NCCA, XCCA present ’10th Yamug: Mindanao Historical Injustice’ lecture series

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, through its Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA), will hold “Yamug 10 – Mindanao Historical Injustice” lecture series on October 7 (8AM to 5PM) at the XU Little Theater.


Yamug is a flagship project under the cultural education program of XCCA and this is in celebration of the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month.


This year’s Yamug focuses on the Mindanao historical injustices experienced by our Lumad and Muslim brothers and sisters.


The speakers are North Cotabato 2nd District Representative Nancy A Catamco (Obo Manobo), Talaandig Datu Victorino Saway, Dr. Rohane Derugongan (Maranao), and peace educator Saturnina “Bebot” Rodil.


This lecture series will allow us to understand more of Mindanao’s history through the lenses of the struggles and triumphs of the indigenous peoples.

This event is open to the public for free. Certificates of participation will be given to the attendees after the program. (XU Comm)


‘Kausaban’ confab addresses challenges in teaching creative writing in Mindanao

Seventy-five creative writing teachers from various corners of Mindanao and four professors from the Ateneo de Manila University came together at Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan for the Kausaban Forum on Teaching Creative Writing.


First of its kind in Cagayan de Oro City, the forum was organized in response to the challenges in teaching creative writing, a subject included in the newly-implemented K-12 program by the Department of Education.

Many educators expressed the need to strengthen their understanding of the four genres covered on this subject, namely, poetry, fiction, essay, and drama as creative writing goes far beyond the conventional language and literature subjects in the previous educational model. 

Creative writing requires an approach that is different from conventional teaching practices.

“Tingnan natin ang larawan ni Mona Lisa at ni Lisa Simpson,” said Allan Derain, a professor from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) – Kagawaran ng Filipino.


“Tama bang sabihin natin sa painters na ‘dapat tayong lahat, mag-paint tayo tulad ni Da Vinci?’ Is that valid? Para ito ang ginagawa natin sa mga estudyante na sinasabihang kailangan nating magsulat at dapat katulad ito ni Shakespeare… Pero sa totoo lang, si Lisa Simpson at si Mona Lisa ay parehong valid na representasyon ng tao.

Besides fictionist Derain, other speakers during the forum were poet Allan Popa (director of Ateneo Institute for Literary Arts and Practices), fictionist Allan Derain, essayist Martin Villanueva (chairperson of ADMU’s Department of Fine Arts), and Glenn Sevilla Mas (ADMU theater program coordinator).


During the open forum, the speakers also shared their years of experience in teaching and practicing creative writing in the hopes that local teachers and writers will find these useful in the Mindanaon setting.

“The past is like a song. You can take an old record, put it on and listen to it. But that’s not the job of an essayist. An essayist is like a DJ who takes different records, remixes them and puts them together in a way that is meaningful,” said Villanueva on writing narrative nonfiction.

Playwright Mas told the participants that in writing a drama, the audio comes secondary to the visual. “Try to make sure na nakukuha ng audience, but not spoon-feeding. At the same time, giving information, but also holding back. You get better as you watch more plays, write more plays and read more plays,” he continued.


On writing poetry, Popa shared that is it important to be sensitive and emphathetic: “Huwag ninyong tanungin na ‘anong ibig sabihin nito?’ Matatakot [ang mga estudyante] kung ganoon ang tanong mo. Ang tanungin mo, una, ‘anong nakita mo?’… Ang unang response minsan sa estudyante ay i-try nilang iinterpret kasi akala nila ‘yun ang expected sa kanila. Pero kung tinanong mo kung anong nakita nila, ang ibig sabihin n’un, pinapahalagahan mo ang experience nila kaysa ‘yung expected mo na answers.”

Popa added, “Ikalawa, tanungin mo ‘anong nararamdaman mo?’… Let them participate in the meaning-making process.”

Following the workshop, the four ADMU creative writing teachers also served as panelists during the Kausaban Creative Writing Workshop, an activity which aimed to refine the skills of seven emerging Northern Mindanao writers. 

One play, two essays, two stories, and two poems were dissected and refined during the workshop.

Fellows of the workshop were Dennis Flores, Maria Karlene Shawn Cababaran, Hazel Aspera, Abigail James, Raymond Ybañez, Adeva Jane Esparrago, and Mark Acero.


Both the Kausaban Creative Writing Forum and Workshop were organized in partnership with the AILAP and Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC), with support from the Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA) and the National Center for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). (Hazel Aspera/XU Comm)

Richness of Mindanao Culture to be showcased at 1st Budayaw Festival

The rich culture, heritage and artistry of Mindanao and Palawan will be in the spotlight as the Philippines will host the first-ever Budayaw: The BIMP-EAGA Festival of Culture and the Arts, from 20 to 24 September 2017, in General Santos City.


A collaboration among different agencies and institutions including the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Mindanao Development Authority, Department of Tourism Region XII, the city government of General Santos, the provincial government of Sarangani, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Budayaw will showcase the diversity of creative expressions of cultural masters and artists in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) as well as raise awareness and foster appreciation on the landscapes, life-scapes and aspirations of peoples of the region.


The festival will feature different lectures, workshops, performances, shows, exhibit and other activities and events, which will foster understanding and solidarity among the multi-cultural populations of the BIMP-EAGA.

During the five-day festival, visitors can view iconic landscapes and cultural markers of the BIMP-EAGA in an interactive exhibit, which will be accompanied by lectures and fora to discuss the tensions of tradition and modernity embedded in the images.


A specially designed pavilion will be put up, serving as the shared domain of invited master weavers, who will show visitors how context shapes mastery of techniques over our natural resources.

Visitors will also experience the beauty of indigenous musics with performances using native musical instruments such as gongs, bamboo instruments, lutes and plucked-string instruments. Moreover, they can witness performing groups showcase the best of contemporary theatre, dance and music highlighting the threats and triumphs of communities on the road to peace, development, and resilience.


Visual artists will display outdoor installations as well as other works.

To make the Budayaw experience more immersive, there will be special tour packages for the visiting guests and tourists to explore the richness of Mindanao culture as well as its touristic destinations.


Aside from showcasing the diversity of cultures of countries of the region, the Budayaw festival will train the spotlight on the beauty of Mindanao, affirming and safeguarding its being wellspring of creativity and resilience.

To know more about Budayaw, contact Adelina M. Suemith, chief of the NCCA Program Monitoring and Evaluation Division, through telephone number 527-2192 local 601 or email

For more information, please contact Rene Napeñas, head of the Public Affairs and Information Office, through 0928-5081057, 527-2192 loc 208 or through email address (NCCA)