is a set of poetic expression in Mangyan script with seven syllable lines in measured rhyme. It is primarily a poem of social character used by parents to educate their children, by lovers in courtship, to welcome strangers, and on occasions when "something embarrassing, unpleasant, delicate has to be expressed."

Through the competition, BNSCWC aims to raise the level of ambahan of the Philippines to the stature of haiku of Japan, as well as promote the appreciation of this indigenous art.

Premio Ambahan is open to professional and non-professional poets. Winners will be awarded on February 2006 during the celebration of the National Arts Month.

Archived News

Lumbera lecture on writing for the theatre

A picture of LumberaAcclaimed playwright, critic, and scholar Dr. Bienvenido L. Lumbera delivered a lecture entitled "Kunwari Lang: Ang Buhay sa Teatro" on 25 November 2004, at 2:30 P.M. in the Ariston Estrada Seminar Room at De La Salle University. The lecture is part of an ongoing series sponsored by the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center on the craft of writing. In his lecture, Lumbera recounted his experiences while writing for the theatre.

Lumbera’s musicals are among his most celebrated theatrical works, each one of them helping to push the Filipino musical in new and exciting directions. His first musical was Tales of the Manuvu in 1977, followed by Rama Hari (1980), Bayani (1985), Noli Me Tangere: The Musical (1994), and most recently, Hibik at Himagsik nina Victoria Lactaw (1998).

Lumbera is one of the most respected figures in Philippine cultural studies, criticism, and scholarship. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in 1967. The book Philippine Literature: A History and Anthology, co-edited with his wife Dr. Cynthia Nograles Lumbera, is considered by many the final word on Philippine literary history, and over the last three decades, he has been actively fostering the awareness, appreciation, retrieval, and study of literature from the Philippine regions.

Neruda en el corazon/Neruda sa Puso: A tribute to Pablo Neruda

De La Salle University hosted a tribute to Pablo Neruda entitled "Neruda en el corazon/Neruda sa puso" on 28 September 2004 at the Marilen Gaerlan North Conservatory. The event was organized by Instituto Cervantes in cooperation with the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center and the Embassy of Chile.

During the tribute, National Artist F. Sionil Jose was awarded the Neruda Medal by the Ambassador of Chile. The Neruda Medal is a special distinction created by the Chilean government to commemorate the centennial of Neruda’s birth. Sionil Jose was among the 100 awardees worldwide to receive the honor.

The program featured poets from the Philippines and Spain reading Neruda's poetry and poems inspired by Neruda. The poets were Joi Barrios, Marjorie Evasco, Marra Lanot, Jose Lacaba, Benilda Santos, and Alfred Yuson. Spanish writers Benjamin Prado and Ana Rosseti flew in to participate in the event.

3rd Barlaya Writing for Children Workshop

Adarna House, the county’s leading children’s book publishing firm, and the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC) of De La Salle University mounted the 3rd Adarna House-DLSU BNSCWC Barlaya Writing for Children Workshop on 16 and 17 September 2004. The panelists were Carla Pacis, Luis Gatmaitan, Cyan Abad-Jugo, Shirley O. Lua, and Teresa Wright.

Workshop Picture for Barlaya Writing

Barlaya is designed to help aspiring children’s authors improve their craft. Out of more than eighty applicants, ten writing fellows were chosen based on the literary merit of their submitted stories: Victoria Bravo, Anna Canlas, Ma. Asther Creo, Ronnill Carlo Enriquez, Melanie Garduno, Annacris Llanera, Robert Magnuson, Jose Miguel Tejido, Renato Vibiesca, and Germaine Yia.

The fellows underwent manuscript critiquing and had the privilege of listening to talks by distinguished writers and experts in children’s’ literature. In addition to the workshop sessions, guest speakers spoke on topics related to the writing of children's literature. Renowned child psychologist Dr. Honey Carandang discussed the psychology of the Filipino child, illustrator Ruben de Jesus talked about working with authors to create a children's book, and Adarna Director Ani Almario spoke on trends in publishing children's fiction in the Philippines.

4th De La Salle Lipa Creative Writing Workshop

Members that attended the Lipa Creative Writing WorkshopFor the fourth year in a row, the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center assisted De La Salle Lipa in conducting the De La Salle Lipa Creative Writing Workshop. The workshop was held from August 27 to 29 at a retreat house in Mataasnakahuy, Batangas.

Ten fellows, mostly members of the De La Salle Lipa student publications, attended the workshop, where their fiction and poetry were discusssed and critiqued. The workshop panel was led by Workshop Director Cirilo F. Bautista, assisted by panelists Dinah Roma and Vicente Garcia Groyon. The workshop was organized by DLSL Associate Dean for the Arts Fredevel Bruce Banaag.

The workshop was conceptualized in 2001 as a joint effort between DLSL and BNSCWC to develop creative writing within the DLSL community. LaVoxa, the official DLSL school paper, was adjudged Best School Paper in the 3rd Luzon-wide Higher Education Press Conference held in Baguio City last February

Marianne Villanueva Conducts Reading and Workshop

Filipino-American fictionist Marianne Villanueva delivered a short lecture on her work and the writing life at the Yuchengco Seminar Room on August 12. She also read portions from a novel-in-progress.

On August 14, she conducted a fiction writing workshop with selected students from the Malate Literary Folio and the Harlequin Theatre Guild, as well as graduate students in the MFA fiction class of Carla M. Pacis. The workshop was held at the Bro. Connon Conference Room.

Marianne Villanueva conducting the WorkshopMarianne Villanueva is the author of Ginseng and other Tales from Manila (Calyx Books), which was a finalist for the Philippine National Book Award in 1992. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous magazines such as Calyx, The Literary Review, Puerto del Sol, The Threepenny Review, and ZYZZYVA. Along with Virginia Cerenio, she co-edited Going Home to a Landscape, an anthology of Filipino women’s writings. Her second collection of short fiction, Mayor of the Roses, is forthcoming in December 2004 from Miami University Press. Currently, she teaches in the English Department of Foothill College and at Notre Dame de Namur University.

Cirilo F. Bautista Launches "Galaw ng Asoge"

book coverDr. Cirilo F. Bautista launched his first novel in Tagalog, the much-anticipated Galaw ng Asoge on 23 July 2004 at the Ariston Estrada Seminar Room in De La Salle University. In the craft lecture he delivered at the launch, he revealed that the novel, the product of sixteen years of writing and research, represents a return to his first love: fiction.

After completing his award-winning trilogy of epic poems, Bautista has now set his sights on a trilogy of novels encompassing the sweep and scope of Philippine history from the Martial Law years to the present day. Calling poetry "a monkey on my back," he said the writing of fiction was something of a relief, because he finds the writing of poetry difficult.

He also spoke about the process of writing Asoge, describing the historical research he conducted, how he conceptualized the characters, and the manner in which he plotted the story.

The book was published by the University of Santo Tomas Press. Bautista presented the first copies of the book to DLSU Executive VP Dr. Carmelita Quebengco, DLSU VP for Academics and Research Dr. Allan Bernardo, and URCO Director Dr. Pag-asa Gaspilla.

The launch and lecture were co-sponsored by the DLSU Department of Literature.