Sun.Star Davao

A TRIBUTE TO A GREAT POET

Davao artists gave tribute to Tita Ayala during LitOrgy

- BY IRENE GRACE TANGARO ABOUT THE AUTHOR Grace Tangaro is a Creative writing student from UP Mindanao, and a member of the UP Literary Society.

Davao artists gathered to give tribute to the late poet Tita Lacambra-Ayala during LitOrgy: Asterisks in Bloom at Suazo Bar on February 23.

The event, that has been on-going since 2009, always sparked curiosity.

Laura Elizaga, daughter of Tita Ayala, said hearing LitOrgy reminded her of enlightenm­ent and “something live, wild, uninhibite­d and therefore authentic.”

“LitOrgy is an enlightene­d celebratio­n of art, literature, and music through live performanc­e,” Elizaga said.

Twenty artists performed during the event. Each of the 16 readers presented works of Tita Ayala from her renowned books like Sunflower Poems, Ordinary Poems, Adventures of a Profession­al Amateur, and Friends and Camels in a Time of Olives. Some translated her works to their local languages. Four artists also played their original compositio­ns.

John Bengan, president of the Davao Writers Guild and professor at UP Mindanao translated “Flowers of Youth” and “Collisions” to Binisaya. UP Mindanao professors, Jombits Quintos translated “Tulang Simponiko” to English while Darylle Rubino translated “Sunflowers” to Hiligaynon. This is to grant Tita Ayala’s life wish of having her poems translated.

John Bengan also shared a time when Tita Ayala sat in his Literary Translatio­ns class. She told him that she would love to have her poems translated to the local languages.

Cristina Elizaga, Tita Ayala’s granddaugh­ter, shared that although Tita was indeed the artist that became a pillar of arts in the country, she was also the loving grandmothe­r who always insisted that Cristina accompany her to Davao Writers Guild meetings.

“Thank you for giving her this purpose,” she said.

“Tita was a bold person. She wouldn’t have been able to do all the things she did if she wasn’t bold,” Angely Chi, one of the organizers of LitOrgy, said.

She added, “If there is something else you want to do apart from LitOrgy, dare to do it.”

LitOrgy: Asterisks in Bloom is organized by the Davao Writers Guild, Young Davao Writers, and UP Literary Society.

It is also a fund-raising event for Tita’s independen­t publicatio­n The Road Map Series.

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