Poetry Wednesdays

Waray Poetry: Voltaire Oyzon reads “Gab-i” / “Night”

For the second installment of Poetry Wednesdays, here’s Tacloban-based Waray poet Voltaire Oyzon, reading “Gab-i.”

Voltaire is also one of the minds behind the Corpora Project, a database of texts in various languages. It’s purpose is to preserve language and provide structural analysis that can be used to classify texts according to comprehension level for use in mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTBMLE). Check it out at http://corporaproject.org/

 

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Process

Voicing the Tiniest Tik-Tik

Working on this passion project is not without its stumbling blocks. I often say it feels like I’m making it up as I go along. But it also has a serendipity to it, an energy it generates on its own.

I came to Cebu City to record a voiceover for the ebook version of “Kalipay and the Tiniest Tiktik,” the Cebuano story in this series. (For those who aren’t Filipino, a tiktik is a creature from Philippine folklore—a funky sort of vampire, though “viscera-sucker” is more accurate.) I found an actor within 24 hours of landing here (the expressive Yon Maningo), via a fellow Brooklynite (playwright Linda Faigao-Hall).

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Poetry Wednesdays

Cebuano Poetry: Jeremiah Bondoc reads “sa menteryo sa carreta dihang nangutana ka og unsaon ang balak sa pagbasa”

Welcome to Poetry Wednesdays on the Sari-Sari Storybooks blog.

As I travel around the Philippines to work on this children’s book series, I’d like to share some of the poets I meet, writing in Cebuano, Waray, Meranao, Hiligaynon, Tagalog and other Philippine languages. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing the multiplicity of Filipino poetry in the world.

We’ll start with Cebuano poet Jeremiah Bondoc (president of Bathalad, a Cebuano poetry organization),who read this back in February 2014, on my last trip here. This is “sa menteryo sa carreta dihang nangutana ka / og unsaon ang balak sa pagbasa” (how a poem should be read you asked me/ at the carreta cemetery).

Check back in on Wednesdays to hear more poets.

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writing

The Siliman Writers’ Workshop

The Siliman Writers’ Workshop is the oldest of it’s kind in Asia. Every year it attracts a new batch of writers. They spend 3 weeks discussing their work with established writers in Dumaguete, at a mountain retreat. As coincidence would have it, one of the workshop fellows this year is Jona Bering, the translator of Sari-Sari Storybooks’ Cebuano story, (“Kalipay and the Tiniest Tik-Tik”). I got to observe a morning session, some photos are below. […]

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General

Meet Me in Manila

This is a thrill. I’ve been invited to speak about Sari-Sari Storybooks at the June 8 Meetup for the Society of Children’s Book Writers + Illustrators, Manila chapter. I’ll talk about the project, it’s structure, and why I think it’s vital to support Filipino languages via children’s books. Alyssa Sarmiento, co-author of “Melo the Umang-Boy,” will also share some of her process in developing the Ivatan story in Batanes. If you are an illustrator, writer, […]

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General

A Sulu Folktale: “Rajah Sulayman and the Birds”

One day Rajah Sulayman took a walk with his followers, the birds. They went to Parang Hunain. When they returned home, the rajah was very tired. Sitting on an armchair, he soon fell asleep. The moment the birds saw their master sleeping, Bugguk (the heron), called his friends together and said, “Friends, let us have a lively conversation among ourselves. Instead of remaining quiet, it is preferable to talk.”

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