20 Jun 2012

Binalaybay sa Halawód

Capiz-based writers read poetry marking RP’s Independence Day

By Caressa Siglos and Niño Manaog
Photos by Arcturus Dordas and Ben Villarosa

It was an afternoon of history, poetry and fellowship.

A group of writers based in Roxas City and the neighboring towns of Capiz convened by brothers Leothiny and Virgilio Clavel took part in Binalaybay sa Halawód, a poetry reading cum fellowship held June 11, 2012 at the Hontiveros Ancestral House beside the Panay River in barangay Plaridel, Roxas City.

No less than Roxas City Councilor Teresa Hontiveros-Almalbis hosted the artists in their Ancestral House, which stands at the riverside of the Capiz Bridge at the heart of the city.

POETS, PRIESTS AND POLITICIANS. Binalaybay sa Halawod gathered a number of writers across Capiz including (clockwise from top left) Francis Russel Varron of Roxas City;  Kenn Mendoza, marine transportation major from Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion; Niño Manaog, who hails from Bicol but who has settled in Western Visayas since 2005; Salvador Ochavo Jr. of Sapian; Dr. Leothiny Clavel, a Capiznon scholar based in Manila; Marvic Martires of Roxas City; Mass Comm major Rhiel dela Rosa of CPC; and Harold Ortiz Buenvenida of Panay. The poets' works lamented social realities, touching on political and economic themes.
According to Dr. Leothiny Clavel, the event’s convenor who is also a published Capiznon scholar, they made sure that the event be held in the ancestral residence of Sen. Jose Hontiveros, who is considered a historical icon.  Clavel said that holding the “Binalaybay” at the Hontiveros Ancestral House by the Panay River is significant because the house used to be the center of culture at the turn of the twentieth century, while the Panay River is also immortalized in Hinilawod, an epic of Capiz which tells of the adventures of Labaw Dinggin who traversed Halawod. Capisnon freedom fighters likewise traversed the route of the Halawod river in fighting the Spanish forces in the towns of Tapaz, Dumalag, Mambusao, Dao, Maayon, Panitan, Pontevedra, Panay and Capiz (now Roxas City).

According to Clavel, Binalaybay sa Halawod was convened to serve as an innovative way of commemorating the struggle for independence, because he believes “the annual celebration of Philippine Independence needs fresh approaches.”

Councilor Teresa Hontiveros-Almalbis (right) hosts the group, inspiring them by sharing their family history.
During the three-hour fellowship which began at 3 p.m., Roxas City Councilor Teresa Hontiveros-Almalbis inspired the gathering by sharing their family history (see photo below) which includes the illustrious career of his grandfather, Sen. Jose Hontiveros, who served Manuel Quezon’s Cabinet during the Commonwealth Period; her aunt, National Artist for Theater Daisy Javellana, wife of famous Ilonggo writer Lamberto Javellana; her uncle, the famous Jesuit composer Eduardo Hontiveros and her own daughter Barbie Almalbis who is a popular contemporary music artist. Playing the guitar herself, Councilor Almalbis also sang to the group her daughter’s popular composition “Tabing Ilog,” which was used as theme in a TV series in the late 90s.

After the host’s sharing, the gathering witnessed the reading of binalaybay (poems) penned by Francis Russel Varron of Roxas City; Salvador Ochavo Jr. of Sapian; Harold  Ortiz Buenvenida of Panay; Marvic Martires of Roxas City, Leothiny Clavel who is a Capiznon now based in Manila, and Niño Manaog, a Bikolano who migrated in the Panay Islands in 2005.

The poets read their works which fell under three themes—social, economic and political themes, with the last brimming with works satirizing the government and the irony of the celebration of independence. Some works were plays with words, while others attacked the current social realities.

Two students from Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion shared to the audience their binalaybay. Kenn Mendoza read “Sunog nga Libro” which laments how modern-day leaders have turned from public servants to feudal lords, the very people the heroes of the past fought against; while Mass Communication major Rhiel dela Rosa shared “Sa Akon Henerasyon,” which compares the past and the present youth and enjoins them to learn from the lessons of the past. 

According to the organizers, the initiative sought to promote Capisnon (or Kinapisnon), the language of Capiz, as a vehicle of poetic engagement and as a window to the literary world of the province. More important, it did not only provide a venue for poets writing in the Capisnon language to gather and read their poems in celebration of the freedom of creative expression; it also allowed poets to affirm their freedom of creative expression, which is considered “an important result of the struggle.”

Clavel said that the Hontiveros residence will be cited as part of the cultural accounts of the event and in the book which will feature the same harvest of poems read in the memorial. 

11 Jun 2012

Partnerships for progress

CapSU inks MOU with Korean HEIs

To provide more constituents appropriate and affordable education, the Capiz State University led by President Editha L. Magallanes (right, center photo) has forged partnerships with international HEIs represented by Pres. Joon-Sang Cho of Hanmin University (top left photo) and Ho-sung Kang of the World Cyber College (left, center photo), both of the Republic of Korea. The lobbying efforts for these partnerships were also led by Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay of the Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE). 

On December 6, 2011, Dr. Editha L. Magallanes, President of the Capiz State University (CapSU) lead the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered between CapSU and Hanmin University and the World Cyber College, two higher education institutions (HEIs) based in Korea.

Signed by Dr. Ho-sung Kang, president of the World Cyber College, Dr. Joon-Sang Cho, president of Hanmin University and Dr. Editha L. Magallanes, CapSU president at the Dadivas Hall, Fuentes Drive, Roxas City , the MOU seeks to pursue academic and research cooperation for the benefits of the three HEIs. According to the MOU, the two universities will facilitate the exchange of students, short-term educational programs and long-term degree-seeking programs; joint research activities on matters of mutual interest; sharing of knowledge related to the disciplines taught at the respective institutions; and exchange of teaching staff.

The three HEIs also agreed on the training of Saemaul Movement leaders and sharing of Saemaul Movement; the cultural exchange of both countries and cooperation for mission; and other activities that shall be mutually agreed upon by the institutions.

The partnerships were made possible through the efforts of Cong. Eulogio Magsaysay of the Alliance for Volunteer Educators (AVE) party list, who also witnessed the signing of the MOU.