Costanilla: Cebuano poetry contest

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By Sam Costanilla


Monday, January 30, 2012

POETRY. It is indeed commendable on the part of this local broadcast station to institutionalize an important cultural activity as a yearly competition.

Station dyLA-AM 909 Khz has been organizing what is now known as the “Indigay sa Pagtagik ug Gugmahang Balak,” the purpose of which is to encourage budding and neophyte writers to express their skill in composing Cebuano poetry.

I should praise station manager Jun Tagalog and all his staff for their untiring effort in sustaining this poetry writing competition all these years.


Rules. Of course, there are rules to follow for those who are interested to join this year’s competition, which has been timed for the observance of Valentine’s Day.

I should emphasize that writers/entrants whose entry gets to the magic 10 will be the ones to personally deliver their respective poems during the contest on Feb. 14 at a venue that has yet to be fixed. The entire program will be aired live over dyLA-AM 909 Khz from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

An entry may be typewritten or computerized using the dialect with each piece consisting of a minimum of six stanzas with four lines per stanza. An entry may be written in the free verse or rhyming styles.

Love. I gathered that the contest entries should only talk about love for each other, not love for animals, things or articles, places and other non-human factors.

I also learned that all entries to the competition may be mailed or personally delivered to dyLA’s address on the second floor of JSU/PSU Mariners’ Court Cebu, Port Area, Cebu City. Feb. 11 is the deadline for the submission of entries. The preliminary judging to pick the top 10 pieces will follow immediately.

E-mail. But what makes this particular competition attractive (on the part of the writers) is the decision of the broadcast outfit to allow those that want to e-mail their contest pieces to do so. The station’s e-mail address is

Laudable. It is, therefore, fitting to appreciate dyLA-AM’s effort in this regard.

Such a laudable undertaking should be emulated by the rest of the broadcast networks here if only to effectively challenge and encourage all budding poets to showcase their skill.

One may wonder how this annual competition gets the necessary support in terms of sponsorship, cash or in kind. Well, it is just a matter of approaching all probable sponsors and stressing to them the value of Cebuano poetry as a wonderful art form.

Station dyLA-AM is also thanking the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and former station manager Marit Stinus-Cabugon for believing in the poem writing contest and supporting it in the form of cash prizes.

Movie. Last week, veteran actress Gloria Sevilla phoned me from Manila about her plan to produce a Cebuano film tentatively titled Sinulog: The Movie with several Visayan stars now based in Manila appearing in it.

She said she will be assisted by her son Dandin Ranillo, now based in California, in producing this planned flick. Of course, the rest of the Ranillos like Suzette and Mat will also help them, according to Sevilla. I volunteered to be their talent coordinator in Cebu, all for the love of the Cebuano movie industry that badly needs to be revived.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 30, 2012.


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