Savage Minds, a Naga-based art gallery, bookstore, and cultural hub, knows the power that art and literature holds all too well. It recently launched an online spoken-word poetry called called “Himati” with the Ateneo de Naga University Press.
Himati, Bikolano for "a deeper kind of listening and affection," invites its viewers to do exactly its translation with spoken-word poetry. With Bikolano celebrities reading poems Bikolano poets have penned, Himati aims to bring literature and poetry into people's lives even through these trying times —while also highlighting the culture and talent that one can find in the area.
Himati's very first episode featured the Camarines Sur-born legend of the screen Jaime Fabregas, who read a poem in English called Day on the Farm by Luis Dato, one of the very first Filipino poets to write in English during the American occupation.
Fabregas was likely thinking of home in choosing these poems, as the titles of the Bicol poems that he chose may show: Magarao by Luis Cabalquinto, which talks about the poet's hometown; and Pampang Kan Sakong Pagkamoot, by Marne Kilates, which, in English, means "The Only Shore I Seek.”
Among the younger stars featured, Enchong Dee, who was born in Naga, chose poems that were inspired by other works. For his first two appearances, Dee read a Bikol translation by Fr. Wilmer Tria of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet." For his last episode, the actor-dancer-entrepreneur read "Philippines Mother and Child 1965" by Enrique Villasis, which takes its title from and describes a painting featured in the following video.
Himati is still an ongoing series and more celebrities are slated to join the project. Follow Savage Minds and keep track of more episodes of Himati.
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