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PIA Press Release
2007/09/12

UP Tacloban creative writing workshop revives 'Waray literature'

By Neil D. Lopido

TACLOBAN CITY (September 12) -- The University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College has concluded its three-day successful creative writing workshop, a creative writing program headed by Professor Merlie M. Alunan, program director.

According to Voltaire Q. Oyzon, project coordinator, the activity, which was funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), was participated in by fellows, auditors and guests from the region and from other parts of the country plus an invited guest and writer from Singapore in the person of So Chen Christine Lim. Said writing workshop was aimed to revive the interest in writing in the Visayan dialects, particularly in Waray.

The three-day workshop tackled the basics in poetry writing in the vernacular through critiquing of a participant's output with the Waray literature experts headed by Professor Merlie M. Alunan, Dr. Victor Sugbo, Dr. David A. Genotiva, Daryll Jane S. Delgado, Lawrence L. Ypil, Dante A. Rosales, and Jethol C. Paanod.

One of the fellows, Nimrod L. Delante, said that "the workshop provided a rich avenue for the young writers in the region to hone and improve their skills and talents in poetry writing and even short stories taking into account the oral traditions distinct in the Waray-Waray language but also considering valuable Western thoughts." Mr. Delante further said that "with the brilliant critique the panelists gave to each literary piece, it is hoped that the Waray writers will develop a more vivid picture on how to attack writing and more importantly, arrive at an elevated poetic and artistic sense of sensibility in their writing."

As a fellow to a number of workshops in the country, Oyzon revealed that the workshop did not differ in terms of outputs compared to same activities he attended. In fact, in the recently concluded Gawad Komisyon 2007 of the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino National Contest, Oyzon was proclaimed champion in the poetry writing category in Waray, second place went to Mr. Orlanes of Calbiga Samar, while Doms Pagliawan, instructor at the Leyte Normal University, got the third place.

Likewise, Professor Alunan got the first place place for her short story in Cebuano for the Palanca Awards for Literature and second place for Cebuano Poetry of the the Gawad Komisyon. Professor Alunan, who discussed the forms of traditional Waray poetry, stressed to the participants the need to be active in promoting Waray literature.

Mylene Narciso-Urriza, NCCA officer, also challenged the participants to put into writing what they have learned during the workshops and lead to open opportunities to other people to be influenced.

In conclusion, Mr. Oyzon revealed that a group of Waray-Waray writers will soon emerged in the region saying, "Kay ano kinahanglan ta magsurat? Kay 'diri ta akos an mahingalimot." (Why do we need to write? Coz we cannot afford to forget.) (PIA-8) [top]

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