November 17, 2007
Being a lone voice does not make one weak, but rather, it makes one destined to be echoed. This is what fuels Santiago B. Villafania as Pangasinan’s poet of the first water. And Book after book, he pummels on the chests of the Pangasinense poet-warriors of old—resurrecting them. It is not enough for him that he edits the country’s premiere literary E-zine at present, the Dalityapi.Com, he would also turn it into a portal of sorts for anything literary; news from around the world about workshops, publications, awards, conferences, festivals, about writers in general. He would also come up with a monthly poetry Webpage, the Makata, where voices by poets from various places would reverberate in its URL through every tcp/ip.
Though he never attended any of the national writers’ workshops (which could make one enmeshed in the country’s UAAP literary politics), he is well-respected by a new generation of poetry practitioners ensconced in the E-group system and the blogosphere. Needless to say it is his tireless zeal and abilities and not his connections that propel him up in the literary ladder. Silently publishing the Makata every month and targeting the literary pages of national magazines; he soon began to come up with his own books, one of which was sponsored by the NCCA, and his latest the ‘Malagilion’, published by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino through Central Books.
The book was launched during the recent literary conference in Pangasinan and is due for re-launch next month (December 3) in UP-Diliman. Lovers of regional literature ought to attend this event.