Naga City—August 15, 2009 will be a date to remember in Bicol’s literary history as Bikol writers release five books and a literary magazine. Dubbed as “An Pagbungsod” it will be held 6PM at the alfresco area of the Avenue Square in Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City.
The grand launch will feature “Yudi Man: Mga Osipon para ki Nunuy asin ki Nini,” a collection of short-stories for children by Premio Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikolnon winners as edited by Carlos A. Arejola and Lorna A. Billanes, and illustrated by Boyet Abrenica; “Pagsasatubuanan: Poetikang Bikolnon,” a book of literary criticism on Bikol poetics by Jose Jason L. Chancoco; “Tigsik,” a compilation of tigsik(s), a Bikol ethnic poetic form by Aida B. Cirujales; “Sayod Kong Tataramon/Tuwiran Kong Sasabihin,” a collection of stage and screenplays by Carlos A. Arejola; “Bagyo sa Oktubre,” a collection poems in Filipino by Honesto M. Pesimo, Jr.; and “Bangraw kan Arte, Literatura asin Kultura,” a Bikol literary magazine edited by Estelito Jacob, Jun Pesimo and Marissa R. Casillan with Manny Salak as lay-out artist. All of the titles are published by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and printed by the Goldprint Publishing House.
Carlos A. Arejola has been called the poster boy of Bikol Lit. in lecture circuits. He convenes an annual Bikol writers’ workshop, chairs a region-wide literary competition, and has, along with other stout-hearted Bikol artists, initiated other projects to win wider adherence for Bikol writings. His drama and poetry have won the Palanca Awards and other national literary prizes. He works for the Camarines Sur Provincial Capitol.
Lorna A. Billanes edits, translates, and teaches language and literature at Miriam College in Quezon City. Her fiction has won prizes from the Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Literary Awards and the PBBY Salanga Wrters’ Prize. She holds an M.A. degree in Creative Writing from UP Diliman where she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English Studies. She co-edits Yudi Man Mga Osipon para ki Nunuy asin ki Nini with Carlos Arejola.
Jose Jason L. Chancoco has won national awards and fellowships for his poetry, essay and fiction in English, Filipino, Bikol Naga and Iriganon. He won two gold medallions in a single year (2005,for stories for children and 1-act play for children categories) in the Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikolnon, a feat so far unduplicated. He is currently pursuing a law degree.
Tigsik Queen Aida B. Cirujales teaches at the Gainza Central School and was a finalist in the rawitdawit (poetry) category of the Premio Arejola in 2007.
Honesto M. Pesimo, Jr. has won national awards for his poetry and was cited in the rawitdawit category of the Premio Arejola in 2004 and 2007. He teaches at the Concepcion Pequeña High School and Mariners’ Polytechnic College.
Estelito Jacob, Jun Pesimo and Marissa Reorizo-Casillan co-edits Bangraw kan Arte, Literatura asin Kultura. Issa Casillan was the gold medallion winner of the osipon (fiction) category of the Premio Arejola in 2007. Esting Jacob is an award-winning poet and fictionist and is an avid painter. Apart from his poetry prizes, Jun Pesimo is an award-winning photographer.
Boyet Abrenica is one of the region’s most notable young visual artists today. He has designed literary titles and books of history and is the art director of Biggs Food Corporation.
Manny Salak is a senior graphic designer of Goldprint Publishing House. He was a finalist in the 25th National Shell Painting Competition.
The grand launch is in coordination with the Development Institute of Bicolano Artists Foundation, Inc., Premio Tomas para sa Literaturang Bikolnon, Kabulig-Bikol and the Avenue Plaza Hotel. The Naga College Foundation Cultural Arts Center will render performances during the launch. Noted Bikol writer and scholar H. Francisco V. Penones will be the keynote speaker.