Ateneo de Zamboanga University Hosts Launch for Book of Chabacano Poems
The Languages Department of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University has scheduled on December 01, 2011, the launch of Francis C. Macansantos’ book of poems entitled Balsa: Poemas Chabacano. The book, published through a grant from the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), is a collection of poems in Chabacano with translations into English by Macansantos, an alumnus of Ateneo de Zamboanga (high school 1966, college 1971). Most of the poems are based on the author’s experiences in and memories of Zamboanga, and also of Basilan, Sulu and Baguio – places dear to his heart. This is the first book of its kind – Chabacano poems accompanied by English translations – to be published in the Philippines.
Francis Macansantos, who will also be awarded Outstanding Alumnus of the year during ADZU’s Grand Alumni Homecoming on Dec. 1 to 3, 2011, is a writer and teacher of writing and literature. He has written poetry, fiction and drama, literary criticism and literary history in English. Since the late 1990s he has also written poetry in Chabacano, his first language, and has become an advocate of writing in the vernacular, not only in his native Zamboanga but in Baguio which has been his home since the 1980s.
Macansantos has won four Palanca Awards for his poetry in English, including two first prizes, in 1989 and in 2008. In 2003, he won the NCCA Writer’s Prize for Poetry with his epic-in-progress, Womb of Water, Breasts of Earth.
Macansantos holds a BA in English from Ateneo de Zamboanga and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Silliman University. He has taught at Silliman, at Mindanao State University, at Baguio Colleges Foundation and at the University of the Philippines Baguio. He has been panelist at the Silliman (later Dumaguete Writers’) Workshop, the Western Mindanao Writers’ Workshop in Zamboanga City and the Cordillera Writers’ Workshop in U.P. Baguio. He has published two other books of poetry, The Words and Other Poems (UP Press 1997) and Womb of Water, Breasts of Earth (NCCA 2007). Macansantos has served in the Committee on Literary Arts of NCCA and is a member of Philippine PEN.