By Nova Veraley V. Grafe
A GATHERING OF writers celebrated the works of Dr. Edilberto Tiempo and Dr. Edith Tiempo as part of a promotional project of the National Commission for Cultural and the Arts.
Taboan, Cebuano word which means marketplace or meeting ground, is a gathering of writers all over the country for the National Arts Month (NAM) celebration. It has become the highlight on Silliman University campus, one of the venues of the said event, last Feb. 8 at the Silliman Hall.
The said event was lined up at different venues in Dumaguete City. It had a series of parallel sessions on different themes and with notable writers as speakers. For SU, the alumna and multi-awarded writer Merlie Alunan was the keynote speaker.
Prof. Merlie Alunan, the keynote speaker and a multi-lingual writer said, “Ang akong dughan karon dili matukib ang akong gibati, kay ang Silliman pinangga kaayo nako bisan pag nahilayo ko niya, dili nako malimtan ang mga panahon na diri ko nagpuyo og nagtrabaho. Ang mga Tiempos ako silang ginikanan og gimahal nako bilang ginikanan sa akong panulat og sa akong kinabuhi bilang usa ka manunulat.” (My heart can’t explain my feelings because I really love Silliman even though recently I am away from this institution. I can’t forget the times that I had here. The Tiempos are my parents and I loved them as my parents—in all my writings and in my life as a writer.)
Recognizing the Tiempos’ exemplary partnership in real life as a couple as well as being the finest artists in Philippine Literature, Prof. Alunan shows in her writing entitled “The Age of Tiempo” that Philippine writing owes to the work of the great Filipinos and thereby shows the significant contributions of Silliman University to the nation’s cultural development.
“Dr. Edilberto Tiempo and Dr. Edith Tiempo wholeheartedly embraced literature and dedicated most of their life and career, in the labor of propagating it. By the example of their life and work, they have inspired generations of Filipinos to take up literature as a serious life to pursue, ensuring the continued production of literature…,,” said Prof. Alunan.
With the contribution of the Tiempos, through the Silliman National Writers Workshop, the university has produced for almost 50 years the most excellent writers and teachers that made the institution as the center of intellectual discussion and the cradle of literature in the country.
The other panel members were Leoncio Deriada, Christine Godinez Ortega, Ralph Semino Galan and Dominique Cimafranca, Karlo Anthonio Galay David served as moderator.
The event is geared towards promoting Philippine literary arts within the month of February, declared as the National Arts Month. This year’s theme was “Celebrating Icons”.