Butuan’s poetry-reading session through the years

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews / 25 June) – It’s been three years now since poets, poetry enthusiasts, artists and friends climbed up a hill and gather around under the rambutan trees of Zoila’s Farm of Barangay Taligaman in this city.

Group members read aloud their poems or their favorite poetry, passages or even lines from songs from their favorite authors. The session is held every second Saturday of the month. Occasionally, the venue is held at the garden homes and art studios of the participants.

The Butuan group in one of their poetry reading sessions in 2014.
The Butuan group in one of their poetry reading sessions in 2014.

“This is a wonderful form of relaxation, deeply inspiring and fun,” Says Vangie P. Dominise, a tourism teacher and government employee who lately sang a classic French song.

The singing and dancing of some participants made the gathering even more colorful and dynamic. “The sessions have in a way evolve the way each of us wants to express ourselves and everyone’s supportive,” shares Sally Joy Bungabung, a working mother and book reader.

Ana Marie Llorente, a painter based in Italy and Butuan who hosted two sessions in her home studio, demonstrated Chinese painting, her entry, which everyone appreciated as they brought home one painting each.

Bobby Cielo, a performing artist and government consultant, did a classic performance of a peasant’s life in Mindanao (written by a nun in the ’70s), so did Jon Honculada, a painter and landscape artist, doing an American folk experience.

A young voice, Andre Pena, an English major and fashion model, is a refreshing revelation with her own poem and her favorite readings. Casiana Torralba, a retired humanities teacher, painter, poet and gardener steers friendly and loving debates and times of nostalgia.

Newcomer Nerio Rosales, a lawyer, easily fits in as he recites his favorite poem of long ago, “during my high school seminary days.” He lives in an isolated rural area where he silently watches kingfishers. Now the group can’t wait to hold the session there and watched kingfishers.

“We welcome anyone. You don’t have to be a poet, you can come and listen,” informs Bryan Edulzura, an aspiring writer from the Department of Interior and Local Government. Now that the rains have come, the group (which has no official name) is eyeing to hold the sessions again outdoors, back to Zoila’s Farm where it all began.

“But since its a bit slippery and muddy, we can have it not under the rambutan trees but this time under the huge old mango tree, just across the highway,” suggested yours truly.