NCCA promotes PH cultural heritage via nat'l literature month

By : MT LIFESTYLE Mindanao Today/04:03:32pm 04/14/2021



by Shaun Alejandrae Y. Uy, PIA-10
Published on Mindanao Today, April 7, 2021

To promote, conserve and popularize the country’s historical and cultural heritage and resources, as well as artistic creations through literature, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) held a virtual press conference for the seventh edition of the annual National Literature Month celebration, March 26.
       NCCA, together with the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), and the National Book Development Board (NBDB), lined up contests and workshops through the online platform, emphasizing the enduring nature of literature even in the midst of pandemic.
       This year's theme, "Limandaang Taon ng Pagsulat sa Kalibutang Filipino (500 Years of Writing the Filipino World)" coincides with the quincentenary of the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines.
       Arsenio "Nick" J. Lizaso, president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and NCCA chairperson, said, “Maihahambing ang yaman ng ating panitikan sa ilog na dumadaloy sa ating bayan, nag-iiba ng anyo ngunit patuloy ang pag-usad sa agos ng kasaysayan. Katulad ng dagat na naging daan ng mga banyaga sa atin. Ang ating panitikan ay siyang daluyan rin ng kultura at malikhaing katalinuhan ng ating lahi. Kaya naman ipinagdiriwang natin ang yamang ito sa temang Limandaang Taon ng Pagsulat sa Kalibutang Filipino.” (Our literature is comparable to our nation’s flowing river, it may change form but it continues to flow through history. Just like the ocean that foreigners used to get here. Our literature has become the medium of our culture and creative intelligence of our race. This is why we celebrate this treasure with the theme 500 Years of Writing the Filipino World)
       He added that such is also the purpose of NCCA to introduce to the public the depth and vastness of literature through projects that strengthen one's understanding of the nation’s writings and oral traditions.

On funding grants for writers
       Dr. Julieta C. Mallari, head of the National Committee on Literary Arts (NCLA), said, “Maraming grants ang binibigay ng NCLA (National Committee on Literary Arts), in fact, sa taong ito, hindi marami ang nag-apply kaya sayang nga may mga grants na binibigay sa pagsulat. Kung ikaw ay manunulat at ikaw ay nag-uumpisa, halimbawa ng isang nobela o ano mang literary form, annual ang binibigay na grants. Hindi lang NCLA ang nagbibigay ng grants, marami ring mga committee sa NCCA na maaring magbigay ng grants.” (There are grants given by NCLA, in fact, this year, there are only a few applications and it is such a waste since there are grants given for writing. If you are a writer and you are just starting a novel for example or any literary form, grants are given annually. It is not only the NCLA that provides grants because there are also a lot of committees in the NCCA that can provide grants)
       Mallari also said interested individuals need not to be a member of either writing or literary groups to be able to access the grants. The application by individual writers are accepted usually in August. They will then be evaluated and once they meet the requirements, the grant will eventually be awarded to them.
       For his part, Dante “Klink” Ang II, NBDB chairperson, said, “Marami pong grants din ang inooffer ng NBDB, hindi lang po para sa manunulat, para rin po sa mga gustong pagsalin ng ilang mga literary works nila sa ibang lengguwahe. 'Yung mga interesado, pumunta lang sa website ng NBDB, para sa karagdagang impormasyon. (There are also a lot of grants that NBDB offers, not only to writers but also for those who want their literary works translated to different language. For those interested, just visit the NBDB website, for more information.)

NLM 2021 events
       The literary and cultural events to be held for the whole month of April include the Araw ni Balagtas, which is often considered as the launching date of National Literature Month. This will kick-off through a virtual celebration, :00April 2 at 10 a.m., with a wreath-laying ceremony to be held at Orion, Bataan.
       On April 5, the KWF will launch the first of a series of online webinars on the interplay of local literature and history, starting with "Wikang Katutubo: Wika ng Dekolonisasyon" with anthropologist Dr. Alicia Magos of the University of the Philippines Visayas as speaker.
       Subsequent webinars will be held such as the "Mulang Babaylan hanggang kay Darna at ang Di-Matapos-tapos na Pakikibaka ng mga Filipina" with speaker Dr. Raquel Buban of De La Salle University (DLSU), April 12; "Kasaysayan: Batis ng Panitikan" with speaker Dr. Lhai Taylan of DLSU, April 19; and "Pagsasalin mulang Wikang Katutubo Tungong Filipino bilang Kultural na Dekolonisasyon at Pagsasa-Filipino ng Filipino" with Ilokano language and culture expert, Dr. Leo Tejano, April 26.
       For more details, interested individuals may contact Rene Napeñas, head of the Public Affairs and Information Office, through 0928-5081057, 527-2192 local 625 or through email at
       The National Literature Month is celebrated annually in April and is established by Presidential Proclamation 968, signed by President Benigno Aquino III in 2015. (SAYU/PIA10)

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