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“SA Satuyang mga Dila” by Emmanuel T. Barrameda of Virac, Catanduanes, “An Pangiturog nin Agom kan Parasira, 1814” by Fernando Castor Chavez of Presentacion, Camarines Sur, and “Au!” by court stenographer Irmina Volante-Torres of RTC Pili won the first, second, and third prizes respectively in the Kabulig Inaugural Writers Prize 2018. Barrameda, a member of Kataga, Samahan ng Manunulat sa Pilipinas, Inc. wrote about how the body’s own language silences all other kinds of speech in a poem which starts with “Sa pagkanuparan nin satuyang mga dila/ nagagadan an satuyang mga lenggwahe” (In the meeting of our tongues/ all our languages die). Chavez, at present a cook in a Thai restaurant in Manila, penned the ekphrastic “An Pangiturog nin Agom kan Parasira, 1814*” based on Kotushika Hokusai‘s celebrated shunga erotica woodblock print Tako to ama. During the judgment process, the issues of the difference between women’s and men’s perception of the erotic and the importance of a Bikol perspective in relation to his poem were raised. Volante-Torres’s “Au!” play on the marginalized Partido accent, e.g. “Au, ta paabuton na naman an bangge, ho!” in a rendition of a couple’s intimacy, mentions landmark areas such as Lag’noy, Car’moan, and Nato in its metaphors. Five more poems won consolation prizes, concrete poem in the shape of a banana heart “Inimusuan” written in Bikol Rinconada by Froy Beraña, San Ramon, Iriga City; “Kakugos Kataid” by 21-year old Princess Carmela Casa, San Jose, Camarines Sur; “An Huring Hagot” by Adem Rubio, instructor, Virac, Catanduanes; “Dai ka man Baduan nin Bagong Panganuron, Daragang Magayon” by Julius Denido Bulahan, college student, Naga City; and “Pagtilad sa Pili” by Pejay A. Padrigon, Iriga City, teacher at the Nabua National High School. Barrameda, Chavez, Beraña, Rubio, Bulahan, and Padrigon are affiliated with Parasurat Bikolnon Inc., an association of young aspiring Bikolnon writers that conducts the yearly Saringsing Writers Workshop. The winners will be awarded, and the winning entries and other poems will be performed in the Girok 4 event at Kina’mon on Magsaysay Ave., Naga City on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2 pm. Thirty-seven poets from the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, and Catanduanes sent in their entries in this first ever contest sponsored by Kabulig-Bikol, Inc. The contest was chaired by Elbert Baeta. Sponsoring organization Kabulig-Bikol is a non-profit non-government organization dedicated to supporting and promoting Bikol arts and culture. – Doods Santos, Kabulig-Bikol, Inc.

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