Literary quarterly tackles Deception, disinformation

Santelmo, a literary quarterly helmed by major names in the Philippines literary landscape, was launched on 28 September at the Museo ng Pag-asa in Quezon City.

The program, hosted by Mookie Katigbak Lacuesta and Sabrina Anonas, was filled with literary readings by contributing writers including Jose “Butch” Dalisay, Alice M. Sun-Cua, Mike Alcazaren, Ramil Digal Gulle, Edward Delos Santos Cabagnot, Chuckberry J. Pascual, Adrian Crisostomo Ho, Kaye Leah C. Sitchon, and Paul Alcoseba Castillo.

Closing remarks were delivered by executive publisher of San Anselmo Publications, Inc., lawyer Eldridge Marvin B. Aceron, who said the nation getting lost from the right path and what is truly good or right is being distorted especially with the content on social media.

Photograph courtesy of Jose Dalisay
Writer and educator Butch Dalisay reading his work.

He related that when National Artist for literature Virgilio S. Almario suggested establishing Santelmo, they thought, “Sa pamamagitan ng Santelmo, mahahanap natin ang mabuti, maisusulat natin ito, magagawang tula, dula, sanaysay, o maikling kuwento. Higit sa lahat, ang mabuti ay ating mapapalaganap (Through Santelmo, we can find what is good, we can write it, wrought into a poem, play, essay or short story. Most of all, we can spread what is good).”

He added: “Ito ang misyon ng Santelmo ngayon, ang makibaka sa attention economy nang sa gayon hindi mawala sa ulirat ng ating mga kababayan ang tunay na mabuti. Ito lamang ang paraan upang maibalik sa tamang landas ang ating bayan. Ito ang siyang tunay na ating liwanag sa dilim (This is Santelmo’s mission now — to struggle against attention economy so that what is truly good will not disappear from our consciousness. This is the only way to get the country on the right track. This truly our light in the darkness).”

The publication’s maiden issue, with the theme of “Hope, Faith, and Rebirth,” was launched on 30 June.

This sophomore issue, sporting a cover art by National Artist for music Ryan Cayabyab and a back cover art by Dengcoy Miel with a quote from Salman Rushdie, focuses on the theme “Deception, Disinformation, and the Big Lie.”

The first part of Santelmo is a special section on translation featuring National Artist Virgilio S. Almario’s Filipino translation of Wallace Stevens’ poem, “The Idea of Order at Key West,” and T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock;” Merlie Alunan’s English translation of Ester Tapia’s Cebuano poem, “Nituo Ko Nimo;” and Marne L. Kilates’s English translation of six poems by the late Kerima Lorena Tariman, from her book Sa Aking Henerasyon, among others.

The issue also contains works by some of the country’s notable writers, artists, and intellectuals including historian Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua, Antonio J. Montalvan II, Luis H. Francia, Edgar Calabia Samar, Enrique S. Villasis, Noelle Q. de Jesus, and Cesar Ruiz Aquino.

The editorial board of the second issue is composed of Noel Romero del Prado, Emmanuel Quintos Velasco, and Alfred “Krip” Yuson, with Almario serving as editorial adviser.

Each copy sells for P360 including shipping. Proceeds of the sales during launch were donated to the non-governmental and developmental organization Angat Buhay Foundation. The next issue will be launched on 31 December with the future as theme.

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