27 January 2014

Country’s biggest literary fest set in Subic Freeport

Top literary writers from all over the country will converge in this free port on February 24-26 for “Taboan 2014,” the biggest literary festival in the country that will be held in line with the celebration of the National Arts Month (NAM).

Billed as “Wind and Waves, Wars and Words,” the three-day festival is a landmark project of the National Committee on Literary Arts of the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA).

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia expressed gratitude to the NCCA for bringing to Subic Bay the biggest literary event in the country.

“This will not only showcase the beauty of Filipino literary arts, but also the well-preserved natural beauty of Subic Bay for all Filipino and foreign visitors to see,” Garcia said.

Festival director Dr. Juliet Mallari said that top literary writers and enthusiasts, as well as teachers and students from various regions, are expected to join forums, lectures, book fairs, literary readings, performances, arts and crafts exhibits, and cultural tours during the event.

Mallari noted that the festival will also serve as a venue to encourage local writers in Zambales to group themselves together and revive literature in the province.

“We can help them to form a group with the objective to revive literature in Zambales. And soon they could present stage plays, Zambaleña dances in events like this,” she said.

Meanwhile, NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon Jr. said that also in celebration of the NAM, the Philippine Arts Festival has taken the theme “Art on the Edge” to focus on the healing capacity of the arts.

He explained that art is some kind of power that heals the suffering of those affected by calamities—be they man-made or natural—such as those in the coastal communities in the Visayas that were recently hit by typhoon Yolanda.

“In Tacloban and other areas in Visayas, people have received very little help to survive each day. But by using art, like singing, dancing and others, as tool, we can help people ‘on the edge’ to recover from crises or calamities,” De Leon said.

He also noted that when arts of various forms were to be put in the same “boat” and nurtured, they could contribute to economic development by influencing the tourism industry in the area.

He noted that Zambales, for one, has much artistic and creative assets that can be turned into income- generating projects, boost the tourism industry and create jobs.

Among the products of creative arts here are the bows and arrows that native Aytas are selling, and the famous jungle survival demonstrations of the Aytas in the Subic Freeport Zone.

“PAF 2014 promises to be an exhilarating celebration of the arts with workshops, exhibitions, forums, performances, and many other events participated in by numerous artists,” de Leon said. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)