By Gabriela Baron
As we celebrate World Poetry Day–inside our homes–these groups of poets and performers are treating the public to free poems.
Organizer Edbert Casten from TulasalitaanPH said he thought of the creating the event last-minute.
“Kasi na-cancel lahat ng events due to COVID-19. Naisip ko nung nag-declare na bawal ang mass gatherings, maganda kahit papaano ay maggunita, maipakita ang unity ng poetry groups sa Pilipinas,” Casten told Manila Bulletin.
(Because all events were canceled due to COVID-19. When they prohibited mass gatherings, I thought of a way to show the unity of poetry groups in the Philippines.)
Poetry groups will either record themselves performing spoken word or publish poems written by them or poems written by their favorite poets.
“Maganda ring avenue para ma-voice out ang mga hinaing or makapag-share ng craft kahit nasa bahay lang ang mga tao (This is also a great way to voice out concerns or share their craft even when people are at home),” he added.
Casten said he contacted different poetry groups online. Over 20 groups are joining tonight.
“Next year, hopefully mag-materialize siya as an event (Next year hopefully, this will materialize as a physical event),” he said.
Nikki Recto of Linangan ng Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA) said that audience can expect eclectic poems from its members.
“Bilang isang organisasyong 35 taon nang ipinalalaganap ang pagtula at mayroong higit sa isandaang kasapi na iba-iba rin ang “taste” sa tula, asahan na bagaman panulaang Filipino ang dati pa at hanggang ngayo’y ibinibida ng LIRA, magiging “eclectic” ang mga tulang ihahanda ng mga kasaping lalahok sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng Pagtula,” Recto added.
(As a 35-year-old organization that has been promoting poetry and has more than a hundred members who also have different “tastes” in poetry, expect that although Filipino poetry has always been and is still being promoted by LIRA, our members who will be joining the World Poetry Day event have prepared “eclectic” poems.)
Liyan Quiñones of Kataga, meanwhile, said that members from Kataga-Manila, Kataga-Quezon City, and Kataga-Lucena are preparing their own poems to share.
“Susubukang ipakilala ng Kataga ang tula sa iba’t ibang paksa, iba’t ibang anyo, sa iba’t ibang paraan (Kataga will introduce poems that tackle different topics using different forms and ways),” Quiñones said.
A spoken word performance from Adeva Esparrago and poetry of Ben Aguilar will be offer by Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC) tonight.
“Sa tema naman, ay malaya at mapagpalaya (Our theme is free and liberating),” Raymond Ybañes of NAGMAC added.
The participating groups are TulasalitaanPH, White Wall Poetry, Midnight Collective, BAON Collective, Xplicit, KM64, Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA), Damdaming Nakapaskil, TALAStasan, LAPIS ArtCom, Kalimbahin, Cavite Young Writers Association, Angono 3/7 Poetry, Words Anonymous, Ang Sabi Nila, Hulagway, Panday Sining Batangas, Titik Poetry, KADLiT: Katipunan ng Alternatibong Dibuho, Liriko, at Titik, Atsara Collective, Hiraya Kolektib, Tadhana, Dripped Art Movement, Patlang, Kataga, Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC), Collaborator.PH, and INGAY LIKHA.
“Pandaigdigang Araw ng Tula” event will start on March 21, Saturday at 6 p.m. and will end at 9 p.m.
World Poetry Day is celebrated on March 21, and was declared by UNESCO in 1999 with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.