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Bersong Euro-Pinoy Goes to Zamboanga Con Buen Amistad on 21 May 2021 at 6pm

Anne Gauthier




It is Viva Europa time once again! Allow us to ignite the fire and passion in your hearts as the European Union brings back “Bersong Euro-Pinoy” on 21 May at 6pm in Zamboanga.


The fire and fervour of European verses coupled with Chavacano and other languages from Southern Philippines continue this May through this literary festival.




Carl Norac



Director of Instituto Cervantes Luis García Montero




The EU Delegation to the Philippines has worked in tandem with the Embassies of Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Instituto Cervantes Manila, France, the Philippine-Italian Association, Austria, Poland, Finland and Ateneo de Zamboanga University.


Dubbed “Con Buen Amistad,” or “Friendship and Partnership”, this poetry recital (Verses Versus the Virus) will be streamed live at the FB page of the EU Delegation to the Philippines:


European Union Ambassador  Luc Véron, a patron and lover of literature himself,  said that Bersong Euro-Pinoy will provide a platform for European and Filipino poets and literary enthusiasts to better understand and appreciate each other’s culture and to strengthen people-to-people links between and among Europeans and Filipinos.


With the “new normal” being in place, this cultural journey is even easier.


A brainchild of Instituto Cervantes, it used to be held under the framework of “Dia del Libro” gathering all diplomats and literary enthusiasts from among the members of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, EU member states’ embassies and cultural institutes.







Bersong EuroPinoy Goes to Zamboanga




EU and Ateneo de Zamboanga University Partnership 


Literary luminaries from Zamboanga and Mindanao  will read their pieces also in the mother tongue: M.J. Cagumbay Tumamac, poet in Hiligaynon, Southern Mindanao, Awardee of Makata ng Taon 2019;  Sigrid Gayangos, poet in Chabacano, Zamboanga City/Dumaguete City, Awardee of Palanca Award 2018; and Errol Merquita, a recipient of Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (2011, 2015, 2017) and Satur Apoyon Writing Contest (2010), for fiction in Cebuano and poetry for children in Filipino.


These poets were mobilized by the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, this year’s academic partner along with De La Salle University.


“The Ateneo de Zamboanga University is very grateful to be part of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines’ Poetry Recital this year. In these trying times, we need words that build, words that bring comfort, words that heal, and this literary event provides that. Let us continue to seek inspiration from friendships that flourish, and celebrate our freedom to collectively rise above difficulties”, said Fr Karel San Juan, President of Ateneo de Zamboanga University.


Errol Merquita will read his original poem Pangamuyo sa Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga  (sa padayong pagbakwit ug kagubot) with English translation by Ralph Semino Galán,  Entreaty from Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga  (On the continuing evacuation and chaos);  


Sigrid Marianne Gayangos will read his poem Cuando ya busca yo con el maga palabra with English translation by Floraime Oliveros Pantaleta (When I was searching for the words);


MJ Tumamac will read his poem Pabay-an nga magbalhas sang nana ang ginasugba nga indangan which Mr. Eric Nebran translated into English (Let pus drip from the surgeonfish sweating on the grill).


Literary Masterpieces Around the EU  


  • Carl Norac, Belgium’s fourth National Poet and a prize-winning poet and author of many widely acclaimed and best-selling children’s books, will join this year’s festival.


Norac’s work has been translated into 47 languages. His bilingual children’s book “My Daddy is a Giant” appeared in Tagalog-English in 2005. In 2009, Norac received the Grand Prix de la Société des Gens De Lettres. He will recite his original works: “Pour Marcel Moreau” – For Marcel Moreau, his friend who is a Belgian writer too and who has unfortunately recently passed away and  “Pour Mustafa, pour Mustafa Kör” (For Mustafa, for Mustafa Kör), a poem dedicated to Mustafa Kör who will in fact succeed him in January 2022 as a National Poet.


  • Dora Šedivá, daughter of Ambassador Jana Šedivá (Czech Embassy) is back with her friend, Marika Štěpková, daughter of Deputy Ambassador Jana Peterková, (Czech Embassy)  will read Fortune (Štěstí) by Adolf Heyduk, both in Czech and in English.


  • Hans Christian Andersen´s philosophy and favourite phrase was “Det er Liv et Reise” or “To Travel is to Live” by Hans Christian Andersen, which will be read by Danish Ambassador Grete Sillasen.


  • For the first time, German actress Luisa Katharina Davids will recite the German translation of “Mi Ultimo Adios“ as 2021 is the year when the German Embassy also unveils an exhibition with José Rizal’s former furniture from Heidelberg, Germany, and an official marker with the German translation of “Mi Ultimo Adios“ at the Museo ni José Rizal in Intramuros. (For more information about the artist, please visit


  • Famous poet and director of Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, Mr Luis Garcia Montero, will recite his original work “Magallanes” for Bersong Euro-Pinoy.


Luis García Montero (Granada, 1958) is the General Director of the Instituto Cervantes since 2018. Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Granada (Spain), he held various positions such as the director of the Secretariat for University Extension.  Poet, narrator and essayist, he has received, among others, the Adonáis Poetry Prize (1982), the National Literature Prize (1994), the National Critics Prize (2003), the Madrid Booksellers Guild Prize (2009), the Poets Prize del Mundo Latino (Mexico, 2010), Ramón López Velarde Award (Mexico, 2017), Parallel 0 Award (Ecuador, 2018) or Carlo Betocchi Literary Award (Italy, 2020).



  • Famous poem “Amis, Un Dernier Mot” (Friends, one last word) by Victor Hugo will be read by French actress Anne Gauther Das Neves. The poem was translated by Martin Macalintal, audio-visual attache French Embassy and Jean – Pierre Dumont, Director, Alliance Francaise de Manille.


  • Rima LII”, a sonnet on friendship by Dante Alighieri, will be read by Alessandro Milani, General Manager of the Philippine-Italian Association. This is in celebrations of Dante Alighieri’s 700th death anniversary. The Philippine-Italian Association will feature a sonnet written by Dante to his best friend, Guido Cavalcanti.


  • What makes this poetry edition more exciting is that it will bring back the Italian poetry festival “La punta della lingua”. Luigi Socci is the featured poet with Lorenzo Raponi and Stefano Teodori as filmmakers participating in this festival.


La Punta della Lingua” is an international festival, based in Ancona, Italy, dedicated to “TOTAL POETRY” that since 2006 continues to explore possibilities of interaction between poetry texts and moving images as well as other forms of hybridization of poetry with the web, theater, music and cinema.


  • Popular Austrian poem “Love” by Erich Fried will be read by Tajna Platzer of the Embassy of Austria.


  • “Labirynt” or “Labyrinth” by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wisława Szymborska will be rendered by Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Poland Jaroslaw Roman Szczepankiewicz.


  • Nocturne, Finnish poem by Eino Leino and translated by Keith Bosley will be read by Finnish Ambassador Juha Pyykkö.



After Zamboanga, the Bersong Euro-Pinoy goes to Manila through the De La Salle University on 28 May 2021 at 5pm.  The festival will be hosted by journalist and EHEF goodwill ambassador Danie Laurel, Ph D and Ms  Floraime Oliveros Pantaleta of Western Mindanao – National Committee on Literary Arts at National Commission for Culture and the Arts.



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