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National literary event scheduled on Feb. 28-29

Artists, writers, educators, and readers alike will gather at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites on February 28-29 for the Reading the Regions: A National Arts Month Celebration for 2020.

The main implementor of the said event is Curia Sancti Rosarii, an NGO affiliated with Holy Rosary Parish in Angeles City, Pampanga and University of the Philippines-Mindanao

“This year, the focus is on teaching literature, especially literature of different regions in the country,” said John Bengan, University of Philippines-Mindanao literature professor and National Committee on Literary Arts-Southern Mindanao representative.

Bengan will be directing the event and will also present a paper on the Obo Manobo’s Tuwaang Attends a Wedding.

Presenters of the event will be by faculty members from the Department of Humanities and the Department of Social Sciences.

Emmanuel Nabayra will speak about the Mandaya hulubaton, along with Prof. Genevieve J. Quintero, and Prof. Jay Jomar F. Quintos will talk about the Teduray epic Berinareu.

Despite having educators as presenters, Bengan said this year’s conference would still be “non-academic, informal type,” to invite people and pick up points on how to teach and promote writing from different regions.

“Recently, in our education system, we are starting to push for a more wholistic approach to our education in terms of local traditions. So, this project aims to push that,” Bengan said.

They would be discussing writings from different languages such as Cebuano and Hiligaynon and based on different oral traditions in the country. Writers from other regions, such as the Bangsamoro, would be introduced and discussed by the panelists.

Other panels during the event include “Reading Folk Poetry and Songs,” “Reading Oral Narratives,” and “Issues and Perspectives on Literature from the Regions,” among others.

Aside from that, a book by the National Committee on Literary Arts titled Reading the Regions:
Teaching Literature from Multi-perspectives would be launched on the said conference.

The book includes essays by different teachers and writers about epics and other narratives showcasing the culture of the regions all over the country that would help them teach local literature.

The conference would be attended by 55 writers, and it is open to the public for free after complying with the pre-registration.

The keynote address will be delivered by National Artist for Literature Resil B. Mojares, while Aimee Farah Virador and Lakan Umali will serve as moderators. Plenary lectures will be delivered by acclaimed poet and professor Merlie M. Alunan, and novelist and anthropologist Bro. Karl Gaspar.

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