Mila Geremia Lachica Oct 10, 2008 15:54:08 GMT 2
Post by thepoetslizard on Oct 10, 2008 15:54:08 GMT 2
Mila Geremia-Lachica began writing under the tutelage of the fictionist Leoncio P. Deriada and has since blossomed to become one of the truest voices in Panay. After finishing her studies in Comparative Literature at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Mila worked in the university as a research associate of the Center for West Visayan Studies where she conducted and published studies on West Visayan culture until she migrated to the U.S. in 1997. A big break for her was when she met Nick Carbo, attended his class, and submitted her poems to Babaylan through Nick.
Mila won the first Kinaray-a poetry writing grant from the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1989 and another grant for Kinaray-a playwriting in 1991. She also won the top prize in the English category of the NCCA All West Visayan poetry competition in 1994.
Our Own Voice, March 2004
Poem in Kinaray-a, with English translation by the poet
"Ang Pagsulat Bayi"
Ang pagsulat bayi nga hamtung
sa panghuna-huna, sa panglawasun
nagapili kang binhi nga timgas;
Ang pagsulat bayi nga nagabusong
indi mapaktan ang baratyagun
'galingin ang ulo, wara't gana magkaun;
Ang pagsulat bayi nga nagabata
tuman ang kasakit, tuman ang kakulba
tuman ang kalipay pagguwa ka lapsag;
Ang pagsulat matres ka bayi
nagaluha ka dugo
kon wara it mahuman.
"Writing is Woman"
Writing is woman ripe
in thought, in body
picking the choicest seed;
Writing is pregnant woman
dizzy spells, no taste for food;
Writing is woman giving birth
too much pain and anxiety
boundless joy when the baby is out
Writing is woman's womb
shedding tears of blood
when it cannot conceive.
"Ang Pagsulat Bayi" was included in "The Rise of Kinaray-a: History and Anthology of Contemporary Literature in Antique" (edited by Alex C. De los Santos & published by the University of San Agustin's Libro Agustino, Iloilo City 2003).
* In the island of Panay, Hiligaynon may be known as the official language or the lingua franca since it is spoken by the Ilonggos in Iloilo City but as one leaves the city going to the province of Antique, the tongue shifts to Kinaray-a . Believed to be as ancient as the legend of the ten datus, Kinaray-a traces its roots to Datu Sumakwel who first settled in this part of the island. Today, Kinaray-a still lives on in the heart, in the tongue as well as on paper.