English translation of Higaonon writer’s book launched Feb. 25

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/20 February) — Higaonon novelist Telesforo S. Sungkit Jr. from Malitbog, Bukidnon will launch next week the English translation of his unpublished book that won for him an award in 2007.

Sungkit said Wednesday “Driftwood on Dry Land,” which is published by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House will be launched at the Subic Bay Holliday Villas in time for the Taboan Writers Festival.

He said the book will also be launched in Bukidnon on September 1, 2014, the province’s centennial celebration.

The book, he added, is an English translation of “Mga Gapnod sa Kamad-an” an unpublished book written in Cebuano, which won for the author the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) Writers Prize in 2007 for the novel category.

“It seeks to articulate how the so-called lumads view their history as opposed to how others see them. And it also tries to show the different ways of how they engaged the different races of colonizers past and present,” he added in a note to MindaNews.

The 240-page book will sell at P550 per copy, he noted.

Sungkit lamented he faced difficulty publishing the book’s original Cebuano text.

“For now, there seems to be no mainstream publishing for Cebuano literary outputs,” he added in mixed English and Cebuano.

Sungkit also won the NCCA 2011 Writer’s Prize for the Cebuano language novel category with his work “Agalon sa mga Balod” (Lord of the Waves).

“Agalon,” a sequel to Gapnod, tells about the power of a young Higaonon, Vincenzo Makaindan, to command the waves.

He inherited such power from his ancestor Buuy Pigsugdan, who belonged to the original people of Mindanaw.

In 2009, Sungkit published “Batbat Hi Udan” (The Story of Udan) the first epic novel from Bukidnon.

Written in Filipino, “Batbat Hi Udan,” was described by UPLB Chancellor Dr. Rey Velasco, as quoted in the author’s blog, as the Philippine version of “The Lord of the Rings.”

Sungkit, an Agricultural Engineering graduate from UP Los Baños, now lives in Malitbog, Bukidnon where he writes and farms at the same time. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)