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Languages & Literature Week at SSC

March 21,2014

Spearheaded by the Department of Languages and Literature, the SSC College Unit celebrated the annual Languages and Literature Week from February 18-21 with the theme “Wika, Panitikan, at Pamumuno: Building Ideas and Ideals for Effecting Change.” The theme of the celebration emphasized the power of language and literature which, together with good leadership (in support of the school theme for this year), can spur the needed positive change in people and institutions, i.e., if we take inspiration from literature, put language to good use, and engender effective leadership.

As in previous years, the annual research forum ushered in the week-long celebration.  Held at the Social Hall from 8:30 to 11:30 in the morning of February 18, the Communication Arts 2 Research Forum featured a lecture delivered by Ms. Nadeth Rae Rival-Cosico, SSC alumna (AB Literature and Literacy 2010), Philippine High School for the Arts faculty and 2013 Palanca Awardee for Short Story for Children.  Her lecture zeroed in on the elements of good writing which student writers can learn from reading good literature.

Following the lecture of Ms. Rival-Cosico was the presentation of the best student research outputs from the previous year’s Communication Arts 2 classes. Five researchers-presenters served as models for the present crop of researchers through the papers they presented, their manner of presentation, and their skillful handling of questions during the open forum. The student presenters and the papers they delivered were:  BS Information Technology sophomore Jan Pauline Carza with “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones but Words Can Also Hurt Me: A Case Study of Cyberbullying”; BS Psychology sophomores Carla Isabel J. Castro and Nikka Andrea L. Matibag with “Effects of Cartoons on Children’s Behavior”; and  AB Mass Communication sophomores Katia Mae dela Cruz and Maria Karen Fulgosino with “Celebrities in Politics.”  They spoke before an audience of freshwomen and men whose Communication Arts 2 classes, like theirs, required them to write and present research papers on topics relevant to their respective disciplines.

The Department’s own version of the reality television game show The Amazing Race was this year’s language and literature challenge. Last year it was Pinoy Genius, patterned after the popular Pinoy Henyo. Organized by Professors Irish Sioson and Emilou Mendoza, “Isn’t it Amazing?” Race was held on February 19, at 12 noon.  From the starting line at the Free Zone, 10 pairs of contestants raced to each of the 12 stations within the SSC campus where they performed tasks or answered questions on language and literature before dashing back into the Free Zone where the finish line was. BS Psychology majors Rhanica Restrivera and Djoanna Paula Romey of 201C led the nine other pairs of contestants to the breathtaking finish.

Music lovers were given a musical treat in the afternoon of February 19 as sophomore Music majors staged Awit Para sa Panitikan at the SSC Pergola from 2 to 3:30 p.m.  Their repertoire was a product of the research they conducted for their Filipino 2 class (Pagbasa’t Pagsulat tungo sa Pananaliksik) under Professor Marie Merida, several songs in which were their own translations into Filipino of popular songs with English Lyrics – one of the competencies they developed in the said course. These translations were “Para sa Langit” (Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven”), “Magpakailanman” (Side A’s “Forevermore”), “Langit Lang May Alam” (Rick Price’s“Heaven Knows”), and “Paano Nalaman” (Gary Valenciano’s “How Did You Know?”).  

Also part of the Languages and Literature Week celebration was an outreach activity that brought original Filipino stories to 30 kids from Tahanan ni San Benito along Singalong Street. These kids took part in a storytelling event featuring legends and fables created and told by selected students from Professor Francis Orque’s Retorika class (Panitikang Filipino). The original storybooks read to them gave way to another round of storytelling as the kids shared their own personal tales with their Kulasa ates, and so the original storytellers became a teary-eyed audience to the stories the children told. Snacks were served before the morning ended to ensure that both hearts and bodies were satisfied.

The annual Literature Festival brought the week-long celebration to a satisfying close. On its fourth year, the two-part festival held on February 21 aimed at showcasing the richness of literature and promoting the value of reading. It started at 8:00 a.m. with a parade of literary characters brought to life by more than 400 sophomores from 15 Literature 2 (Literary Traditions) classes together with their professors. Special participants in the parade were students from Communication Arts 1 117B handled by Prof. June Rose dela Torre. Selfies taken with grade schoolers at the Mother Ferdinanda Hall where Kulasas and Kulasitas interacted added spice to the activity.

Right after the parade, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon of the same day, the 15 literature classes competed in the masque held at the St. Ehrentrudis Hall.  In the Department’s contemporary take of the masque –a form of dramatic entertainment in 16th and early 17th century England – each class staged a short excerpt from a canonical literary text incorporating song, dance, dialogue, or any other form of creative expression.  Winning first place and declared the “Stars of the Masque” was BSP 201A with their seamless performance of “Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs” from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes books. First runner-up was 206B with their creative rendition of an excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Second runner-up was 206A with their dramatic staging of an excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s romantic novel The Scarlet Letter. Special awards were given to Micaela Renee Fajardo of 217A who won Best Director (Les Miserables), Jehyna Marie Laylo of 206A who won Best Actor in a Tragedy for her portrayal of the role of Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale (The Scarlet Letter), Mariel Mira of 201A who won Best Actor in a Comedy as the first wolf in “Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs,” and 206B for Best Script/Adaptation (Alice in Wonderland). 

Throughout the duration of the Languages and Literature Week, an exhibit of students’ works in the form of storybooks, pop-up books, dioramas, posters, comic strips, mugs, and other creative output from Communication Arts, Literature, and Filipino classes was held at the Free Zone.

By: Prof. Bethel Ann Batallones
Languages & Literature Department