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Opinion

Spanish embassy, I Cervantes present Hispano-Fil magazine/Gongs, bamboo music festival

SUNDRY STROKES - The Philippine Star

HE Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq heartily endorses Perro Berde which, he is thoroughly convinced, establishes a lively cultural exchange between the Philippines and all Spanish-speaking countries, thus leading both worlds to gain a significant knowledge of each other.

Herewith is the formal announcement of the launching of Perro Berde and a description of the magazine.

The fourth issue of Perro Berde, the only local cultural magazine written in Spanish and English, will be launched on Feb. 20 at the UP Executive House. Hosts will be UP President Dr. Alfredo Pascual and other UP officials.

National Artist in Literature F. Sionil Jose, NHC Chairperson Dr. Maria Serena Diokno and internationally-known photographer Veejay Villafranca, among others, will be present.

The magazine is an exchange among writers, artists and historians from the Philippines, Spain and Latin America. The expression “Perro Berde” (literally “green dog” — “perro” being the Spanish word for dog and “berde” being the Tagalog variation of the Spanish word “verde” for green) figuratively means an “eccentric person”. The phrase not only highlights the ease in which Spanish and Tagalog lend themselves to each other but also the rarity of Filipino literature written in Spanish.

What started out as a pet project of certain Spanish and Filipino literary enthusiasts who wanted to create an avenue for exploring the existing cultural ties between Spain and the Philippines, has turned into a full-blown publication released annually by the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes, thanks mainly to the support of its readers in and out of the country. Perro Berde is not only one of its kind, it is probably also the only magazine that has achieved the feat of re-igniting the old bond that united two countries for three centuries, making it relevant to contemporary readers. This very bond is still alive though much less evident in popular culture. In Perro Berde, writers, story-tellers, illustrators and photographers create what is relevant to the present, while drawing its depth from its historical past. As UP Professor-poet and contributor Daisy Lopez says: “This issue provides a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with our Hispanic past which is an extensive part of our rich cultural heritage, and to pay homage to it.”

The magazine opens with an interview of F. Sionil Jose and includes “Zombie Literature” or Literatura zombi, with essays on the actual state, the milestones, and uncertainties of this little-known area of literature; a review of Antonio M. Abad’s novel “El Campeon”, English poems by Virgie Moreno and Ramon Sunico, Francis Macaranas’ poems in Chabacano, and an essay on the future of Chabacano cinema in this linguistically diverse country.

On heritage there are the discourse of historian Ambeth Ocampo on the role of Spanish teachers in our universities, the essay of cultural anthropologist Fernando Zialcita on the importance of knowing the city by foot, Jaime C. Laya’s pointers on how to preserve our historical buildings.

Veejay Villafranca’s photos, taken in Bicol and Caraga, Davao Oriental, document Spanish aid to poverty-stricken regions.

In four short years, Perro Berde has achieved a feat in creating, in a rapidly changing society, thinkers open to cultural diversity and dialogue.

Gongs, Bamboo Music Fete

The first International Gongs and Bamboo Music Festival, “Tunog-Tugan”, will be held in the Fleur de lis Theater on Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Performers will be the bamboo ensemble from India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cordillera, Philippines. In SE Asia, gongs and bamboo are the predominant instruments existing for thousands of years. Abundant practice of both instruments represents the multiplicity of languages in that region, and mirrors the entire life of the peoples in this part of the world — a life of spirituality, of communing with the natural environment. Thus, these instruments express a cosmology of beliefs which sustain the existence and dynamism of everyday life in the villages and the aristocratic courts of SE Asia.

 

AMBETH OCAMPO

ANTONIO M

BAMBOO MUSIC FETE

BERDE

BICOL AND CARAGA

CHABACANO

PERRO BERDE

SIONIL JOSE

SPANISH

VEEJAY VILLAFRANCA

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