The charm and romance of the European and Filipino languages continue as “Bersong Euro-Pinoy” goes to Manila on 28 May 2021 at 5pm via facebook.com/EUDelegationToThePhilippines.
Together with the Embassies of Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Instituto Cervantes Manila, France, the Philippine-Italian Association, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Finland and the De La Salle University Manila, the European Union Delegation to the Philippines is mounting Bersong Euro-Pinoy, “Pagkakaibigan at Bayanihan”, Verses Versus the Virus, in Manila.
European Union Ambassador Luc Véron said that the poetry recital aims to bring hope, inspiration and avenues for cultural dialogue to both Europeans and Filipinos.
A brainchild of Instituto Cervantes, it used to be held under the framework of “Dia del Libro” gathering all diplomats and literary enthusiasts from among the members of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, EU member states’ embassies and cultural institutes. The festival will be hosted by journalist and EHEF goodwill ambassadors Dr Danie Laurel and Erasmus+ scholar Kate Ramil.
EU in partnership with the Green Archer
This time, literary luminaries mobilized by the De La Salle University Manila will join European poets and readers. Poems to be recited adhere to the theme of “Pagkakaibigan and Bayanihan”.
Dr Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles is author of 20 books of and about poetry, most recently Atra: Mga Tula 1999 – 2019 (Balangay Books, 2020) and Three Books (Broken Sleep Books UK, 2020), with translations by Kristine Ong Muslim and illustrations by Erika M. Carreon. He works as a book editor and translator, and teaches literature and creative writing at DLSU. He will read “Kasama” (“Comrade”).
Dr John Iremil Teodoro teaches literature, creative writing, and art appreciation at the Literature Department of DLSU where he is also the Associate for Regional Literature at the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center. A multilingual writer, he has published more than 15 books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction in Kinaray-a, Filipino, Hiligaynon, and English. He is currently the secretary general of Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) or the Writers Union of the Philippines. He will recite “Sa Hardin sang Ginuo: Isa Ka Pangamuyo sa Tiempo sang Pandemya” (Hiligaynon) / “In the Garden of the Lord: A Prayer During the Time of the Pandemic”
Carmie Ortego is a teacher for senior high school at National University and a creative writing graduate student of DLSU. She has earned fellowships from the 13th Iyas and 20th Iligan national writing workshops for her poetry in Cebuano and the Pasidungog Eduardo Makabenta Sr. Para han Siday for her poetry in Waray. Her piece is “Paglakát mo nag-lipstick ako hin pula (When you left I put on red lipstick)”.
Dr Genevieve L. Asenjo is professor of Literature and Creative Writing and Chair of the Department of Literature, De La Salle University, Manila. She is included in the 2018 Cultural Center of the Philippines Encyclopedia of Philippine Art (Literature) for her works in Kinaray-a, Hiligaynon, and Filipino. Her new books are Ang Itim na Orkidyas ng Isla Boracay: Mga Kuwento (University of the Philippines Press, 2021) and Indi Natun Kinahanglan kang Duro nga Tinaga sa Atun Tunga/Hindi Natin Kailangan ng Maraming Salita sa Ating Pagitan: Mga Tula sa Kinaray-a & Filipino (University of the Philippines Press, 2021) which is part of the Philippine Writers Series by LIKHAAN: UP Institute of Creative Writing. She will recite her own work, “Sa Gihapon, Palangga ang Uran, Always Beloved the Rain”.
Dr. Johann Espiritu, Vice Chair of the Literature Department, will provide a special song number.
Poets and Readers from the EU
• Carl Norac, Belgium’s fourth National Poet and a prize-winning poet and author of many widely acclaimed and best-selling children’s books, will recite his original works: “Pour Marcel Moreau” – For Marcel Moreau, his friend who is a Belgian writer too and who has unfortunately recently passed away and “Pour Mustafa, pour Mustafa Kör” (For Mustafa, for Mustafa Kör), a poem dedicated to Mustafa Kör who will in fact succeed him in January 2022 as a National Poet.
• Dora Šedivá, daughter of Ambassador Jana Šedivá (Czech Embassy) is back with her friend, Marika Štěpková, daughter of Deputy Ambassador Jana Peterková, (Czech Embassy) will read Fortune (Štěstí) by Adolf Heyduk, both in Czech and in English.
• Hans Christian Andersen´s philosophy and favourite phrase was “Det er Liv et Reise” or “To Travel is to Live” by Hans Christian Andersen, which will be read by Danish Ambassador Grete Sillasen.
• German actress Luisa Katharina Davids will recite the German translation of “Mi Ultimo Adios“ as 2021 is the year when the German Embassy also unveils an exhibition with José Rizal’s former furniture from Heidelberg, Germany, and an official marker with the German translation of “Mi Ultimo Adios“ at the Museo ni José Rizal in Intramuros. (For more information about the artist, please visit www.luisakatharinadavids.de)
• Famous and multi-awarded poet, narrator, essayist and director of Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, Mr Luis Garcia Montero, will recite his original work “Magallanes” for Bersong Euro-Pinoy. Luis García Montero (Granada, 1958) is the General Director of the Instituto Cervantes since 2018. He has received, among others, the Adonáis Poetry Prize (1982), the National Literature Prize (1994), the National Critics Prize (2003), the Madrid Booksellers Guild Prize (2009), the Poets Prize del Mundo Latino (Mexico, 2010), Ramón López Velarde Award (Mexico, 2017), Parallel 0 Award (Ecuador, 2018) or Carlo Betocchi Literary Award (Italy, 2020).
• Famous poem “Amis, Un Dernier Mot” (Friends, one last word) by Victor Hugo will be read by French actress Anne Gauther Das Neves. The poem was translated by Martin Macalintal, audio-visual attache French Embassy and Jean – Pierre Dumont, Director, Alliance Francaise de Manille.
· Barátim vagytok”, You are my friends” by Sándor Petőfi, will be read by Hungarian Ambassador Dr. Titanilla Tóth.
• Rima LII”, a sonnet on friendship by Dante Alighieri, will be read by Alessandro Milani, General Manager of the Philippine-Italian Association. This is in celebration of Dante Alighieri’s 700th death anniversary. The Philippine-Italian Association will feature a sonnet written by Dante to his best friend, Guido Cavalcanti.
• What makes this poetry edition more exciting is that it will bring back the Italian poetry festival “La punta della lingua”. Luigi Socci is the featured poet with Lorenzo Raponi and Stefano Teodori as filmmakers participating in this festival. La Punta della Lingua” is an international festival, based in Ancona, Italy, dedicated to “TOTAL POETRY” .
• Popular Austrian poem “Love” by Erich Fried will be read by Tajna Platzer of the Embassy of Austria.
• “Labirynt” or “Labyrinth” by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wisława Szymborska will be rendered by Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Poland Jaroslaw Roman Szczepankiewicz.
• Nocturne, Finnish poem by Eino Leino and translated by Keith Bosley will be read by Finnish Ambassador Juha Pyykkö.