ADNU Press partners with LGU Baao for new art and cultural programs

The local government of Baao headed by Mayor Jeffrey Besinio and the Ateneo de Naga University Press has agreed to work together to introduce the Bikolnon Biography Project series that features two of Baao distinguish citizens: Bishop Jorge Imperial Barlin, acknowledged as the first Filipino to be named as a bishop and the poet, Bikolista and public servant Luis Guevara Dato who is one of the early Filipino poets who wrote in English and one of the strong advocate for the use of the Bikol lingua franca. The brief essays were written by Bikolista Jose Fernando Obias for Barlin and Stephen Cenon Talla, one of Dato’s grandchildren, who took it as his personal mission to reintroduce his lolo’s works particularly in the digital age. While Barlin is a known clergyman in the history of Philippine Catholic hiereracy, the town’s poet Dato is also honored as a ‘Catholic poet’ having translated the Pasyon to English. His other famous and widely anthologized works include Day on the Farm, The Spouse and Malolos, among others.

Mayor Besinio has agreed to procure a good number copies of these bokks which will be launched in a ceremony which is tentatively set on July 4, 2021, the birth anniversary of Luis Dato. Kristian Sendon Cordero who is the deputy director of the university press is optimistic that this encounter and assurance of LGU Baao to support the biography series will be another major achievement for the press as it continues to bring these Bikolyana materials to our local communities. Cordero believes that with Mayor Besinio on board, many cultural and artistic programs will be initiated because of this new partnership. The meeting of Mayor Besinio and Cordero was arranged by Ms. Bella Arevalo, an active member of the Baao Historical and Cultural Society and Ms. Lorraine Felix, private secretary to the local executive of Baao.