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No. 29 • Contributors

Tim Frost is from London, England, and graciously lent us his photograph of a wet pavement perfect, we thought, for the cover of an issue that has something to do with the Philippine, or Asian, monsoon season. The picture is part of his “Sidewalks Project,” which can be found at his website, “Tim Frost’s Traveller’s Tales,” at www.timfrost.org. He promised to send us a few facts about himself but either professional duties or his wanderlust called (and we failed to remind him again) and we are left only with his “Rain-soaked” pavement reflecting lights from advertisements on London’s Regent Street.

Michael (Mike) L. Bigornia (1950-2001) founded, together with now National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario and poet Teo T. Antonio the Galian sa Arte at Tula (Workshop for Art and Poetry), one of the leading non-academy based literary “clinics” in the 1970s, which explored the literary movements in the Philippines and the modern world as well as the social issues of the times as subject for literature and poetry. He was its first president. Before he suddenly succumbed to heart failure at age 50, Mike was managing editor at Phoenix Press and later SIBS Publishing House, had won several important awards, including the Southeast Asian Literary Contest, the Talagaang Ginto, the Palanca, and Manila’s Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan (top art and culture prize of the city), the SEA Write Award of Thailand, and was adviser of the new-generation workshop Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (Lira). He was Chairman of the Writers Unions of the Philippines for three terms, and was Chairman Emeritus when he passed away. The editor’s friend and professional partner specially in literary projects, Mike was also a translator of Tagalog poetry into English (and supported our early translation projects) since he started writing in our second language and also won wards for it. His three books are Puntablangko (Tagak Series, 1985), Salida (UP Press, 1995), and Prosang Itim (Anvil, 1995).

Vics Magsaysay, Ph.D., is a fine art nature photographer, painter, sculptor, graphic and furniture designer and writer. He is mostly self-taught in his extensive career in the arts since he trained as a civil and chemical engineer. At a young age, his formal studies in the sciences soon gave way to his love for art and he taught and read himself on the masters. As a consultant art director for a five-star Manila hotel, he was accidently asked to assist a German photographer from the German magazines Stern and Geo. The experience left him an indelible mark and he was hooked into exploring his beloved country, the Philippines, and other countries on the globe, on a motorcycle, with his cameras in his backpack. Vics believes that learning is a lifetime process, and after 20 years in graphic design and photography, he went into painting and sculpture. Unable to resist cosmic energies that taught him the different modalities of living, health, and healing, he went further into studying the alternative forces of nature, even as he updates himself on transpersonal growth as well as new art technologies. Vics regulaly contributes to West Cost newspapers, writes a column called "Pool of Reflections," and is a practicing alternative healer who recently earned his doctorate's degree in clinical and medical hypnotherapy. He also conducts workshops on photography and alternative healing and, despite his rainy “Sampayan Blues,” lives in sunny Long Beach, California.

Kristian Sendon Cordero has just come in from a traipse in Germany (and there giving lectures and readings too). Our regular contributor and leading Bikol poet writes in both Filipino and Bikol and is one of the most currently active in the Bikol literary revival. In 2008 he won the NCCA Writers Prize for poetry (a grant for completing a book project). One of the most awarded younger poets from the Bicol Region, Kristian is the author of three books of poetry, has attended the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop and has won the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards and the Premio Tomas Arejola for Bikol Literature, among many others.

Luisa Igloria, originally of Baguio City and now of Virginia, is a member of the Hall of Fame of the Philippine Carlos Palanca Awards, and is widely anthologized in the Unites States. Luisa is an associate professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program of Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, and an author of numerous books, the latest of which is Trill & Mordent. Her work has appeared in various journals including Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, to name a few. Her latest award is the 2009 Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize for Juan Luna’s Revolver, which came out in 2008. Despite her many literary engagements, she generously and regularly sends newly-minted work to poet’sPicturebook.

Rod Samonte is another early supporter of PPB, sending many of his fine photographs and artwork for our choices to accompany poems. Painter, printmaker, photographer, and digital artist, Rod is a resident of Burbank, California, where he migrated after he had well established his name as an artist in Manila. He has shown his work in 19 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in the Philippines, the U.S., Europe, and South America. The critic Alice Guillermo, writing about one of Rod's digital exhibits, remarks about the "new technologies... stunningly displayed," where "he is only proving his excellence in his employment of the new digital language."

Alfredo “Ding” Roces, who describes himself simply in his blog, From My Cyberjournal, as a Filipino artist-writer based in Sydney, Australia, is one of our veritable renaissance men, and there are few. He is a prize-winning painter, sculptor, book editor and designer. In the 1960s he wrote the column Light & Shadow for the Manila Times, and in 1972, he won the Art Association of the Philippines’ (AAP) grand prize for his Kundiman. He moved to Austrialia in 1977. With works collected extensively by such institutions as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the National Museum, and the Central Bank, Ding has participated in countless group and solo shows, the latest of which is Explorations, in 2008. He has designed and edited numerous books, including children’s illustrated and art coffee-table books. He edited the landmark and encyclopedic 10-volume Flipino Heritage: The Making of a Nation. Among his latest awards are the Manila Critics Circle National Book Awards for: Kiukok, Deconstructing Despair (Finale Art Gallery, publ., 2000), Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo & the Generation of 1972 (Eugenio Lopez Foundation, 1998), Legaspi: The Making of a National Artist (Crucible Workshop, 1993), Adios, Patria Adorada (De La Salle University Press, 2006). Ding obtained his BA in Fine Arts, major in painting, from Notre Dame University, Indiana, and attended post-graduate studies under George Grosz at the prestigious Art Students League of New York.

Claro Cortes IV travels extensively as senior photographer of Reuters Singapore. He says that he has “spent the last eight years of his life outside of the Philippines covering news events in China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.” In his Geocities Home Page, Claro says of the pictures to be seen there that “the few images... are not enough to show what these countries really are today,” and that “each frame is a story in itself... the whole of Asia is moving forward.” His other extensive collection of photographs can be seen at his personal website, www.claro.cortes.com.

Reuel Molina Aguila, poet and playwright, was one of the young literary firebrands coming out of Galina sa Arte at Tula. Reuel has however refused to let his political engagement get in the way of the the lyricism of his poetry, plays and various works that have won for him the Makata ng Taon (Poet of the Year) given by Institute of National Language, the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, several Palanca Awards, and other honors. Also a longtime scriptwriter for film, television and radio, Reuel has worked with the late Lino Brocka and Behn Cervantes. A former fellow of the Iowa International Writing Program, Aguila has also taught at the Philippine Science High School, was a Monbusho scholar in Japan, before coming back to teach at his alma mater, the University of the Philippines, where he is currently pursuing a doctorate in creative writing.

Ruel de Vera is more widely known as the young hotshot journalist who joined the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s leading broadsheet daily, fresh out of college. He is associate editor of the newspaper, as well as its weekend magazine, the Sunday Inquirer Magazine. An award-winning author, poet and editor, Ruey has two poetry collections, has edited several anthologies and written a handful of biographies. These include The Zero Hour (The Personal War of Basilio J. Valdez), The Spirit Quest Chronicles (Books 1 & 2), Youngblood 2, and Writing Home: 19 Writers Remember Their Hometowns. Ruey teaches journalism at Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Communication, and he has won the Palanca Awards, Catholic Mass Media Awards and the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards. His poetry books are The Most Careful of Stars and Faulty Electrical Wiring (Office of Research and Publication, Ateneo de Manila University, 2005).

Edd Aragon, after gaining fame (and notoriety) as editorial cartoonist for the Philippine Daily Express in the 1970s, later migrated to Sydney, Australia and worked as editorial artis for the Sydney Morning Herald. In Australia, he has thrice bagged the prestigious Artist of the Year award from the Australian Black and White Artists Society. A painter and digital artist, Edd mounted a triple homecoming show in Manila in April 2008 called Tres Kantos (Three Corners). The three exhibits featured in separate venues Edd’s ultraviolet-reactive paintings, his digital artworks and his editorial cartoons. For his highly-readable and often humorous observations, together with his digital art and paintings, read Edd Aragon’s Blog, at eddaragagon.blogspot.com.

Jim Pascual Agustin writes from Cape Town, South Africa where he moved in October 1994 and presently lives with his wife and their twin daughters. Jim writes that he spent his early years in rural Marikina in a large communal house where he struggled to keep count of numerous cousins (pinsang buo and others) until his family was forced out of the land to make way for the construction of the Marcos Highway. Through the kindness of Fr. James O’Brien, SJ, Jim attended the Ateneo de Manila High School and University. He is a fellow of the UP Writers Workshop in Diliman and the Iligan Writers Workshop. His two books are Beneath an Angry Star (Anvil, 1990) and Salimbayan (with Argee Guevarra and Neal Imperial; Sipat, 1994). The way he refers to an apparently growing collection of new works, we should expect a book from him soon.

Victor Peñaranda, Bimboy to his friends, with “Searching for Borges,” is flexing his prose muscles as he journalizes his various travels in Asia and Europe as a development worker. Recently back home from these global sojourns to settle, maybe for awhile, he had recently moved residence to Bay, Laguna. As a former associate editor to Krip Yuson of the defunct Ermita magazine, the literary publishing and New Age pioneer, Bimboy is a man of many interests: from mysticism and the evolution of consciousness to the evolution of the conscience in the globalizing but underdeveloped world. His first book, Voyage in Dry Season, which won the Manila Critics Circle’s National Book Award in 1996, will be followed this year by a second collection of poems to be published by Anvil.

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"No. 29 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/06/no-29-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Sunday, June 14, 2009, 5:27 PM.


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