CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, Feb 7 (PIA) -- The Katig han Sinirangan Bisayas Waray writers who gathered on Saturday at the Leyte Normal University (LNU) were asked to resuscitate Waray literature by Prof. Merle Alunan, a well known writer and a professor of the UP System.
As if to challenge the budding writers, Alunan quoted a statement from Dr Bienvenido Lumbera that said , “Not much is produced in some regional literatures; in fact some are moribound or dying, as in the case of Waray literature and to some extent, Cebuano literature.”
With the little Waray literature available, Alunan, in her talk on “Latitudes of Intimacy: Modern waray Literature,” presented her dissection of some opus of the Waray poets that figured in Lamiraw, Waray Writing Workshop usually held at the Northwest Samar State University in Calbayog City (Samar) and the Iligan Writers Workshop.
The UP professor who stands as a critic to the Waray writing workshops with Dr. Dave Genotiva and Vic Sugbu drew out the themes in the poems that talked of simple and humble pleasures, the verdant farms and the seas and the rural folks’ pre occupation.
Alunan talked about poets who were mostly males as only one woman writer made it to her dissection.
“Except for Victor N. Sugbo, the new Waray writers found their voices first in their own mother tongues. However, they are all university-trained. It is evident in the styles and poetic techniques they have adopted, and the way they have brought the traditional forms of native Waray poetry closer to contemporary modes of writing.”
“From these new poets of Waray, speaking in the new language of modern poetry, we discover how the Filipino thrives in latitudes of intimacy.”
The speaker mentioned Waray stalwarts like Eduardo Makabenta Sr., Iluminado Lucente, and Casiano Trinchera, whom she said wrote in rhymed quatrains, the lines balanced in strict syllabic measure by a caesura.
Organizers believe that the activity has elicited somehow a flicker of hope for the writers to write more in Waray, Inabaknon, or Sebuano in whatever form of literature that will perpetuate Waray and the other languages spoken in the region.
“Slowly but surely, the Waray writer is coming back to his/her culture, ” Alunan stated.
The activity in Eastern Visayas was initiated by the National Committee on Literary Arts (NCLA), the Katig Writers Network Inc., and Leyte Normal University (LNU) to celebrate the National Arts Month this February. (PIA 8-Samar)