Several activities are lined up as the country celebrates the National Literature Month this April.
Last year saw the inaugural celebration of National Literature Month with Proclamation No. 968, declaring April as Buwan ng Panitikang Filipino.
The celebration recognizes the need for Philippine Literature, “written in different Philippine languages [and] is associated with the history and cultural legacy of the State,” to be promoted among Filipinos. The Proclamation also states that “national literature plays an important role in preserving and inspiring the literature of today and in introducing to future generations the Filipino values that we have inherited from our ancestors.”
This year, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF) thru a statement in the NCCA website promise “a more fulfilling celebration to emphasize the vital role of literature in our lives and identity.”
The celebration kicked off with Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar Day on April 2. A youth camp gathering student-writers from all over the country was held to hone the students’ literary skills and to strengthen their passion for the written word.
In the National Capital Region, the first of a series of Tertulyang Pamapanitikan will be held at the De La Salle University on April 5. Other sessions will be held every Tuesday of the Month starting at the Ateneo De Manila, University of Santo Tomas, and Far Eastern University.
The Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC) of the De La Salle University will also have several events in line with the celebration. These include the Young Writers Workshop for Children Ages 9 to 17 to be held on April 16 at the 13 floor of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall, De La Salle University, Manila. The facilitators will be prize-winning writers and book authors Genaro Gojo-Crux, Timothy Montes and Susan Lara.
The Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Center for Creative Writing will be conducting Literaturang Pang-Mass Media seminar from April 13-15.
In Northern Luzon, the Ikapitong Pambansang Kongreso sa Wikang Filipino will be held in Baguio City by the Kapisanan ng mga Superbisor at Guro sa Filipino (KASUGUFIL).
In the Visayas, The Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) will hold For Love of the Word: Workshops on Teaching Philippine Literature in High School and College on April 11-12 at the University of Cebu, Banilad Campus, Cebu City. The focus will be on 21 century Philippine literature from the regions. Some of the resource speakers and facilitators include famous names in the literary world such as Marjorie Evasco, Macario Tiu, and Hope Sabanpan Yu. The Writers’ Forum will feature Resil Mojares, Simeon Dumdum Jr., Ulysses Aparece, and Januar Yap.
In Mindanao, the “Pagtuturo ng Panitikang Gender-based” will be held on April 11-15 at the Jose Rizal Memorial State University in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.
The Philippine International Literary Festival will happen from April 28 to 30.
NCCA, led by its chairman Felipe M. de Leon Jr. and OIC-executive director Adelina M. Suemith, and the KWF with National Artist Virgilio Almario as its chairman are spearheading the celebrations of the National Literature Month.
For a complete list of activities, view: National Literature Month Calendar of Activites