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SLA faculty represents WesMin in 2013 Philippine Writers Festival

Mr. Marion B. Guerrero, faculty member of the Languages Department of the School of Liberal Arts (SLA) of this university, joined a hundred other delegates as representative of Western Mindanao in the 2013 Taboan: Philippine Writers Festival held from February 7-9 in Dumaguete City. The event, now on its fifth year, gathers from all over the Philippines, Palanca Award winners, critics and teachers of literature, practitioners of local literary forms, budding creative writers and lovers of the literary arts as part of the 2013 Philippine International Arts Festival in the celebration of Arts Month in February.

Organized and spearheaded by the National Committee on Literary Arts (NCLA) of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), this year’s edition of Taboan has for its theme: “Celebrating Icons.” This was highlighted by the conferment of the Taboan Lifetime Achievement Awards to distinguished names in contemporary Philippine literature, including Palanca Hall of Famer Dr. Leoncio Deriada, Dr. Merlie M. Alunan and National Artist for Literature Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, who graced the said gathering.

Part of the activities includes panel sessions where participants and Literature and Creative Writing students from the four universities of the host city can interact with the delegates. For his part, Mr. Guerrero was panel discussant for “Chronicling Disasters,” where he talked about the challenges of writing in Chabacano and the nature of man-made disasters that stalk the region. Mr. Guerrero, who writes Chabacano poetry, currently teaches Creative Writing and was assistant project coordinator of the recent 6th Western Mindanao Writers’ Workshop.

Meanwhile, Fr. Albert E. Alejo SJ, assistant to the president for social development and current NCLA member for Western Mindnao, hopes that the continued presence of the region in the Philippine Writers Festival will highlight its rich and unique literary heritage. Fr. Alejo also disclosed the possibility of Zamboanga City as host for the 2014 Taboan.

The word Taboan is both the Tagalog and Cebuano word for marketplace. A fitting term since this event envisions a Filipino literary community that exchanges ideas for the continuous development of Philippine literature.