Monday, November 19, 2007

Villafania’s poetry book launched

The latest Pangasinan collection of poems by Santiago B. Villafania was launched at Urdaneta City on Friday, November 9.

Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles is Villafania’s second collection of poems in Pangasinan language which was launched shortly after the 2-day Conference on “Revitalizing the Pangasinan Language and Cultural Heritage” held at the Urdaneta City Sports and Cultural Center last November 8-9, 2007.

The 390-page book includes some 300 sonnets and 50 villanelles, published through grants from the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) and Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) under the helm of Dr. Jose Paulo E. Campos.

The new collection of verses is an uplifting exploration of memories of childhood, love, history, current events, the wonders of nature, and the enrichment of the Pangasinan language, culture and literature.

KWF Chair Dr. Ricardo Ma. Duran Nolasco and UP Professor Dr. Ma. Crisanta Nelmida-Flores wrote the preface and the introduction to the book, respectively. Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista, Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera Jr., Aurelio S. Agcaoili, Kristian S. Cordero, Jose Jason L. Chancoco, Christopher Q. Gozum, Jaime P. Lucas, Leonarda “Amor Cico” Carrera, Sergio A. Bumadilla and Melchor E. Orpilla contributed their respective blurbs.

Multi-award winning poet Cirilo F. Bautista says of the author, “Villafania is the leading poet of his generation in Pangasinan today.”

Other works of this young Pangasinan poet include Pinabli tan arum ni’ran Anlong (2003) and a chapbook, Balikas na Caboloan (NCCA, 2005). Some of his poems have appeared in local and international print and web publications such as Balon Silew, AWARD, Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic, ANI, Philippine Panorama, Sunday Times Magazine, The Heron’s Nest, HaikuHut’s Short Stuff, Ygdrasil, In Our Own Words 1 & 2, Picolata Review, MindFire, and other online poetry journals.

Born in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan in 1971, Villafania graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pangasinan in 1991. “Sonny” as he is fondly called is an active member of the Ulupan na Pansiansia’y Salitan Pangasinan and an ardent advocate for the revival of Pangasinan as a literary language.

Villafania is currently a senior web developer/designer in Emilio Aguinaldo College – Manila.

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