»Issue 14 Contributors

Issue 14 Contributors

Rio Alma, or Virgilio S. Almario, confered the Order of National Artist for Literature in 2003, is a man of many literary hats. He is a poet, literary historian and critic, publisher, cultural administrator, mentor and academic. A real prolific author, he has a little less than 30 books to his name, almost in equal parts poetry and literary criticism, all written in Filipino, the National Language. He founded the Children's Communication Center, the Philippine pioneer in children's book publishing, and publisher of Adarna Books; he conducts the long-running poetry clinic, Linangan sa Retorika at Arte (LIRA); was Executive Director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA); and at present the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters of the University of the Philippines.

Ang Kiukok (1931-2005), the son of Chinese immigrants, crossed national boundaries (his paintings are auctioned by Sotheby's or Christie's) but remained truly and undeniably Filipino. The dominant images of his art—gaunt angular Christs, rabid dogs, starvation fishbones, demented cockfights—"blazed an iconographic path of his own," according an NCCA citation, but are also frighteningly familiar. They bespeak the almost unrelieved agony of the human condition, but more so the all-too-real and nightmarish contemporary Filipino experience. Ang Kiukok, whose "placid and affable" person contrasted with the anger in his work, was confered the Order of National Artist in 2001.

Fidel Rillo, whose series titled "Sonnets from Life" (my translation) is unpublished, and two of which are sampled here, is one of our leading poets writing in Filipino whose contemporary sensibility is not constrained by the use of traditional forms. He belongs to the generation that counts among them Teo Antonio, the late Mike Bigornia, Jesus Manuel Santiago, the late Romulo Sandoval, and Virgilio V. Vitug, whose deep social commitment and historical consciousness were otherwise untrammeled by the lyric voice that is only one of their high distinctions. Rillo is also an active participant in the local book industry as one of our best book designers. He designed, edited and gave a perceptive introduction to Sonetos Postumos.

Jose F. Lacaba lends us his poetry for the second time. Pete writes "I found my old college-era poem on the Georges Seurat painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" (Un dimanche après-midi à l'Ile de la Grande Jatte) and in the process found another ekphrasis that I had all but forgotten about, this one on Sandro Botticelli's "Birth of Venus." If memory serves, the Seurat poem was previously published only in a mimeographed newsletter of the Ateneo Arts Club. The Botticelli poem is unpublished, and was written sometime in the mid-1960s, after the Post Office banned from the mails an issue of the Philippines Free Press that used the painting to illustrate a page 1 editorial." These poems by Pete, who since then had chosen to write his poetry only in Filipino, are thus a rare find for Poet's Picturebook.

Victor Peñaranda has sent our magazine (once he knew about it) poems from his frequent travels abroad, in Bhutan or Macedonia, or locally now that he is back in the Philippines maybe for sometime. Before leaving for Mt. Data, the place so beloved of our late poet friend Mike Bigornia, where the latter spent part of his youth and wrote poems from, Bimboy sent us a poem about stillness that belies the evocation of its title. It was probably in anticipation of the natural serenity that Mt. Data is known for. "Everything here reminds us of Mike," he wrote later.

Ben Razon is a professional photographer (and an able analyst of its esthetics and techniques), and a member of the Banggaan e-group of Filipino artists, photographers, and writers, musicians. He worked for various publications, including the defunct Philippines Newsday. On his various sorties for photography and documentation projects, he is never without his Nikons and Fujis, especially the new Fuji FinePix 100fs, and captures just about everything, from the dim light in a bar in Malate to the sunlight streaming in a laundry area to the hellish smoke of the burning dumpsite (Ulingan) at Manila's Pier 18.

Dante Perez, after a long stint as editorial illustrator for various newspapers, including the Straights Times of Singapore, has gone full time into painting and has had several shows. His latest, "Sacred," is on-going at 1/of Gallery, 2nd level, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City. Dante, according to his show notes, "depicts unlikely saints..." and "this time he illumines the progeny of the underground and exalts them as bodhisattvas. To experience Perez's new series is to slither through the underbelly of the city, to partake with its derelict dandies, and to know no difference between the publicized, beatified saints and the dregs of society."

Bryan Paraiso, our first-time contributor, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, major in Painting from the University of Santo Tomas in 1997. He had worked as an Education Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and in an art center in Negros Occidental, Philippines from 1998 to 2004. He is currently a researcher/ analyst for a Philippine government agency. He was a finalist at the 2007 2nd Philippine Graphic/ Fiction Awards sponsored by Fully Booked, and had received Certificates of Merit at art competitions such as the Shell National Student Painting Competition, Philippine Board on Books for the Young Illustrator's Competition, St. Scholastica's College and Technological University of the Philippines On-the-Spot Painting Competitions.

Mohammed Sidique Khan (October 20, 1974 – July 7, 2005) was the oldest of the four suicide bombers responsible for the 7 July 2005 London bombings, in which bombs were detonated on three London Underground trains and one bus in central London suicide attacks that killed 52 people and injured over 700. Khan bombed the Edgware Road train in which seven people died, including himself. (Wikipedia)
"Issue 14 Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2008/05/issue-14-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Tuesday, May 6, 2008, 5:56 PM.

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