Ilocano language, culture, literature

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Since you've reached this far, we would like to invite you and redirect you to our other blog,


where we'll continue blogging on essentially the same themes AND THEN SOME.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Manipud idi nangrugiac nga agbasbasa iti Bannawag idi 1950s agingga ita, dackel ti nagbaliwan ti lubong, nangruna iti panangimaldit iti sinurat. Ayanna a pagdacsan no naimaldit laeng iti papel, cas iti agdama a Bannawag, dagitoy ti mabalin a mapasamac: (a) maibelleng wenno usaren a pagbungon ti ania man (agraman daing a monamon) dagiti daan a Bannawag, (b) idulin ti daan a Bannawag ngem gapu ta caadduanna ti awan temperature-controlled a pagidulinan, ag-deteriorate ti calidad ti newsprint a nacaimalditan ti Bannawag agingga iti tumayengteng ti maris dagiti pinanid a dimon mabalin a basaen ti naimaldit, wenno (c) ibelleng wenno usaren a pagbungon dagiti immuna nga indulin tapno adda pangidulinan cadagiti barbaro nga issues.

Uray no cayat ti agbasa cadagiti nacadulin a daan nga issues ti Bannawag, no dadduma umapay ni kinasadut a mapan agucag, nangruna no awan pamalpalatpatan no ania nga issue ti nacaipablaacan ti cayat a basaen.

Cadagiti agduyos nga agadal nga agsurat iti Ilocano wenno siasino man nga agtarigagay nga agusisa iti sasaaden ti Literatura Ilocana, bigbigec a dackel a problema ti kinakisang wenno kinaawan dagiti public/private libraries a sidadaan a mangidiaya iti Bannawag, nangruna dagiti daan nga issues na. Gapu iti caawan ti gundaway a mangidilig iti calidad dagiti nagcacauna wenno nabiit laeng a napalabas a sinurat ken ti calidad dagiti agdama a sinurat, casano a maicalicagum ti panagdur-as ti literatura tayo? Ania a panacderan ti mangisingasing a napimpintas dagiti putar dagiti agdama a mannurat tayo mayarig cadagiti putar iti naglabas?

Maliclican dagitoy paricut a nadacamat iti ngato no maipablaac ti Bannawag iti Internet. Mabalin nga adda kinamuyot ti maysa a mannurat a mangipagarup a ti putarna ti capintasan no awan met pangidasiganna iti daytoy. Ket no maysacan a cuto-cuto iti Internet, ammomon no apay. Agsipud ta adu ti masaracan iti Internet a pangyarigan, saan laeng nga iti bucod a pagsasao. Ken adu ti masursuro iti Internet a macatulong iti panagputar ken mangitudo cadagiti saluadan nga estilo ti panagputar.

No yasping ti Literatura Ilocana cadagiti nadumaduma a literatura ti lubong, cas iti Japon, Ingles wenno Castila, adda cadi maipadis a nagrang-ayan ti bucod tay a literatura? Adda ngatan mannurat iti Ilocano nga addaan iti naurnong a sinurat a napintas ti calidad na a mabalin nga ibilang iti sangalubongan a salisal para iti Nobel Prize for Literature? Awaten ngata dagiti mannurat ken agcalicagum nga agbalin a mannurat iti Ilocano daytoy a carit tapno ipennecda ti panangadal cadagiti nadumaduma a ramit ken estilo ti panagsurat tapno umasenso ti calidad ti isuratda?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bannawag: Internet Edition

Segun ti naawatmi nga email a naggapu ken ni Cles B. Rambaud, Associate Editor ti Bannawag, idi Enero 30, 2009, dandanin mairugi a maipablaac ti Internet Edition ti Bannawag.

"Dandanin agmata daydi arapaapmo nga adda koma met website ti Bannawag," insurat ni Editor Rambaud. "Uray dagiti kakabsat a magasin ti Bannawag, addanto metten websiteda. Inaprobaranen ti MB Management daytoy a kiddaw."

Nadacamat mi dayta nga "arapaap" iti blog entry ditoy a napauluan iti "Bannawag Website--An Open Letter" a naipaskin idi Feb. 22, 2007 nga isu ti nangisingasingan mi a mangipasdec ti Bannawag iti bucodna a website (Internet Edition).

Iti panangipagarupmi, dackel nga addang daytoy a decision ti Manila Bulletin management, akincucua iti Bannawag, a mangpapigsa iti tignay a panangparang-ay ken ti panangtaginayon iti pagsasao nga Ilocano, agraman ti cannawidan ken Literatura Ilocana.

Padaanantay ngarud ti Internet Edition ti Bannawag!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Romeo & Juliet, aka, Marcos-Nalundasan Story

Nagsuratac ken ni Dr. Aurelio S. Agcaoili idi Enero 9, 2009:

Dear Ariel,

Hope you're having a better year than the last one.

Last time, you mentioned you were writing a play in Ilocano. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I watched the Oscar-winning 1961 musical, "West Side Story", that remake of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", and a bulb [although not original] popped out. You with your talent and creativity could easily do an Ilocano adaptation using the following (copied it from Wikipedia):

Julio Nalundasan (died September 20, 1935) was a Filipino politician who was one of the political rivals of Ilocos Norte politician Mariano Marcos, father of Ferdinand Marcos (who later became the tenth President of the Philippines).

Nalundasan was slain in 1935. Indicted for the murder was Mariano Marcos' son, Ferdinand Marcos who was later convicted. However, the conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court of the Philippines, through a decision penned by Associate Justice Jose P. Laurel (who, like Marcos, also became President).

With Marcos' influence still a veritable force in Ilocandia, I believe you might initially be able to make a Broadway-type production which you can stage in the major cities of Ilocandia, like Batac, Laoag, Vigan, etc. If the play gets a creditable reception, there's no telling if a film adaptation might be a commercial option later on, thanks to you and your courage and imagination to write it. (Oh, it doesn't have to be written in Ilocano. You could use Filipino for a much broader national audience to try to secure a semblance of commercial success.)


Manong Joe

Daytoy ti sungbat ni Ariel:

Manong Joe,

Diak ammo no apay a mabasbasayo ti panunotko. Daytoy a Nalundasan episodetayo, nakabaybayagen daytoy a mangar-araria kaniak.

Kinaagpaysuan, saggabassit-usit a dakdakamatek daytoy kadagiti immunan nga insursuratko. But the way you sketched it is giving me a broader picture of how to proceed and make it a full-blown project of our tragedy as a people. Ngem trahedia tapno makaduktal (koma!) iti maysa a paripirip nga agtunda iti pannakaisalakan.

Ala, patiray-okak man ti sirmatak--ken ti imahinasionko--ta sapay ta mabalinak nga ibaklay daytoy a karityo kaniak. No madaerak daytoy a karit, ibagakto koma sika ti naggapuan dayta nga enerhia.

Sapay ta nakalablabon ti 2009-yo.


Nga isu met ti pinasarunuac iti:

Patgec nga Ariel,

Cunac la ngaruden a dackel ti potential na diay "West Side Story" cabayatan ti panangbuyac iti TV. So much so that while I was watching, the first thing that came to my mind was YOU and the significant literary parallelisms with the Marcos-Nalundasan episode. As the plot for a play, it allows itself to a myriad of literary licenses.

No, there's no need for you to ascribe the energy to write/create the play to me. Like the guy seen picking up and throwing back to the ocean a few starfish left behind by the low tide, I shall be satisfied coming out of the movie theater after watching a screening of your soon-to-be classic movie production, mumbling to myself with a chuckle and an irrepressible smile: "I made a difference for that one."

Manong Joe

An Aesthetics of Language

Daytoy man ti linaon ti email co ken ni Dr. Aurelio S. Agcaoili, Ilocano a mannurat ken professor iti University of Hawaii at Manoa:

"Dear Ariel,

I suspect you've come across Cornelia Hoogland's "An Aesthetics of Language" before. It's probably a tough argument to make in the battle for the use of the mother tongue as medium of instruction, at least from K-6. However, when those who dare venture into the literary realm and have to understand that "literary language... makes metaphor its center of gravity", I do tend to believe that the one writing in his/her mother tongue has a decided advantage of making those metaphors come alive amid the backdrop of his/her cultural underpinnings. I, for one, happen to think that Ilocano, when used carefully, creatively and artfully by our best, native Ilocano writers, is in fact a beautiful, capable and aesthetically elegant language. I dare say that an Ilocano literary piece can absolutely be written by the best to sound even better than the best in Tagalog/Filipino, but then you can accuse me of being biased..."

Suroten daytoy a link iti "An Aesthetics of Language" a sinurat ni Cornelia Hoogland ti University of Western Ontario.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Creative Writing and Freedom of the Press

I'm publishing here Zeny B. Padre's blog as a guest blog:

In Tawid News Magasin, Vol. VII No. 43, December 24-30, 2007, Dr. Aurelio Solver Agcaoili, professor at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, wrote a piece entitled "When Poets Become Fascists, or Why Ilokano Creative Writing Needs Redeeming" followed by "When the Craft of Creative Writing Is No Longer Creative Because It Is Corrupt and Corrupting" in the corrected version that came out on January 9, 2008.

Basically, the two pieces are a rant against creative writers, more specifically those masquerading as Ilocano poets whom he claims have become fascists/monsters WITHOUT citing any specific examples.

"As I write this piece," says Agcaoili in the first article, "there is this pang of rage in my heart." For me, that's a cue to not take Dr. Agcaoili seriously for as he seethes with anger, he could not even point a single finger to what he is raving at. As in the heat of passion, things could be said and done that, under more sober circumstances, could have been avoided. If one doesn't have the conviction to call a spade a spade, how can you take him seriously?

"Ilokano writing as an incestuous, anomalous, compadrazgo relationship continues," complains Agcaoili. And he rues: "Where has that decent and dignified--decent because dignified--Ilokano writing gone?" Reminds one of that oft-repeated refrain in Diff'rent Strokes: "Whatchoo talking about, Willis?"

In the second article, Agcaoili puts a new spin on the goals of creative writing: "...we resist the lies and ruses of this present world... we write... to insist that we have the right to live in dignity and self-respect... we write... to become agents of change--to change following the fundamental principles of justice and fairness." What happened to the fundamental definition of "creative"?

Even as Ralph Gregory Elliot, former president of the Connecticut Bar Association, identifies certain limits to freedom of the press in "Limits of Freedom of the Press" [], this freedom is well enshrined in the Bill of Rights--Article III, Section 4--of the 1987 Philippine Constitution: "No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press..."

Just as we recognize Dr. Agcaoili's right to rant against Ilocano creative writers and the creative Iloco writing craft itself as part of his freedom of the press, we would like to remind him of his responsibility to exercise restraint by avoiding irresponsible accusations sans specifics, concrete proofs, and that pang of rage in his heart.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Nagasat a Baro Tawen Tayo Amin!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Nabara a Cabblaaw

Naragsac A Pascua Ken Nagasat A Baro Tawen Tay Amin!

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year To Us All!