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Dear Educators and Learners,

Welcome to Himaya

The National Committee on Literary Arts commemorates National Arts Month this 2022 by showcasing a number of works that explore literature in the face of the pandemic.

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Himaya: Panitikan ng Pagbabanyuhay
(Conference Programme)

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Himaya: Panitikan ng Pagbabanyuhay

The National Committee on Literary Arts (NCLA) held the conference “Himaya: Panitikan ng Pagbabanyuhay” as part of the National Arts Month 2022 celebration.

Himaya (Cebuano) means “bliss” or “rapture,” and banyuhay (Tagalog) means “metamorphosis.” The concepts reflect a wide range of interpretative possibilities when deciphered by the literary imagination.  

Focusing on the impact of COVID 19, Himaya: Panitikan ng Pagbabanyuhay considers the metaphor of “the rapture.” with its religious and secular import, to indicate the vision of an eventual post-pandemic metamorphosis of life that can be brought to literary prominence. 

“Raptures,” “afterlives,” “possible worlds” and “probable worlds” are attached to the vision; thus, they constitute the locus of the discourses delivered at the conference. Hermeneutic analysis and elucidation of texts provided the rudiments of the pagbabanyuhay of Philippine literature as an affirmation of shared historical remembrance of the pandemic and its aftermath. Specifically, health, mobility, future scenarios, digitalization, spirituality, and many others--as articulated in literature—were among the topics discussed. The conference aimed to make a better sense of the current crisis and to elicit creative engagements that might lead to the restoration of the manifold losses in many areas of existence as well as to the fostering of the healing process. 

Significantly enough, “Sining ng Pag-asa,” the theme of National Arts Month 2022, was fairly evident in Himaya: Panitikan ng Pagbabanyuhay. The working metaphor of hope expressed in the title of this NCLA event generated a collection of essays that are of practical persuasion.    

Selected papers from such output have been anthologized. Hopefully, they may be a source of direction towards the anticipated new normal as well as a useful reference in academic research and instruction.

Dr. Juliet Mallari 

Head, NCCA Committee on Literary Arts

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