MANILA The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) is inviting public and private schools nationwide to apply until Jan. 15 for the agency's annual allexpense paid Pambansang Kampong Balagtas creative writing camp in Bataan province.
The camp's target 150 participants are Grades 7 to 11 students, whose poems and essays written in Filipino were featured in school papers published during the 20182019 period, noted KWF senior language researcher Roy Rene Cagalingan.
KWF hasn't yet received any application but we hope the April 24 camp this year at Orion Elementary School will have participants from each province of the country, he said on Monday (Jan. 7).
Available KWF data showed that several provinces have not yet had Pambansang Kampong Balagtas participants since the agency started implementing the activity in 2015, Cagalingan continued.
These are the provinces of Ilocos Norte, La Union, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Palawan, Romblon, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Guimaras, Bohol, Siquijor, Biliran, Zamboanga Sibugay, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Compostela Valley, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Maguindanao, Tawitawi, Basilan, Sulu, Abra, Apayao, Ifugao and Kalinga, he noted.
He said KWF wants that even schools in remote areas will participate in the Pambansang Kampong Balagtas.
"Having participants from all provinces nationwide will help us better promote the use of Filipino in creative writing," he said.
The deadline for applying to the Pambansang Kampong Balagtas has been set at 5 p.m. of January 15. Among documents schools must furnish KWF are three copies of their campus newspapers published during the 20182019 period.
Such newspapers must feature poems and essays of students the schools recommend sending to the camp, noted KWF.
Previous Pambansang Kampong Balagtas participants are disqualified from joining the camp though.
Schools interested in the camp can contact KWF for other application details. Students with talent in creative writing and potential for further developing their skill are most welcome to join Pambansang Kampong Balagtas, said Cagalingan.
"What we want is to give the camp's participants confidence and encouragement in writing using Filipino since English is
still the language most campus publications use," he added.
Pambansang Kampong Balagtas is among KWF's activities for the annual celebration of Araw ni Balagtas.
'Balagtas' was the pen name of the late and writing maestro Francisco Baltazar, whose 'Florante at Laura' remains to be among the country's literary masterpieces.
The 2019 Araw ni Balagtas theme is 'Balagtas: Katutubong Manlilikha.'
"We want to honor Balagtas as a national hero," said Cagalingan, noting that Baltazar helped promote nationalism through his writings.
Proclamation 964 series of 1997 declared April 2 of every year as Francisco 'Balagtas' Baltazar Day.
Aside from referring to Baltazar as the 'Prince of Tagalog Poets,' Proclamation 964 said he was also among those who helped instill the spirit of nationalism in Filipinos.
Experts also consider Baltazar as the Filipino counterpart of William Shakespeare, England's Renaissance playwright, who was ranked among the world's literary giants.
Baltazar was born on April 2, 1788 in Bulacan province's Bigaa municipality and was the youngest of the four children of
Juan Balagtas and Juana de la Cruz.
Baltazar attended school and eventually learned to write poetry under the guidance of Tondo's famous poet, Jose de la Cruz, whose pen name was 'Huseng Sisiw.'
Baltazar wrote poetry until his death on Feb. 20, 1862. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency