The Cultural Center of the Philippines hosts The Philippine Center of International PEN as it holds its first hybrid congress at the CCP Main Theater Lobby on September 20, 2022 at 2pm. PEN members may also attend the event online.

The Congress aims to provide a venue for the literary community to promote truth and freedom of expression through discussion and performance.

The event will begin with a keynote presentation from National Artist for Literature Gémino Abad, followed by an open forum.

Free the Word!, a mini-festival for global audiences, will feature readings and performances from esteemed local and international artists such as Nanding Josef, screenwriter Veera Tyhtilä, director Adjani Arumpac, playwright Guelan Luarca, among others.

A book sale will also be held by independent and academic publishers, among them Ateneo de Manila University Press, UST Publishing House, and several others.

Free the Word! also coincides with the launch of LUNA, a semi-annual literary journal featuring new Filipino writing.

The event is open and free for all. Certificates of attendance will be given to PEN members who attend the keynote presentation and open forum, whether in person or online.

For queries, please email or text 09193175708 or message CCP Intertextual Division Facebook page.


In Certain Seasons: Mothers Write In The Time of COVID

The Cultural Center of the Philippines, through its Intertextual Division, launches the “In Certain Seasons: Mothers Write In The Time of COVID” e-book on January 23, 2021, 2PM, via the official Facebook pages of the CCP, CCP Intertextual Division FB page and the Philippine PEN.

Edited by Che Sarigumba and Jenny Ortuoste, the e-book features 41 literary pieces, focusing on their experiences during the COVID-19 health crisis, as well as quarantine, isolation and healing.
Together with the Philippine PEN, the book project aims to understand the importance and the role of women, specifically mothers, and their literature during the global crisis, and promote the narratives of women who are mothers, highlighting that women can be both child-raisers and artists amid the struggles of being a parent.

The e-book will be accessible to the public and will be available for free download. It can be a part of a parent’s reading list, and can also be used by schools in tertiary level as reading material for their students.

For free copy of the e-book, visit the CCP Intertextual Division FB page or send an email to or text 0919-3175708.

Download here – In_Certain_Seasons_012321b (

NUESTRO PERDIDO EDEN, a novella on Manila

For inquiries, please call Solidaridad (632)82541086, or email

This event is hosted by the Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) in partnership with Ateneo de Naga University Press.

About the Author
Ambassador (Ret.) Virgilio A. Reyes, Jr. served as diplomat for 35 years with the Philippine Foreign Service and as Philippine envoy to Italy (2011-2014) and South Africa (2003-2009). He also served in the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York and the Philippine embassies in Myanmar, Mexico and Chile. His publications include: In the National Interest (Issues of Disarmament, Peace and Security) (New York, 1991); La Revolucion Filipina, 1896-1898: El Nacimiento de Una Idea (Santiago de Chile, 2000); and Gloria: Roman Leoncio’s Kapampangan Translation of Huseng Batute’s Verse Novel Lost and Found (editor; Angeles City, 2003), which won the National Book Award for Translation in 2004.

Book launch | stories and novella

The Philippine PEN in partnership with Ateneo de Naga University Press will launch “The Last Sacristan Mayor and the Most Expensive Mass for the Dead. Tales from Ticao,” a collection of stories by Tito Genova Valiente and “The Saga of the Fugitive Indio Priest,” a novella by Elmer A. Ordonez, on March 30, Saturday, 5:00PM at the Solidaridad Bookshop, 531 Padre Faura St., Ermita, Manila.

This event is open to the public. Admission is free. For inquiry, please call Solidaridad at (632) 2541086.

“E is for Epal” by Paolo Manalo and “Velocirupture” by Michael Balili

“Epal”, a Filipino slang for an annoying or attention seeking person, is the theme of Manalo’s interval collection of poems in English, Tagalog, and Taglish on realities overheard or overenunciated. His first collection Jolography (2003) received recognition from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the UP Diliman Gawad Chancellor. It will be re-issued in a Retconned edition by UP Press this 2019. Manalo has received fellowships from the UP National Writers Workshop, the Taboan Writers Festival, and the MacDowell Colony. He teaches English, literature, and creative writing at tUP-Diliman.

“Velocirupture” refers to the velocity of rupture, an urgency; the rupture of velocity, a delay. Balili deliberates, surely the everyday asks to be interrupted? In this debut poetry collection, scenes, landscapes, and contrived interventions are illuminated by a flash of lightning. Balili was a fellow of the Ateneo and UP National Writers workshops. His poems have appeared in various anthologies and magazines such as Crowns and Oranges: Works by Young Philippine Poets from Anvil Publishing and the Philippine P.E.N. produced At Home in Unhomeliness: Philippine Postcolonial Poetry in English.

In celebration of National Women’s Month and International Women’s Day the Philippine Center of International PEN presents Tres Marias: Booklaunch and Conversation with authors featuring Alice Sun Cua, Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, and Che Sarigumba

Notes on the Authors

Alice’s latest book is Kissing through a Handkerchief and Other Travel Tales (University of Santo Tomas Publishing, 2017). Her two other collections of essays are Riding Towards the Sunrise and other Travel Tales (2000), which won the National Book Award for Creative Nonfiction given by the Manila Critics Circle; and Autumn in Madrid (2013). A practicing obstetrician-gynecologist, she writes travel essays and medical articles for Cruising, Going Places, a monthly travel magazine. She is also a poet and translator. Her poems appeared in Charted Prophesies and Other Poems (2001) and her translation work includes Las Personas del Verbo, poems of Jaime Gil de Biedma co-translated into English.

Mookie’s latest poetry collection is Hush Harbor (University of Santo Tomas Publishing, 2017). Her other poetry books include The Proxy Eros (2008), Burning Houses (2013), and Tropicalia: Poems and Translations (collaborative work, Vagabond Press, 2016). She has won prizes from the Don Carlos Palanca Awards, Philippines Free Press Award, and Philippines Graphic Nick Joaquin Awards. She was delegate in several literary festivals including the International Festival of Poetry, in Medellín, Colombia. In 2015, she completed a residence with the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, USA. She is the Associate Director for Poetry of the De La Salle University Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center.

Che’s book is her novel Puso pa rin ang Nagpasiya (Vee Press, 2016) which bagged the first prize at the story writing contest of the National Book Development Board. She has served as Travel and Lifestyle editor of Pilipino Mirror for five years, and is a literary reviewer in Filipino at the Philippines Graphic. She worked at an online news bureau as assistant to the publisher and column writer. She also writes poetry and has been a member of the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA) since 2010. She has been selected a fellow for the UP National Writers Workshop this April 2018. She has been invited to teach in the university to impart her knowledge of writing and publishing.

Auguries. Poems by Jaime An Lim

About the author

A poet, fictionist, essayist and scholar, Jaime An Lim has received a number of awards and prizes including the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Tutungi Prize, the Ellis Literary Award, the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Philippines Free Press, Homelife Literary Prize, Panorama Literary Prize, and the 2000 Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL). He was professor of English at the MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology where he organized the Mindanao Creative Writers Group, Inc., and co-founded the Iligan National Writers Workshop. He was also Dean of the Institute of Arts and Sciences of Far Eastern University-Manila until his retirement in April 2011. He garnered the 2003 Metrobank Outstanding Teacher Award. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

Notes from the back cover

The relentless energy of the poet-as-shaman courses through Jaime An Lim’s Auguries, from the vagaries of any Monday morning, to the irrevocable last days of earthlife as we know it. Sounding the spaces of consciousness between the first poem and the last, Jaime An Lim’s personae ruminate on the imponderables using the lidless eye of truth: here, “[t]he night the lights of the world went out”; there, Callisto’s “lamentation so rending it broke / the heart of heaven”; and everywhere, the inescapable dust, such that “[w]hen you bite the dust, your mouth fills / with an ancient memory: the rock salt / of the ocean floor, the metallic zing / of something burning, the bitter / taste of someone dead.” One of my favorite poems with masterful nuanced tones, “The Dubious Art of the Non Sequitur” deftly balances the mind and heart of mystery in the conditional, that numinous space where no thing and everything can happen. And we believe in the poem’s augury which ushers us into the marvelous and the perilous, both: “If the bird of perilous passage alights / On your wrist bone like a question, / Then there is a running dialogue / Between querulous sea and shore.”

Launching of “Be Ye Steadfast. Poems of Carlomar Arcangel Daoana, Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, and Allan Justo Pastrana”

This collection is the eighth volume in Vagabond Press’ Asia Pacific Poetry Series. It is edited and introduced by Dinah Roma, with cover art by Mark Andy Garcia. Vagabond, based in Tokyo and Sydney, is an independent literary publishing press which promotes new works by writers in Asia and the Pacific.

Daoana is the prize-winning author of four collections of poetry: “Loose Tongue, Poems: 2001-2013” (UST Publishing, 2014), “Clairvoyance” (UST Publishing, 2011), “The Fashionista’s Book of Enlightenment” (DBW, 2009) and “Marginal Bliss” (University of the Philippines Press, 2002). He was awarded the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism by the Ateneo Art Awards in 2014. He writes a fortnight column in the Arts and Culture section of The Philippine Star.

Katigbak-Lacuesta is the prize-winning author of three books of poetry: “The Proxy Eros” (Anvil Publishing, 2008), “Burning Houses” (UST Publishing, 2013), and “Tropicalia: Poems and Translations” (in collaboration with Frances Cannon, Vagabond Press, 2016). She is the editor and co-creator of “Metro Serye,” a fold-out zine featuring new writing and graphic art. She also co-edited a flash fiction anthology called “Fast Food Fiction Delivery: short short stories to go,” in 2014.

Pastrana has his first book of poems entitled “Body Haul” (UST Publishing, 2011), which won the 2013 Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award.

Of these three poets, Roma writes in the introduction, “I am certain that in reading the enthralling poems of Carlomar, Mookie, and Allan—whether those readers be in Asia, Europe, North America, or elsewhere—they would find in them a rich evocation of the country and nation that is the Philippines. It is a geography and geographical construct that is as complex and slippery as the many distances traversed in the poems of places by Carlomar, of the intimate sphere that is all at once vulnerable and bracing as that of Mookie’s, and the exacting intellectual ruminations of Allan.”

Hosted by the Philippine Center of International PEN.