STAR, NBS present poetry reading session

STAR, National Book Store present poetry reading session today
By Millet M. Mananquil (The Philippine Star) Updated January 08, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine STAR launches its 25th year celebration today by focusing on the power and luster of the written word. Well, make that the spoken word.

For today, a poetry reading session will be presented by The Philippine STAR Lifestyle Section and National Book Store at Greenbelt 5’s second floor Gallery at 3 p.m., led by literary icon and word wizard Alfred “Krip” Yuson.

Joining him in an afternoon that will mix divine magic with sublime charm are Karen Davila, Derek Ramsay, Enchong Dee, Cesare Syjuco, Maxine Syjuco, Trix Syjuco, Myrza Sison, Juaniyo Arcellana, Reggie Belmonte, Leandro Leviste, Raymond Ang, Ronald Regis, Audrey Carpio, Enrico Subido, Danton Remoto and, last but not least, the venerable Ed Maranan – stalwarts all, in literature and media. Starbucks and Krispy Kreme will provide hot brew and sweet potence.

Described as “a passive-aggressive beerhouse rhetoricean extraordinaire,” Krip Yuson has authored 24 (and counting) books including novels, poetry, fiction, essays, children’s stories, plays, biographies and coffee table publications. This Palanca Hall of Famer is a founding member of the Manila Critics Circle, served as chairman of the Writers Union of the Philippines and teaches poetry and fiction at Ateneo University where he held the Henry Lee Irwin Professorial Chair.

“When Krip writes about life and literature, topics that for the man deserve a shot or 10 of his fave super malt whiskey from Scotland or Japan, he does so with equal parts candor and mordant humor. He is the baddest wizard of them all,” says artist-writer-provocateur Igan D’Bayan.

Karen Davila is Philippine television’s award-winning beauty and brains, while Derek Ramsay is Philippine cinema’s award-winning brawn and brains.

ABS-CBN newscaster Davila will broadcast an interpretation of works by National Artist Edith Tiempo. Swatch endorser Ramsay – who has been an avid poet even as a child – will recapture the Filipino indio’s valor in the face of oppression by reciting the poem “Don’t Stand at My Grave and Weep” from Rosario, the movie directed by Albert Martinez based on a true story by Manny V. Pangilinan, which made moviegoers weep.

Hot, hot actor Enchong Dee, who has reaped 500 medals in swimming as De La Salle University’s celebrated athlete and the country’s pride in international Olympics, shows how he can make a splash with words as well. Enchong will interpret works by poet, guerrilla warrior and martyr Eman Lacaba and award-winning poet-fictionist-essayist Eric Gamalinda.

The Greenbelt 5 audience will be in for a rare treat as the legendary multi-media icon Cesare A.X. Syjuco and his extremely talented daughters Maxine and Trix render performances showcasing a family’s phenomenal genius as artists, poets and musicians.

Runway mannequin-turned-lifestyle journalist Myrza Sison will match the sharpness of her stilettos with poetry coutured by her sister Shakira Andrea Sison. Myrza, the only fashion model who is also a Palanca awardee in fiction, is editorial director of Summit Media and editor in chief of websites and

Juaniyo Arcellana, desk editor of STAR, is also an essayist, poet and fictionist. He will recite his own works entitled “Dialogue in Dog Minor” and “Plaza Calderon.”

Reggie Belmonte, Young Star’s beauteous editor at large, is also assistant beauty editor of Cosmopolitan Philippines. This rocker takes a break from polishing her nails with black lace and other such creative and edgy stuff by rendering an interpretation of a poem by Aimee Nezhukumataphil, a poet whose mother is Filipino and whose father is American Indian.

Leandro Leviste, a prodigy who loves writing about international politics and history more than anything else, comes fresh from his trip to Myanmar with his mother, Sen. Loren Legarda, for a visit with newly freed prisoner, democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi. Leviste has just been accepted at Harvard University

Raymond Ang, assistant editor of Supreme, says he is at that point in the Buffy finale when Dawn asks the Slayer: “What now?” A recent graduate of Ateneo University where he was editor in chief of the 81-year-old student paper The Guidon, Raymond adds that he currently spends time contemplating life plans in the limbo that is “finding yourself.” Raymond will read “As Courage to Camus,” a poem by Mikael Co about learning to live with yourself.

Ronald Regis, one of the 10 winners of the 2010 Philippine STAR Lifestyle Journalism Awards, is a hip rocker, a full-time professional poker player and standup comedian. He will recite his own creation, a poem which finally breaks his long self-imposed silence.

Audrey Carpio, assistant editor of The STAR’s Ystyle, will read Ophelia Dimalanta’s “Finder Loser” and Ramil Gulle’s “Poetry.” After a stint in New York where she studied at Columbia University under the guy who wrote the book-turned-movie Blow starring Johnny Depp, she ended up working for an advertising award show. Before she completely lost her soul, she decided to come back home to become an editor at Metro Magazine and return to STAR where she started writing in 1999.

Enrico Subido, who at 25 is a four-time Palanca awardee, will do a rap number written by himself, matching the cadence of his words with the beat of his guitar. Will Enrico also dance? If no one stops him.

Danton Remoto, an Ateneo University teacher for 20 years, is now communications officer at the United Nations Development Programme. Renowned as a gay rights activist, Danton will recite a poem straight from his pen and heart.

Ed Maranan is a poet, essayist, fictionist, playwright, author of children’s books and translator who has reaped too many literary awards to mention here. He taught political science at UP before serving as press attaché of the Philippine embassy in London. He is flying from stormy Batanes today to whip up a poetic storm in Greenbelt 5.

Today’s poetry reading is the first in a series of literary events presented by The STAR and National Book Store (NBS) this January. On Jan. 15 at NBS Rockwell Power Plant is a lecture-discussion by F. Sionil Jose on “Filipino Writers Today: How Relevant Are They” with STAR editor in chief Isaac Belmonte and executive editor Amy Pamintuan leading the panelists. On Jan. 22 at NBS Glorietta 5, Jessica Zafra discusses Favorite Books along with the STAR’s top writers. On Jan. 29 at NBS Edsa Shangri-La Plaza, Jose “Butch” Dalisay talks on “The Writing Profession: How Writers Can Improve their Craft and Earn a Living.”

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