Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL), or the Writers’ Union of the Philippines, will hold its national conference UMPIL Pambansang Kumperensiya 2014 on “Ang Rehiyonal na Panitikan Bilang Pambansang Panitikan” (The Regional Literature as National Literature) on 28-30 August 2014, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Mass Communication Auditorium, UP Diliman, Quezon City. 

The conference will address issues on the construct of the national literature from the literatures of the region, and the concept of the Asian in Philippine literature.  Karina Bolasco, the publisher of Anvil, is the current President of UMPIL while Michael Coroza of Ateneo de Manila University serves as the Secretary-General. This year’s conference director is John Enrico Torralba. 

The keynote speakers are Rosario C. Lucero of UP Diliman and Dina S. Ocampo, Undersecretary of the Department of Education. The Adrian Cristobal Memorial Lecture will be delivered by renowned cultural historian and intellectual Dr. Reynaldo Ileto, presently affiliated with the National University of Singapore.

Panel fora will deal with topics such as the Poetics of Literature from the Region, the Critical Tradition in the Philippines, Literature in the Time of K+12, and the Regional Literature in Cinema. The panelists include Jaime An Lim, Jose Jason Chancoco, Hope Sabanpan Yu, Oscar Campomanes, Jayson P. Jacobo, Victor Emmanuel Carmelo Nadera Jr., Maria Luisa Torres Reyes, Ani Rosa Almario-David, Alvin Yapan, John Iremil Teodoro, Patrick Campos, Dinah Roma, Danilo Francisco Reyes, Jose Wendell Capili, among others. 

Teaching demonstrations will be conducted by Lilibeth Oblena-Quiore (Miriam College), Salvador Biglaen (Miriam College High School), and Jethro Tenorio (Ateneo de Manila University). 

UMPIL also announces this year’s Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, awarded to living Filipino writers who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine letters in any language. The recipients are: Victor Peñaranda (Poetry in English), Eli R. Guieb (Kathang Filipino), Luis Francia (Essay in English), Steven Patrick Fernandez (Dula sa Filipino), Querubin D. Fernandez, Jr. (Tulang Kapampangan), Nilo P. Pamonag (Tula at Kathang Hiligaynon), Lamberto G. Ceballos (Tula at Kathang Cebuano), Lorenzo G. Tabin (Tula at Kathang Ilocano).

This year’s Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez for outstanding literature teaching is awarded to Regina Garcia Groyon, who retired from the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod. The Gawad Pedro Bucaneg for outstanding literary organization will be given to Sumakwelan Iloilo, an association of Hiligaynon writers active in the promotion and production of Hiligaynon literary arts and language.  

Conference registration fee is Php 3,000, which covers entry to all sessions, workshop kit, lunch and merienda, and certificate. Discounts will be given to early bird and group registration. For inquiries and reservation, please contact Ms. Eva Cadiz at (63)9178453721 or email umpil2014@yahoo.com.