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Savage Mind opens a new art festival

Savage Mind Bookshop is set to open a new art festival this coming December 15-30, 2022. With more than fifty poets, scholars, visual artists and filmmakers gathering for the first time for what has been called as Saeculum (translated as a new time), this cultural event will have a series of book launchings, film screenings and lectures and conversation. ‘The idea of celebrating Saeculum comes in a period when the world is now embracing the post-pandemic realities. This is our way of encouraging people particularly our artists to reflect on our notion of time, memory and eternity as reflected in the arts, books and cinema that we are presenting to the public. Saeculum is a call to celebrate the creative spirit,’ said Kristian Sendon Cordero, the founder and director of Savage Mind.

Seven books of poetry published by the Ateneo de Naga University Press, Savage Mind Publishing House and Paloma Press (US) will be launched during the festival. Of these seven books, three are debut collections: Teddy Espila’s The Broken Places, Raul Bradecina’s Mayong Katapusan na Pabalon asin iba pang Huyon-huyon and Cynthia Buiza’s The Future Is A Country I Do Not Live In. Buiza who is based in California is also an occasional painter and will open an exhibition together with Iriga-based artist, Veronica Ibarreta. Other books that will be launched are the poetry collections of Jaime Jesus Borlagdan, Kristian Sendon Cordero. Bikolnon poets Enrique Villasis, Soleil David and Dr. Sonny Sendon who all won a Palanca Prize will read from their award-winning poetry collection.

Aside from the poets, Neni Sta Romana-Cruz is also launching her collection of gothic tales while Abdon Balde Jr. will launch his trilingual retellings of Bikol’s beloved folktales and other lore. Balde’s book and Cordero’s both received a publication funding support from the National Book Development Board. Fr. Andrew Gimenez Recepcion, a Catholic priest who is based in Rome will also launch his second book of essays, entitled The Islands of Faith: Crossroads of Mission. Fictionists Allan Derain, Abdon Balde, and Nap Arcilla will also share their poetics on their respective creative projects alongside with Ms. Karina Bolasco, university press director of Ateneo de Manila University who will lead the conversation on Philippine contemporary novels.

During the festival, two important art prizes will be awarded: The Premyo Victorio Cabangon Valledor for Best Bikol Novel and the Premyo Gualbeto Cea Manlagñit for Young Bikolnon Visual Artists. For the Valledor Prize, three finalists were shortlisted: Niles Jordan Breis, Anthony Diaz and Marvin Davila Aquino. Ten finalists were shortlisted for the Manlagñit Prize.

Gualberto Cea Manlagñit was a prolific Bikolnon writer and an occasional visual artist. Widely acknowledged for his lyrical poems, Manlagñit was also an editor and a publisher of a local newspaper. A Bikol- English Dictionary which he was able to finish is now ready for publication. In celebration of his life and works, his estate, together with Ateneo De Naga University Press and Savage Mind have decided to launch an annual contest honouring the best young poets and visual artists in the Bikol region. In its second year, a watercolor painting competition was launched. 10 young visual artists interpreted four of Manlagñit’s poems.

Victorio Cabangon Valledor is one of the top insurance brokers in the country today, a native of Catanduanes, he has decided to sponsor this literary prize in search of the best contemporary Bikol novel.

The festival culminating activity will be the film screening and tribute to artist and provocateur Rox Lee who was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Filipino. Of equal importance is the second Jose Rizal Memorial Lecture which will delivered by cultural historian, Dr. Stephanie Coo of Ateneo de Manila University. Dr. Coo is the author of the award-winning book, Clothing the Colony: Nineteenth-Century Philippine Sartorial Culture, 1820-1896.

For the full schedule please see below:

December 15 (Thursday)


4PM Pagsulo kan Parol: Tataramon Liwanag kan Kinaban

Isarog Highlands, Panicuason, Naga City


December 16 (Friday)

10-11:30 AM Tugawe Cove Cafe

Huron-Huron asin Hurop-Hurop 1

Conversation with Jimple Borlagdan and Raul Bradecina and Kristian Sendon Cordero


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Tugawe Cove

Kamarin Art Gallery

Readings in Bikol Histories & Cultures

A Presentation


Jethro Calacday

Trinity College, Cambridge

State Power and Popular Religion in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur



Stefanie Matabang

University of California

Finding The Holy Grail in a Bikolano Metrical Romance: Agui-Agui ni Prinsipe Percibal asin ni Rouchenec na ipiglagda kan Cecilio Press

6:00 PM

Pagbungsod nin mga Libro nin Rawitdawit (Book Launching)


Jimple Borlagdan, Dios Mabalos

Kristian Cordero, Selected Poems & Kinalburong Lanob

Cynthia Buiza, The Future is A Country I Do Not Live In

December 17  Saturday

Tugawe Cove Café

10:30-11:30 AM


Huron-Huron asin Hurop-Hurop 2

On Philippine Contemporary Novels: A Publisher’s Perspective

A Conversation with Maria Karina Bolasco

Director, Ateneo de Manila University Press

Panel Discussion with Novelists Abdon M. Balde, Jr. and Allan Derain

4:00-5:00PM--- Tugawe Cove Café

Huron-Huron asin Hurop-Hurop 3

Conversation with Poets Cynthia Buiza, Teddy Espela, and Frank Penones, Jr.



Pagbungsod nin Libro asin Paggawad kan Premyo Valledor

Book Launching of The Uninvited Guests from Bikol: Gothic Stories

By Neni Sta Romana Cruz & Kun Nata Warang Demonyo sa Bikol by Abdon Balde Jr

Ateneo de Naga University Press





Niles Jordan Breis

Anthony Diaz

Marvin Davila Aquino

7:00 PM Tugawe Cove Café and Kamarin

Opening of Cynthia Buiza and Veronica Ibaretta Art Exhibition

December 20


6:00 PM

Pagbasa asin Paghimati nin mga Rawitdawit

Poetry Reading and Listening by 2022 Palanca Winners from Bikol

En Villasis, Soleil David & Dr. Sonny Sendon


Pagbungsod nin Libro

Raul Bradecina, Mayong Katapusan na Pabalon

Teddy Espela, The Broken Places

8:00 PM

Film Screening and Discussion

Short Films from Bikol

December 21 (Wednesday)


Tugawe Cove Café 

Huron-Huron asin Hurop-Hurop 4

10:30-11:30 AM Conversation with Nap Arcilla II, Niles Jordan Breis, Anthony Diaz and Marvin Davila Aquino


2022 Winner of the Madrigal Gonzales Best First Book Award and the finalists of the 2022 Premyo Valledor for Bikol Novel


4:00 PM Awarding of Premyo Gualberto Manlangit for Young Bikol Visual Artists


7:00 PM Kamarin Art Gallery

Pagbungsod nin Libro


THE ISLANDS OF FAITH: Crossroads of Mission by Andrew Gimenez Recepcion

December 29, 20022

Tugawe Cove Cafe 

6:00 PM

Rox Lee: A Retrospective

Film Screening & Discussion, facilitated by Tito Genova Valiente


Tronong Puti

Planet of the Nose

Juan Gapang

Manila’s Scream

Tito’s Wedding

Alamat ng Lalaking Lumuluha



December 30, 2022 (Friday)

6:00 PM

The Second Jose Rizal Memorial Lecture Series

Tugawe Cove Café


Dr. Stephanie Coo

Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow

Departamento de Historia del Arte, Universidad de Granada

NOVA School of Law, Universidad Nova de Lisboa

Ateneo de Manila University


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