DAVAO CITY – Members of the Davao Writers Guild (DWG) celebrate the first National Literature Month with a poetry-reading and forum for “underserved areas”.

Local writers and artists gathered here on Friday afternoon to promote Philippine letters, as it is “associated with the history and cultural legacy of the State.” It is in line with various international literary celebrations, like International Children’s Book Day and International Day of the Book or World Book Day.

Julian dela Cerna, Vice-President of the Davao Writers Guild said the activity is a collaboration between DWG and the Young Davao Writers (YDW).

“The gathering is called Kumbira. It is  a Visayan term for feast,” dela Cerna explained in an interview at the People’s Park on Friday.

Kumbira is a flagship program of the DWG which they hold every February where they offer poetry reading and open forum to  “underserved areas”.

“The difference this year is we wanted to make it more inclusive. We wanted more literature from Mindanao so we included the lyric of Sama Dilaut (Badjao), and Tausug and Manobo poetry,” dela Cerna said adding that they decided to coincide the event with the first celebration of the National Literature Month.

The event gathered writers and other artists in appreciation for literature in all forms and genres through readings and exhibit. Booths for Mindanao-published and/or independently produced books were put up to sell titles from the Tubao Book Series (the publishing arm of the Davao Writers Guild), Balud Books, and SwitoTwins, Inc.

Davao Today’s book on the human rights situation in Mindanao, State of Fear, was also displayed for sale during the event.

Dela Cerna said they hope there will be more literature from the indigenous peoples of  Mindanao. (davaotoday.com)

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