Bicol hosts National Writers' Festival

Some fifty literary writers, scholars and academics will gather for a two-day conference at the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture(CBSUA) in Pili, Camarines Sur on October 7 to 8 this year.

Now on its tenth year, the Taboan National Writers Festival which is named after the Visayan word for marketplace, will feature the discussion of various topics revolving around the festival theme of Lawas/Literatura or Body/Literature in at least two plenary and several parallel sessions.

An annual project of the Committee on Literary Arts of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts(NCCA), it has been held in Subic, La Union, and Bohol in its recent staging. In all these gathering, the Taboan has become a productive partnership of the NCCA, the host local government units and the participating writers.

This year, the festival theme is depicted and symbolized by a logo designed by Bicol poet and prize-winning book designer, Victor Dennis Nierva. It features the prehistoric bones of rhinoceros philippinensis found by archaeologists of the National Museum in Rizal, Kalinga province.

“This discovery allows us to take a peek at 709 thousand years of activity in the Philippines. The logo is a celebration of these millennia, all of which have brought us to where we are now. This fossilized body of an animal is enough for us to celebrate the many bodies we have, including our own and our words,” Nierva explained.

For his part, new CBSUA president Dr. Alberto N. Naperi expressed elation over the choice of the university as conduit and host of the literary event. “We will support any cultural event in the university as we are aware that etymologically culture is related to agriculture,” he said during the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the NCCA, represented by the Festival Director, Frank Penones Jr., who sits as representative of Southern Luzon in the Committee on Literary Arts; and the CBSUA which was witnessed by Dr. Lourdes Bascuna of the university’s director of the Sentro ng Wika at Kultura, Festival Deputy Director; and Elbert O. Baeta, head of the Festival Secretariat.

The two-day festival will also feature the bestowal of the Taboan Award to retired broadcaster Rufo Tuy Jr., Msgr. Noel de los Santos, Dr. Susana Cabredo, Dr. Emelina Regis, and the late Sorsogon cultural advocate, Reynaldo Jamoralin; for their respective contributions to Bikol language and literature.

The Taboan National Writers’ Festival 2019 is also supported by the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, through Gov. Luis Miguel Villafuerte, the local government unit of Pili through Mayor Tomas Bongalonta, 3rd District Representative Gabriel H. Bordado and ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Nina Taduran.