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Saturday, August 20, 2011

UMPIL Holds Its 37th Annual Congress


As a commemorative event and important part of its annual convention, the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) will hold the Rizal Sesquicentennial Literary Conference for Teachers on 25-27 August 2011 at the Claro M. Recto Hall, College of Arts and Letters, Rizal Building, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

Guest of honor is National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera.

On 25-26 August (Thurs-Frid), respected scholars will deliver papers on the works of Jose Rizal, each one assigned a particular literary genre and is expected to give new insights on the subject. Dr. Soledad S. Reyes (Ateneo de Manila) will tackle the novels, Dr. Virgilio S. Almario (UP Diliman) the poems, Dr. Paul A. Dumol (University of Asia and the Pacific) the plays, and Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo (Ateneo de Manila and UP Diliman) the essays. To further inspire teachers to find new methods of teaching the Rizal course, veteran educators will demo-teach on poetry (Prof. Danilo Francisco M. Reyes), plays (Dr. Jerry Respeto), and essays (Dr. Corazon Lalu-Santos).

On 27 August, the annual UMPIL members convention features the Panayam Adrian Cristobal (public intellectual lecture series), a booklaunch, a literary forum, and the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas. All the previous recipients of the Gawad are invited to attend this whole-day event.

It is in honor of the late Adrian E. Cristobal, essayist, fictionist and playwright, and in homage to the Public Intellectual, that UMPIL and the Cristobal family jointly initiated the Adrian E. Cristobal Lecture series last year. The first lecturer of the series was poet Gemino Abad. The 2011 lecturer is National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario. His book Rizal: Makata (Anvil Publishing, 2011) will be launch after the lecture.

The Writers Forum, with the topic “Ang Realismong Panlipunan at ang Pagsulat ng Kontemporaneong Nobela sa Filipinas” (Social Realism and the Writing of the Contemporary Filipino Novel) will feature three of the most engaging fictionists today: Mario I. Miclat, of the The Secret of the Eighteen Mansions fame; Genevieve Asenjo, who wrote Lumbay ng Dila; and Edgar Samar, author of Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog.

The Congress’ main event is the awards ceremony of the “Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas” for Filipino writers who have produced outstanding works and have dedicated their lives and talents to the development, propagation, and promotion of Philippine literature. The 2011 Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas awardees are Herminio Beltran (Poetry in Filipino), Fanny A. Garcia (Fiction in Filipino), Elmer A. Ordoñez (Essay in English), Crisostomo Ilustre (Fiction in Iluko), Maria Luisa S. Defante-Gibraltar (Fiction in Hiligaynon), and Sze Manchi (Poetry in Chinese).

Paz Verdades M. Santos receives the Gawad Paz Marquez for Outstanding Educator in the field of literature and The Varsitarian of the University of Santo Tomas the Gawad Pedro Bucaneg for providing a bright guiding light to talents that later contributed in no small measure to national life.

The event is made possible by the support of the Adrian Cristobal Foundation, UP Institute of Creative Writing, and the UP College of Arts and Letters. The Office of the Chancellor-UP Diliman and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Education (DepEd) endorse the conference.

UMPIL members, teachers, and other interested parties are encouraged to participate in the conference as well the convention. The Conference has a registration fee of P3,000 and the Convention P500 for new and current organization members.

For details, call Ms. Eva Cadiz c/o UP Institute of Creative Writing, 9221830. Or email the conference director and UMPIL Secretary General Michael M. Coroza at

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