Item 00005 - Pangasinan Anlong: Oral Tradition into the 21st Century

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Pangasinan Anlong: Oral Tradition into the 21st Century


  • 2010 (Creation)

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Santiago B. Villafania (b. 1971, Pangasinan, Philippines), a bilingual Filipino poet who writes in English and in his native language of Pangasinan, is the author of six poetry collections: As I Tango (2016), Ghazalia: Maralus ya Ayat (2013), Bonsaic Verses (2012), Pinabli & Other Poems (2012), Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles (2007), and Balikas na Caboloan (Voices from Caboloan, 2005) published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts under its UBOD New Authors Series. He is well known for his effort in reviving Pangasinan as a literary language. His works in the vernacular are some of the most representative, if not among the few that comprise that Pangasinan contemporary literary body. Villafania has received several awards, including the Asna Award for Arts and Culture (Literature) in 2010. His book, Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles was recognized by the National Book Development Board and Manila Critics Circle as Finalist for Best Book of Poetry in the 27th National Book Award; and he also won 1st Prize in the 2007 Gawad Komisyon (Gantimpalang Tamayo sa Tulang Pangasinan). He has been published / anthologized in several countries and some of his poems have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and Hindi. His unpublished book of poems Murtami was translated into Hindi entitled Premanjali and released in the New Delhi World Book Fair in 2013. He is a board member of the Philippine PEN and currently a commissioner for the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission.

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The first half of the twentieth century is said to have been the Golden Age of Pangasinan Literature, but indubitably without succeeding in establishing Pangasinan as a popular literature. The emergence of umaanlong (poet) in the said period produced excellent poems written in the vernacular but only few were published. There was not even an anthology of poetry published in that period. Anlong was not the principal expression of our writers in that era.

The Pangasinan anlong or poetry was once predominantly oral: tumatagaumen and umaanlong performed poems. Often, it was accompanied by kutibeng (ancient guitar) and/or tulali (a kind of string instrument similar to kudyapi or lyre.) One good example of Pangasinan oral poetry was the Petek, a kind of poetic joust similar to the Tulang Patnigan of the Tagalogs. When the written form of poetry became dominant, oral poetry became unpopular.

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  • English
  • Pangasinan

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Far Eastern University English & Literature Journal

Issue 8, July 2011 (Canada)

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From the author’s paper read at the Philippine PEN conference in Cebu last December 2010. Published in Manila Times / Sunday Magazine, March 13/20, 2011

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2020 January 23 - Created




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Description prepared by: Louise Ian D. Aquino; MDCL

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