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Advocates of Filipino poetry, headed by National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario (Rio Alma), have joined forces to mount the first-ever celebration of National Poetry Day or “Pambansang Araw ng Pagtula” to be held on November 22, 2022 — the 128th birth anniversary of Filipino poet Jose Corazon de Jesus aka Huseng Batute who is known for his poem, “Bayan Ko.”
Almario encouraged literary enthusiasts of all ages to participate in the celebration, saying, “Ipagdiwang natin sa bertdey ni Batute, ang unang Hari ng Balagtasan!” (“Let us celebrate on the birthday of Batute, the first King of the Balagtasan!”)
Among the organizations that have heeded the call include the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA); the group of Filipino poets Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA), Inc; Likhaan UP Institute of Creative Writing (ICW); and book publisher San Anselmo Publications, Inc.
“The nationalism of Jose Corazon de Jesus has motivated us to organize National Poetry Day,” said San Anselmo Publications, Inc. Executive Publisher Marvin Aceron. “Our purpose is three-fold: to promote the art of poetry; to raise the level of appreciation for Filipino poetry, and to honor Jose Corazon de Jesus and all patriotic Filipino poets.”
The celebration also comes at the heels of the success of poetry books at the recent Manila International Book Fair (These include bestsellers such as Agua by Enrique Villasis; Mga Poon, Mga Piyon, Mga Pusong, Isang Pusong by Rio Alma; Ang Lunes na Mahirap Bunuin by Nicolas B. Pichay, and the poetry collection 100 Pink Poems Para Kay Leni), and the continued popularity of spoken word performances.
With the theme “Ibalik ang tula sa puso ng madla,” (“Bring poetry back into the people’s hearts”) Pambansang Araw ng Pagtula will have a live poetry marathon at the Metropolitan Theater featuring at least 50 Filipino poets and performers, and a book launch and poetry book fair in the same venue.
“Inaanyayahan namin ang mga organisasyong pangkultura at pampanitikan sa buong bansa na ipagdiwang ang Pambansang Araw ng Pagtula sa kani-kanilang lugar,” (“We invite cultural and literary organizations across the country to celebrate National Poetry Day in their locales,”) said LIRA President Joti Tabula.
For updates about Pambansang Araw ng Pagtula, please visit the Facebook pages of San Anselmo Publications, Inc. and LIRA. – Rappler.com