[Blueboard] Pagdakop sa Bulalakaw, Poems by Merlie Alunan

m baytion alunsina2010 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 8 10:24:01 PHT 2013

Karong layo na ta
sa sinugdanan
kining dalan sa pag-asoy
mao ray magadugtong
sa atong gigikanan
ug sa atong adtoanan

We're a long way off
from where we began
but the path of the story
will surely link us
to where we came from,
and where we're going.

"Karong layo na ta" is from PAGDAKOP SA BULALAKAW ug Uban pang mga Balak,
Merlie Alunan's latest book of poetry, to   be launched today, February 8,
7 pm, at the TABOAN Writers' Festival, Bethel Guest House, Dumaguete
City.This year's TABOAN, organized by Dr. Christine Godinez-Ortega and her
team, has for its theme "Katitikang Bisaya" and gathers writers, critics,
poets, cultural performers in a three-day festival of papers and
interaction on indigenous writing, travails of translation, writing from
the margins, Chinoy writing, modern Catholic writing, chronicling
disasters, ebook writing, among many others.

The launch of PAGDAKOP is a special event at TABOAN. The poems in this
collection were originally conceived and written in Cebuano, then
translated by Alunan herself into English. In her world, according to
fellow poet Lawrence Ypil, "speech becomes the language of the land. Fruit
becomes story, moon becomes tale, a piece of stone carried in the hand over
seas becomes memory. Love, here, is found in a stack of firewood. History,
in a head of lice..."

Another poet and scholar, Marjorie Evasco, calls PAGDAKOP "a map of Merlie
Alunan's complex journey as a poet, not only from and to many islands in
the Visayas, but also in her language's search for the ineffable firebird,
the bulalakaw, of poetry. While the landscape of the Visayan imagination
had been peopled in the 20th century with well-sung folk figures like Rosas
Pandan and Dodong, Alunan's poems enrich the terrain with Carmelitang
Kutoon, Sandoy, Anton, and Adonis--all of whom display that peculiar Bisdak
ironic humor, that has yet to meet its match in the poetry of other
Philippine languages."

UP Emeritus Professor Merlie Alunan wrote poetry in English, earning honors
for her work, then began writing in Cebuano in 1998, and has since won
awards for both fiction and poetry in Cebuano. She continues to write in
her adoptive city, Tacloban,and her forthcoming book on Waray oral
narratives is due for release this year.

Ang magapugas og mais, moani og mais.
Moabot og unos ang magasabwag og hangin.
Kung kalayoy alimahan, abo ray dangatan--
mao kaha nay balaod ning kalibotan.

Nan, kun pulong maoy isabwag,
sa hangin ibansiwag, o sa papel man ipugas,
kun swertihon, ang pagaanihon balak.
Kung dimalason, binakid nga mga bakak.

PAGDAKOP SA BULALAKAW is available at www.ateneopress.org, and may be
ordered through Popular, Solidaridad, and Fully Booked.

Ateneo de Manila University Press
Ground Floor, Bellarmine Hall
Ateneo de Manila University campus
Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights
Tel. 63-2-4265984
Email: unipress at admu.edu.ph

Visit our website and order online:

Book of the Month: LAW FOR ART'S SAKE: An Introduction to Legal
Gobbledygook, by J. Sedfrey Santiago

Events in February: "The Philippine National Bank: The American Colonial
State and Finance, 1898-1941" by Dr. Yoshiko Nagano. LECTURE. Feb 7, 230
pm, UP School of Economics Rm SE111, UP Diliman. PAGDAKOP sa BULALAKAW ug
uban pang mga Balak, Poems by MERLIE ALUNAN, booklaunching. Feb 8, Taboan,
Dumaguete City. TABOAN: Katitikang Bisaya, 5th Writers Festival, Feb 7-9.
Bethel Guest House, Dumaguete City. "Historiography and Nation since PASYON
and REVOLUTION." Conference. Feb 8-9, c/o Philippine Studies, Ateneo de
Manila University. "Communication Research in a Glocalized World." National
Communication Research conference. Feb 15-16, College of Mass
Communication, UP Diliman.

Perhaps the greatest reading pleasure has an element of self-annihilation.
To be so engrossed that you barely know you exist.
                        --Ian McEwan
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