The Taboan National Writers’ Festival pioneered by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCAA) is an annual gathering of writers from all over the country. On its 11th year, the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture(CBSUA) took part the celebration as it hosted the festival on 7-8 October 2019.
“Taboan” from the Visayan word for marketplace, features the discussion of various topics in at least two plenary and several parallel sessions. This year’s festival theme “Lawas/Literatura or Body/Literature” depicted and symbolized bya logo designed by Victor Dennis Nierva, a Bicol poet and prize winning designer. The logo features the prehistoric bones of rhinoceros philippinensis found by archaeologists of the National Museum in Rizal, Kalinga Province. “The discovery allows us to take a peek at 709 thousand years of activity in the Philippines. The logo is a celebration of these millennia, all of which have brought us to where we are now. This fossilized body of an animal is enough to celebrate the many bodieswe have, including our own and our words,” Nierva explained.
The festival also featured the bestowal of the Taboan Award to retired broadcaster Rufo Tuy Jr., Msgr. Noel de los Santos, Dr. Susana Cabredo, Dr. Emelina Regis,and the late Sorsogon cultural advocate, Reynaldo Jamoralin; for their respective contributions to Bikol language and literature.
“We will support any cultural event in the university as we are aware that etymologically culture is related to agriculture,” Dr. Alberto Naperi said during the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the NCCA thru the Festival Director, Frank Penones Jr., who sits as representative of Southern Luzon in the Committee on Literary Arts and witnessed by Dr. Lourdes Bascuña, CBSUA’s director of the Sentro ng Wika at Kultura, Festival Deputy Director; and Elbert O. Baeta, head of the Festival Secretariat.
The Taboan National Writers’ Festival 2019 is also supported by the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, through Gov. Luis Miguel Villafuerte, the local government unit of Pili through Mayor Tomas Bongalonta, 3rd District Representative Gabriel H. Bordado and ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Nina Taduran.
The two-day festival was filled with diverse ideas about culture, history and of the localand national writers’ organizations, universities and schools gathered in one venue to witness and trade knowledge and values of Bicol and Philippine Literature.