Category Archives: Arts & Culture

DLSU to Host Cartoons for Peace Master Class

Cartooning for Peace

EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture), the Cultural Center of National Institutes composed of Alliance Française de Manille, Goethe-Institut Philippinen, along with the Embassies of Denmark, France, and Switzerland in the Philippines will present Cartooning for Peace in Manila in May 2015.

by Plantu (France), Le Monde, Paris, March 11, 1999

by Plantu (France), Le Monde, Paris, March 11, 1999

Cartooning for Peace project, spearheaded by EUNIC Philippines, aims to invite European cartoonists from the Cartooning for Peace international network, together with Filipino cartoonists to participate in a series of conferences, master classes, interviews, and cartooning workshops in De La Salle University and other reputable academic institutions in the Philippines.  DLSU will host a master class for selected students for  its segment of the tour on May 7, 2015 and will be lead by renowned cartoonist Plantu, Bob Katzenelson, and local veteran Manix Abrera.

manix abrera cartoon

by Manix Abrera

This project will also collaborate with leading newspapers companies such as Manila Bulletin, Manila Times, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and Tempo to promote the event and to publish their cartoons in their respective editorial sections.

by Bob Katzenelson Source:

by Bob Katzenelson, Source:

Among its objectives is to encourage understanding among different cultures and beliefs using editorial cartoons. In particular, the initiative hopes to raise awareness on the role of cartoonists in promoting peace and fighting prejudice. It hopes to provide opportunities for interaction between the international cartoonists and the Filipino cartoonists, journalists, academe and the general public of the Philippines.

Five cartoonists from Europe (Denmark, France, Germany, and Switzerland) and six cartoonists from the Philippines will participate in Cartooning for Peace in Manila.

The 5 European cartoonists are as follows:

  • Denmark : Bob Katzenelson
  • France: Plantu, President of Cartooning
  • Germany : Thomas Plassmann and Miriam Wurster
  • Switzerland : Philippe Baumann

The 6 Filipino cartoonists are as follows:

  • Steven Pabalinas : Manila Times
  • Norman Isaac : Tempo
  • Rene Aranda : Philippine Star
  • Manix Abrera : Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • Roni Santiago : Manila Bulletin



Founded at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in 2006 by Kofi Annan (former Secretary General of the United Nations) and Plantu (French cartoonist), Cartooning for Peace is a network of 130 cartoonists around the world who use the power and language of images to fight for peace and freedom of expression.


EUNIC is the network of the European National Institutes for culture. Formed in 2006, EUNIC is a recognized leader in cultural cooperation. Its members work in the arts, language, youth, education, science, intercultural dialogue and development sectors.

New Literary Arts program for writers


De La Salle University recently lauched the Cirilo F. Bautista Program for Literary Arts, named in honor of the 2014 National Artist for Literature and DLSU Professor Emeritus.

The announcement was made last March 19 at the DLSU Henry Sy, Sr. Hall, during a special tribute for him that also coincided with the launching of his new book, Things Happen Poems 2012, published by the University of Santo Tomas.

Announcing the establishment of the literary program, Vice Chancellor for Academics Dr. Myrna Austria said that a seed fund of one million pesos has been allocated by the University to support both professional and budding writers of poetry, essay, and fiction.  Literary grantees will be chosen annually.

Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Carmelita Quebengco delivered the opening remarks, and Br. Bernard Oca FSC, De La Salle Santiago Zobel School president, the remarks of circumstance.  Fellow National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera and National Artist for Music Ramon Santos graced the occasion.

Described as a Renaissance man, Bautista is a poet, fictionist, painter, literary critic, and educator.  At DLSU, he was honored as a member of the elite group of University Fellows.  He spent 33 years of teaching in the University, retiring in 2006.

The tribute for Bautista featured a poetry reading by eminent writers Gemino Abad, Alice Sun Cua, Carlomar Arcangel Daoana, Marjorie Evasco, Dinah Roma, and Alfred Yuson. An open forum  with the writer, hosted by journalist Lito Zulueta, culminated the event.

The event was organized by the Department of Literature, the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center, and the College of Liberal Arts.

National Artist Cirilo Bautista to launch new book



National Artist for Literature Cirilo F. Bautista will launch his new poetry collection “Things Happens” (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House) on March 12, 2015, Thursday, 4:30 PM. This will be held at the Verdure, Henry Sy Sr. Hall, De La Salle University (DLSU), Taft Avenue, Manila.

The event’s programme will also consist of a tribute for Bautista, poetry reading, and conversation. Bautista, DLSU Professor Emeritus and University Fellow, will be honored by the University with the launching of the Cirilo F. Bautista Program for the Literary Arts. Poets Gemino Abad, Alice Sun Cua, Carlomar Arcangel Daoana, Marjorie Evasco, Dinah Roma, and Alfred Yuson will read selections from “Things Happen.” The culminating segment of the programme will be a dialogue between Bautista and Inquirer’s Arts and Books Editor Lito B. Zulueta, who serves as the host.

Bautista’s numerous writings include the epic masterpiece “The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus” (2001), poetry collection “Believe and Betray” (2006), novel in Tagalog “Galaw ng Asoge” (2004), and “The House of True Desire: Essays about Life and Literature” (2011), among others. He has won awards and prizes such as the Philippine Centennial Prize for Epic Poetry, Manila Critics Circle’s National Book Awards, Don Carlos Palanca Hall of Fame Award, Gawad Jose Corazon de Jesus, Diwa ng Lahi-Gawad Antonio Villegas at Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan, Gawad Balagtas by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL), Taboan Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Gawad CCP Para sa Sining by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He also wrote a weekly column, “Breaking Signs,” for the Philippine Panorama for 12 years.

This event is organized by the DLSU Department of Literature and the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC), and supported by the Office of the President, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academics, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Society of Fellows. The book launch is in collaboration with the UST Publishing House.

Lovers of literature are welcome to the event. For inquiries, please contact DLSU Literature (632) 5244611 local 541 or BNSCWC local 233 / email

DLSU and Instituto Cervantes to host creative writing lecture

encuentros en la literatura

De La Salle University and Instituto Cervantes de Manila will host “Encuentros en la literatura” (Encounters in Literature) featuring Juan Manuel de Prada, an acclaimed Spanish writer, at the European Documentation Center of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall on March 18, 2015 (Wednesday), 12:45-2:15 PM.

De Prada, an award-winning critic, journalist, and novelist will engage in conversation with DLSU Assistant Professor and award-winning fictionist Vicente Garcia Groyon. “Encuentros” aims to serve the local community’s cultural life by being an avenue for nurturing the craft of literary writing and creative practices between cultures.

Organized by the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC) and Instituto Cervantes de Manila, “Encuentros en la literatura” is also  supported by the Programme for the Internationalisation of Spanish Culture (PICE), an organization which facilitates the presence and collaboration of Spanish artists in the international activities and programs of benchmark foreign cultural organizations and institutions, both public and private.

About the Writers

Vicente Garcia Groyon

Vicente Garcia Groyon won the Manila Critics Circle National Book Award for both the novel The Sky Over Dimas (2004) and for On Cursed Ground and Other Stories (2005) and is the editor of several anthologies and collections of Filipino fiction. Groyon has also written several film scripts, including Kabisera (2013), and Namets! (2008), and directed several shorts. He teaches creative writing and literature at DLSU Manila.

 Juan Manuel de Prada

Juan Manuel de Prada is Spanish fictionist, journalist, and critic. His novels include La tempestad (The Tempest) which won the prestigious Premio Planeta in 1997; La vida invisible (The Invisible Life), awarded the 2003 Primavera Prize and 2004 National Narrative Prize; El séptimo velo (The Seventh Veil), winner of the 2007 Biblioteca Breve Prize and the Critics Award VI of Castile and León; Me hallará la muerte (Death Will Find Me) in 2012, and Morir bajo tu cielo (To Die under Your Sky), about the siege of Baler during the last days of the Spanish colonial rule in 2014. For his journalistic work, de Prada received prizes such as the Mariano de Cavia Prize (2006) and the Joaquin Romero Murube Prize (2008).

 Timothy Montes

Timothy Montes is the author of The Black Men, a collection of short stories published by Anvil in 1994. He has been a recipient of national literary awards like the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Philippines Graphic, Philippines Free Press, and the Writers Prize from the National Commission for Culture & the Arts. He teaches literature and creative writing at DLSU Manila.

DLSU BNSCWC opens Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for the Novel

The Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for the Novel is open for submissions between October 22 to March 22. The winner will be announced in July 2015. The competition is open to Filipino published or yet-to-be published writers.  The entry is one unpublished novel, an original work, in English or Filipino. The theme is open. All genres are acceptable. Total word count of the novel should not go beyond 125,000 words.

Only one entry per contestant will be accepted. Entry must be the author’s own, which has not previously been published in any form, including self-publication.  The entry must contain the title of the novel and the author’s pseudonym. A separate sheet, containing the author’s real name, pseudonym, title of the entry, total word count, and full contact information should be included in the submission. The prize will be Php100,000. The Center will also assist the winner in securing a publisher.

This competition is organized by the DLSU Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (BNSCWC) and co-sponsored by the Angelo King Institute for Economics and Business Studies (AKI) and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation (VCRI). It has the endorsement of the National Committee on the Literary Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCLA NCCA).

Not eligible for the competition are BNSCWC personnel, Board of Associates, and the Advisory Council.  Entries may be submitted to the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center office or through, with subject: “CFB Novel Prize.”

Weaving Dreams in the Cinemalaya

sked resize

Written and directed by Ida Anita del Mundo, K’na the Dreamweaver intertwines the T’boli tradition of t’nalak dreamweaving with the tale K’na–a young woman who must choose between bringing peace to her tribe or true love.

At its core, K’na the Dreamweaver is a sincere love story mingled with the vibrancy of the T’boli culture and the majesty of South Cotobato’s Lake Sebu. With its seamless weaving of fiction and reality, the film aims to create a unique Filipino epic. The film stars Mara Lopez Yokohama, RK Bagatsing, Nonie Buencamino, Alex Medina, Bembol Roco.

Ida Anita del Mundo is the daughter of Clodualdo del Mundo, writer of such classics as Manila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, Batch ‘81, and ‘Merika.  She is also a writer has been a fellow of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop and the Iyas National Writers’ Workshop. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from De La Salle University-Manila. Outside of writing, del Mundo is a musician and is part of the Manila Symphony Orchestra. She is also a Music and Movement teacher at Bankstreet Summit School and has taught Literature and Art Appreciation at De La Salle University-Manila.

Below is the screening schedule and venue of K’na the Dreamweaver:

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Culture and Memory: F. Sionil Jose Donates Literature Collection to DLSU



National Artist for Literature, former De La Salle University Writer-in-Residence, and former faculty member Dr. F. Sionil Jose donated his collection of manuscripts, published works, and articles to the institution on July 11, 2014, in a ceremony at the DLSU Henry Sy, Sr. Hall.

Also included in the extensive collection are Jose’s “Solidarity,” a magazine on current affairs, ideas, and the arts; autographed copies of books written by friends and colleagues; and his selection of 100 recommended books.

Amusing Recollections and a Lifetime of Writing

Belying his 90 years, the National Artist regaled his audience with his extensive experiences and colorful anecdotes.  In his address, Jose impishly recalled his journal, “Solidarity,” being initially supported by the Congress for Cultural Freedom, an anti-communist advocacy group funded by the American Central Intelligence Agency. News of this later broke out, garnering his bookshop the reputation as a CIA front and he, a covert CIA agent. Jose, who at that point, earned his living through his bookshop was, not surprisingly, distressed. “My God, no one would come to this bookshop anymore. We were tainted!” said Jose. As it turned out, the notoriety was a boon to his business as Jose found his bookshop full of customers the next day.

Jose was not one to mince words and neither did he in his address. He recalled how, at various points in his life and through his writings, he would openly call for revolution against the oligarchic structures of Philippine society. These views, recounted Jose, would earn him the label of communist. “I am both a communist and a CIA agent,” noted Jose.

Jose also spoke fondly of an afternoon spent with Robert Frost in a writing workshop in Vermont. In an afternoon walk, Jose recalled how the 80-year-old Frost would outpace him and leave him panting for breath. “He was far healthier than I,” said Jose. Later that day, the National Artist related how Frost, in a solemn, candlelit room, read his own poem. “He mangled it,” said Jose. He then remarked that no poet, unless he had the emotive poise of Richard Burton, should ever read his own poetry.



In a more reflective note in his address, Jose thanked the University for recognizing his ambition to be a teacher as it was a source of fulfillment. He also expressed his gratitude for the support he has received throughout his writing career and those who have touched his life. “To the young people, who have spent time listening to my drivel, and to the older people who have tolerated me all of these years,” said Jose.

Culture, History, Revolution, and Memory

Jose also passionately expounded on the importance of developing and elevating Philippine folk crafts. “For Filipinos to appreciate their culture, we must go down to the basics—to the folk crafts, to the folk dances, to the folk stories, and use these to elevate folk culture into a much higher level.” Jose stated that the folk arts in the Philippines are dying; however, he stressed that for a country to excel in industry, it must hone its folk crafts. This, the National Artist observed, was the reason why Japanese manufacture is excellent as the Japanese hone and excel in their native crafts.

Jose also spoke of Philippine national hero Jose P. Rizal who he claims is a source of inspiration and influenced him as a writer. Jose recounted how, as a youth, reading Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere so moved him that instances of injustice never failed to impel him into feelings of outrage. “This is what we don’t have today. We are no longer outraged by the injustices that occur around us,” said Jose.



He also refuted the notion that Rizal was not a revolutionary. “Anyone who has read the Noli will know at once that Rizal was a revolutionary simply by writing the book. … The man in that novel, the author … who was speaking the truth, who was contextual, who opposed Spanish tyranny, was a revolutionary. What American scholars described as the first postcolonial writer,” said Jose.

While Jose expressed his concern that many Filipinos lacked memory, he was hopeful that the collection would link a reader to the collective history of our nation. “The primary objective of the writer, as I see it, is to give our people memory. In giving our people memory, I am so happy that La Salle has agreed to keep my books because I hope that, in the future, somebody might read them and remember,” he said.

College of Liberal Arts Professor Launches New Poetry Book

Naming the Ruins

Literature professor and award-winning poet Dinah Roma recently released her third book of poetry entitled “Naming the Ruins.” Published by the Sydney and Tokyo-based Vagabond Press as part of its new Asia Pacific Series, Naming the Ruins was launched at Gleebooks in Sydney on May 17. The now Australia-based Bicolana writer Merlinda Bobis, who launched the book, had these words to describe it: “The poet is a word shaman. Each poem astounds. with such tenderness, such grace.”

According to the Australian publisher Michael Brennan, “With the Asia Pacific series, I’m trying to create a space that will be open and expansive. We’ve done six three-poet collections so far, along with Dinah Roma’s magnificent Naming the Ruins, and it’s a very exciting start to what I hope will grow rapidly to be a series where people around the world can gain access to a broad and inclusive range of contemporary work from Asia Pacific.”

Asked about the highlights of her participation at the Sydney Writer’s Festival (SWF), Roma says “that aside from listening to Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker (whom I’ve read as a university student), meeting other writers, and reading my poems on Radio National Australia, I was also very glad to have met the Filipino community in Sydney. Many responded deeply to my Haiyan poem and, I guess, these connections are what really matter after all.” For Roma, the SWF was an immense learning experience. “It was a privilege to have been able to represent not only DLSU but the country. And I’m glad that DLSU acknowledges the importance of supporting our writers and artists in having our voices heard elsewhere.” Roma participated in two SWF events, namely, the Asian Contemporary Poetry Reading Marathon and a panel discussion Open Words and Worlds.

University Fellow and Professor Emeritus Cirilo Bautista Declared National Artist for Literature

University Fellow and Professor Emeritus Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista was recently declared National Artist for Literature by President Benigno S. Aquino III last June 20, 2014 by virtue of Proclamation No. 809. The title of National Artist was introduced in 1972 and is given to Filipinos “who have made distinct contributions to arts and letters” and “to the heritage of our society.” Dr. Bautista is joined by new National Artists Alice Reyes for Dance; Francisco V. Coching (posthumous) for Visual Arts; Francisco F. Feliciano and Ramon Santos for Music; and Jose Maria V. Zaragoza (posthumous) for Architecture. Malacanang recognized the works and achievements of Dr. Bautista as a poet, fictionist, and essayist who has “greatly contributed to the development of the country’s literary arts and strengthened the Filipino’s sense of nationalism.”

Dr. Bautista earned his Doctor of Arts in Language and Literature at De La Salle University in 1990 and was an exchange professor and honorary fellow in various universities abroad. He has received notable literary recognitions including the first Hall of Fame Award of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature, numerous National Book Awards, and the grand prize winner in the Centennial Literary Contest. His poems have appeared major literary publications in the Philippines, the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, China, Romania, Hong Kong, Germany, and Malaysia. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Dr. Bautista is also a columnist and literary editor of the Philippine Panorama, the Sunday supplement of the Manila Bulletin.

Sojourn: A Pilgrimage Retracing St. La Salle’s Pioneering Work in Education

The Christian Brothers Motherhouse at Rome. The pilgrims end their sojourn here.

The Christian Brothers Motherhouse at Rome. The pilgrims end their sojourn here.

Every two years, member schools of De La Salle Philippines embark on a “Sojoun,” a program or, more precisely, a pilgrimage that retraces the pivotal moments in the life of our school’s founder St. John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers. We, as beneficiaries of Lasallian education, tend to forget or take for granted certain nuances to our education or the history of our institution. In St. La Salle’s heyday about 300 years ago, the notion of a charitable school that was open to every child regardless of social and economic background, involved their parents, taught Christian values, and whose transmission of material was in the vernacular was unheard of. Not to say that no such school ever existed prior to the efforts of the Christian brothers. It is simply that such schools were few and far between in late 17th century France. It is also safe to say that education was limited to the wealthy who, for easy to understand reasons, were the only people who could afford consistent and codified matriculation. Speaking of matriculation, another hurdle that came to charitable schools during our founder’s time was the finding and maintenance of trained teachers. Simply put, trained teachers were employed as tutors for the rich as they were, again, the only social group that could support the upkeep of the former. With conditions as they were at the time, and even today, most children had little hope for the future.


Saugues. St. Benilde spent his remaining twenty years here leading an ordinary life while doing things extraordinarily.

The Sojourn program, thus, provides its participants with a closer view and a greater appreciation of how St. John Baptist de La Salle forged the concept of the Christians Schools and the Lasallian brothers as we know today. These fruits of St. John Baptist’s efforts came from much time and labor and often the result of one guided decision after another. St. John Baptist at one point wrote: “… God, who guides all things with wisdom and serenity, whose way it is not to force the inclinations of persons, willed to commit me entirely to the development of  schools. He did this in an imperceptible way and over a long period of time so that one commitment led to another in a way that I did not foresee in the beginning of death.”

Ultimately, St. La Salle underwent and surmounted much personal difficulty, sacrificed his life of privilege, yet in time was able to achieve great things in his life whilst living the ideals of faith, zeal, and community–watch words we maintain today as part of our Lasallian spiritual formation. Recently, Ruby Carlos wrote an article that beautifully describes the program and the rich history of our institution for the Manila Bulletin. It is a worthwhile read and it details a number of wonderful locales that were frequented by St. La Salle for meditation and service. The article in its entirety can be read here.

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