New poet laureate crowned-A A +A
Sunday, February 3, 2013
BACOLOR -- Pampanga has a new poet laureate in the person of Januario “Naring” Maniago.
Maniago was crowned Poet Laureate by Romeo Rodriguez and Mayor Jomar Hizon during the commemoration of the 146th birth anniversary of the first Kapampangan poet Juan Cisostomo Soto on Friday.
The crowning rites and commemorative celebration are part of the Municipal Government of Bacolor’s and the Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University’s joint program to preserve Kapampangan cultural traditions.
Rodriguez told Sun.Star Pampanga that Maniago was selected by a committee headed by Poet Nestor Galura, also the head of DHVTSU’s Center for Culture and the Arts, based on his exemplary performance in the art of poetry.
Maniago was born on January 1, 1942 in Masamat, Mexico town. He was one of the children of Felimon Laus Maniago and Felicisima David. His love for Kapampangan poetry started during the 50s as he joined Bulaclacan, a local entertainment in verse during the third night of the wake of a departed one.
During his early adulthood, he started listening to the program of the late King of Pampango Parnassus, Poet Laureate Jose M. Gallardo over Radio Station DZAB in Angeles City.
Because of the popularity of the program, Maniago started writing verses and visiting the station to recite his own poems. During All Saints’ Day, he joined other youngsters in the barrio in presenting “Gosu,” another cultural tradition in the province, to every house by singing the stories of the lives and works of Catholic Saints.
Rodiguez added that Maniago’s penchant for writing poetry resulted to many beautiful verses like his two poems, “King Bye Na Ning Mag Oversea,” and “Melania, Ing Dalagang Arabiana” which were sent to friends and family in the Philippines in audio tapes after he left the country to seek employment abroad during the “dark days” of Martial Law.
At 71 now, Maniago has written more than 200 poems bound for publication in the near future. (Jovi T. De Leon)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 03, 2013.