Despite the pandemic, the Ateneo de Naga University through the Ateneo de Naga University Press and the Centre for Arts and Culture continue to bring out pioneering art initiatives that provide alternative learning materials to students of arts and literature. One of these cultural projects is a collaboration of the Jesuit university to the European Delegation to the Philippines which aim to highlight poetry from Europe and the local literatures of Bikol region.
For the first time after it started, the Bersong Europinoy will have its Bikol premier on September 19, 2020. The idea is to feature other literatures from the country which according Thelma Gecolea are equally important and valuable as cultural treasures of the world.
Alongside with European delagates and diplomats like Javier Galvan of Instituto de Cervantes, former ambassador of Hungary to the Philippines, HE Jozsef Bencze, chargé d’ affaires ad interim of Poland, Jaroslaw Szczepankiewicz, Bikol writers and performers will also read poems and translations in the Bikol, Rinconada, and Tigaonon languages. The readers for Bikol include radio talents and actors Jess Volante and Delia Volante who will read an excerpt from one of the works of Naga’s most prolific poet, Rosaulio Imperial, Sr.; poet and visual artist Frank Peñones Jr will read his work and a Bikol translation of Miguel Hernandez’s Eterna Sombra; Tito Genova Valiente and Roda Daignre will read their translations in Tigaonon of the poems of Sandor Rakos and Federico Garcia Lorca and university press director, Fr. Wilmer Tria will read an excerpt of his Bikol translation of Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio while his deputy director, Kristian Sendon Cordero will read an excerpt from his translation of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.
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Other sponsors of the program are the Philippine-Italian Association, the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA) and the Savage Mind Bookshop in Naga City.