Filipino literary book launch set for human rights day celebs

Community News & Features Dec 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Akdaan_coverBy Lui Queaño

TORONTO–The latest in Filipino-Canadian literature will be released by AKDAAN at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto on December 7, 2013.
The self-published book “AKDAAN Literary Anthology” will be officially launched to mark the celebrations of International Human Rights Day which is officially on December 10.

With the subtitle “Akdang Hulagpos” (roughly translated in English as “Literature set free”) the book is the collated, edited and polished works of both Toronto’s emerging writers and established creative writers from the Philippines. The book features a preface by Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist of the Philippines for Literature and Professor Emeritus at University of the Philippines.

AKDAAN is also the name of the group of cultural workers who aims to promote creative productions in the various genres of literature and the other arts. The booklaunching hopes to inspire emerging new writers in Toronto and create a venue like AKDAAN to hone their skills and talents in creative writing.

Filipina poet Petronila Cleto, member of PEN Canada’s Writers in Exile group and one of the founders of AKDAAN is the Issue Editor. Cleto is the author of five plays, including Operetang Tatlong Kusing (an adaptation of Bertold Brecht’s Threepenny Opera), which has been produced twice by the University of the Philippines, and Pasintabi Sa Nuno (To Our Ancestors) which was performed at the Nancy International Theatre Festival in France. In 1987, families of the disappeared and the Philippine Task Force on Political Detainees commissioned her to produce a documentary on forced disappearances.

The anthology highlights various pieces which include short story, poetry, essays, and interviews mostly depicting human rights issues in the Philippines. Visual arts and photography of the book were contributed by Toronto-based artists Alex Felipe, Kathy de Castro, Ysh Cabaña, Cecille de Castro and Ruth Tejada. Internationally acclaimed British Columbia-based muralist Bert Monterona also contributed some of his artworks in the anthology.

All the proceeds of the book sale will go to disaster response program Sagip Migrante (Rescue Migrants Operation) for the victims of the super typhoon Haiyan (also known as Yolanda), which struck the central islands of the Philippines last month. Migrante Canada and Bayan Canada are the sponsors of the event.