Ilokano writers gather in Apayao for annual national forum

LUNA, Apayao, April 30 (PIA) — At least 200 Ilokano writers, journalists and students in the country and from abroad participated in the 51st annual convention of the GUMIL Filipinas, the biggest Ilokano Writers Association in the Philippines and Overseas, at the Apayao Eco-Tourism & Sports Complex, San Gregorio, Luna, Apayao from April 26 to 28.

This year’s Ilokano writers’ annual national forum dubbed as Dap-ayan 2019 was anchored on a theme: GUMIL Filipinas, Dana ti Panagrang-ay ti Kultura ken Literatura nga Ilokano (GUMIL Filipinas, means for the progress of culture and Ilokano Literature) and was highlighted with Ilokano language and literary seminar workshops, and social media lecture.

Vilmer Viloria, president of GUMIL Filipinas, said, “our GUMIL Filipinas annual convention is our commitment in connection to the observance of the National Literature Month as mandated by the Presidential Proclamation No. 968 issued in 2015.”

“GUMIL Filipinas has always been supportive to the observance to the National Literature Month led by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, both headed by chairman and national artist Virgilio S. Almario and the the National Book Development Board chaired by Flor Marie Santa Romana-Cruz,” he added.

The issuance of Presidential Proclamation No. 968 or the observance of the National Literature Month was initiated by the GUMIL Filipinas.

“GUMIL Filipinas launched its annual convention in April 1968 as a venue for the preservation and development of the Ilokano language by enhancing the writing skills of the Ilokano writers and journalists,” Viloria said.

Some of the prominent Ilokano writers/journalists, who are members and former officials of the GUMIL Filipinas are Bannawag managing editor Cles Rambaud, multi-awarded writer/journalist Honor Cabie Blanco, Dionisio S. Bulong, Jose Bragado and Johnny Hidalgo. (Freddie G. Lazaro)