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Writers gather for the 2nd Literatura Festival

The second Literatura Festival, dubbed as the “Writers’ Summit,” was held last July 26 after an eight-year hiatus.

The event featured acclaimed writers and highlighted the reading of Filipino award-winning works. The writers also discussed some of the problems in Philippine literature.

After their reading and sharing, the writers answered questions in the panel discussion. The panelists included visiting writers of the Edilberto and Edith Tiempo Creative Writing Center and Dumaguete-based writers and literary enthusiasts.

During the discussions, the writers addressed the language writing as a discipline.

Ian Casocot, one of the panelists, said that many Visayan words are more powerful than English words in conveying message and emotion.

“I have been writing in English and I missed out a lot because I can’t write in Visayan,” Casocot added.

Lawrence Ypil, poet and instructor at the Ateneo de Manila University, said that many Cebuanos are inspired to write poems in Visayan. Ypil hopes that Dumaguete can catch the fever and also write in Visayan.

The writers also encouraged the participants to use technology in enriching the Philippine literature.

Sarah Gambinto, author of the poetry collections “Delivered” and “Matadora,” said, “We can use social media to write and share our works to the world.”

The first batch of panelists said that reading groups are good models for fostering the love of literature in the community. They also explored reading groups in Dumaguete City and the passion it takes to run.

The second panelists talked about the influence of Philippine languages both in the Philippines and in the diaspora, landscape, memory, developing character, and the influence of culture on writers’ works.

The last batch of panelists discussed about the local and Filipino-American literary scene. Warlito Caturay Jr., Deputy Festival director, said that writers can get inspiration everywhere. He said that a good writer can write anything out of nothing.

Filipino-American writers Lara Stapleton, Ricco Siasoco, Sarah Gambito, R.A. Villanueva, M. Evelina Galang, Fidelito Cortes, and Nerissa Balce; Cebu-based writer Lawrence Ypil, and Dumaguete-based writers Ian Rosales Casocot, Cesar Ruiz Aquino, and Myrna Peña-Reyes shared their award-winning works.

By Leslie Batallones

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