Pagsasatubuanan: Poetikang Bikolnon by Jose Jason L. Chancoco

Chancoco, Jose Jason L. Pagsasatubuanan: Poetikang Bikolnon. Naga City: National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2008.

1. As Chancoco defined Pagsasatubuaanan as “a perspective on the direction of contemporary Bikol poetic writing, deriving aesthetic value from indigenous poetic forms alongside foreign modalities” (vi), the book provides an exposition to contemporary, traditional, and indigenous rawitdawit (Bikol: poem) by examining their formalist elements including rhyme scheme and meter, forms of lines and stanza, caesura, voice, and metaphor.

2. The framework of Chancoco’s study is mainly patterned after National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario’s literary criticism. This is understandable since Chancoco studied poetry under the tutelage of Almario and other LIRA poets and was very influenced by the group’s poetics. But Chancoco had done well with the framework of Almario to analyze and bring out the character of Bikol indigenous literary forms like tigsik, ariwaga, patood, and dugsong.

3. Also, Chancoco’s study is a very significant break from the literary studies of Bikol literary scholars Paz Verdadez Santos and Ma. Lilia Realubit, among others, who mostly collected Bikol rawitdawit and osipon (short story) and provided a scant or a surface analysis of the poems by concentrating on the themes and not much on the form that is very signicant in analyzing poems. 4. Chancoco had written Pagsasatubuanan in Bikol believing that using Bikol is more sincere and appropriate in studying rawitdawit.

5. Regional literatures do not need to create its own literary framework for the sake of differentiating it with the reputed hegemonic Tagalog literary tradition. Chancoco’s study affirmed the common characteristics of Tagalog and Bikol poetry while bringing out the latter’s peculiar characteristics. Pagsasatubuanan’s articulations confirm Bikol’s place and security within the greater Filipino literature.

6. Part of Bikol literature’s security, I believe, is that Bikol language is a melting pot of Tagalog and Visayan words and its tone is not as hard as that of Visayan languages or as monotonous as that of Tagalog. In terms of consciousness, Bikol is a complex of Bikol, Tagalog, and Visayan consciousness. Based on my interaction with contemporary Bikol writers and my own experience as an aspiring poet with Bikol consciousness writing mostly in Filipino but writes also in Bikol, I believe that Bikol writers do not feel marginalized in the national scene. The establishment of Bikol’s own writing workshops, awards, and publication of anthologies and individual literary books, including Chancoco’s Pagsasatubuanan, strengthen Bikol’s identity and contibution to the national literature.

Pagsasatubuanan is Jose Jason Chancoco’s first book.

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