ONE of the sad realities that we face nowadays is that we have lesser time reading books. Gadgets, computers, and other mobile devices seemed to have invaded our culture and way of living that our fondness for literature has also been dwindling as years pass by.
While recognizing this as a challenge, each person is highly encouraged to develop a daily reading habit whether it is the newspaper or a book that can spark the intellect and imagination of its reader. Proclamation No. 968, s. 2015 declaring the month of April of every year As “National Literature Month” signed on February 10, 2015 states that “national literature plays an important role in preserving and inspiring the literature of today and in introducing to future generations the Filipino values that we have inherited from our ancestors.”
According to the abovementioned proclamation, the month of April marks the commemoration of the Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar Day, and the birth and death anniversaries of literary pillars like Emilio Jacinto, Paciano Rizal, Nick Joaquin, Edith Tiempo, and Bienvenido Lumbera and other international literary celebrations like the International Children’s Book Day, International Day of the Book or World Book Day, and World Intellectual Property Rights Day are held in April of every year.
Writer Sara Grace Fojas explained in her article that “in our 7,107 islands of varied cultures and languages, literature has played an important part in our story, from our ancient writing system called Baybayin to our folklore, the Alamat ni Maria Makiling, for one, that amuses every Filipino child, and the love story of Florante at Laura by the Prince of Philippine Literature Francisco Balagtas. It is also through the literary works of our heroes like National Hero Jose Rizal, who wrote Noli Me Tangere and its sequel El Filibusterismo that our countrymen were inspired to fight for freedom at the close of the Spanish era.”
While this generation has been swayed by Western influences and has been prone to liking popular foreign literary pieces, we ought to remember that as Filipinos, it is equally important to give importance and pay tribute to our very own literary treasures, as these marvels and brilliant works of art give meaning to our very own identity as Filipinos.
And while our young generation is staying within the confines of our homes now, let us encourage them to read more books instead of just spending time on computers and gadgets.