National Literature Month (NLM) will open March 31 with the Pambansang Kampong Balagtas 2017, a literary conference of some 100 student-writers from all over the Philippines, on March 31 to April 2, at the Orion Elementary School in Orion, Bataan. Highlight is the Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar Day on April 2.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), led by its chair, National Artist Virgilio Almario, and executive director, Rico Pableo Jr. will lead the NLM celebrations.
Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) and National Book Development Board (NBDB are co-organizers.
Theme of 2017 NLM is “Banyuhay,” the Filipino word for “metamorphosis.”
Named special NLM ambassador is musician Aiza Seguerra.
Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center of De la Salle University (DLSU) will hold the 2nd Iowa Writing Program (IWP) Alumni Writers Workshop on April 6 to 8, and the 17th Iyas La Salle National Writers’ Workshop on April 24 and 26, both at the European Documentation Centre at DLSU in Manila.
IWP workshop panelists include Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta (workshop director), Susan Lara, Eros Atalia, Carlomar Arcangel Daoana, and Angelo “Sarge” Lacuesta.
Lourd de Veyra will deliver the keynote address.
Marjorie Evasco will serve as Iyas workshop director. Panelists include Ricardo de Ungria, Grace Monte de Ramos, John Iremil Teodoro and Em Mendez.
The Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) will hold a seminar-workshop for literature teachers April 3 to 4 at Northwest Samar State University, Calbayog City, Western Samar. The focus will be on the teaching of 21st-century Philippine literature from the regions.
Resource speakers include Victor Sugbo, Dinah Roma and Harold Mercurio.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ Center for Creative Writing will hold a lecture series on fiction April 19 to 21.
Lecturers include Eros Atalia, Zeno, Lenin Carlos Mirasol. Genevieve Ansejo, Eugene Evasco, and Christine Belen.
Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (Umpil will hold its congress on April 29, at the Br. Andrew Gonzales Building, De La Salle University, Taft Avenue, Manila.
Recipients of the Gawad Alagad ni Francisco Balagtas for a lifetime achievement in letters are Romulo Baquiran (poetry in Filipino); Luis Gatmaitan (children’s fiction in Filipino); Marne Kilates (poetry in English); Liza Magtoto (play in Filipino); Jameson Ong (poetry in Chinese); Carla Pacis (children’s story in English); Vicente Rafael (criticism in English); Criselda Yabes (essay and fiction in English); and Melchor Yburan (poetry in Cebuano).
Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez for achievement in literary education will be given to Alicia Magos, professor emeritus of Anthropology at University of the Philippines Visayas in Iloilo and editor-translator of the Panay Bukidnon epics published by the UP Press.
Gawad Pedro Bucaneg for outstanding literary organization will be Thousand Islands, an organization of Chinese-Filipino writers.—CONTRIBUTED