The University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao was one of the co-sponsors of Reading the Regions: A National Arts Month 2020 Celebration, held on 28-29 February at the Pinnacle Hotel, Davao City; an offering for the 25th foundation anniversary celebration of UP Mindanao. Chancellor Larry Digal gave welcome remarks in the welcome dinner on 27 February 2020. Faculty members from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences presented papers: John Bengan on the Obo Manobo epic Tuwaang Attends A Wedding; Emmanuel Nabayra and Genevieve Jorolan-Quintero on the Mandaya hulubaton; Jay Jomar F. Quintos on the Teduray epic Berinareu; Aimee Farah Virador and Lakan Umali served as moderators, and Julius Neil Piala served as emcee. National Artist Resil B. Mojares delivered the keynote address on writing from the regions; poet Merlie M. Alunan and novelist Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSsR gave plenary talks. Curia Sancti Rosarii, Inc. was the main implementor of "Reading the Regions" with help from the Davao Writers Guild, the UP Mindanao BA English (Creative Writing) program, and the National Committee on Literary Arts.
DATELINE 29 FEBRUARY 2020: NCCA executive director Al Ryan Alejandre administered the oath of office on 28 February 2020 to the newly-appointed members of the Executive Council of the National Committee on Literary Arts (NCLA): Haidee Emmie K. Palapar representing Central Visayas, May Anne Ticao-Jaro for Western Visayas, Neyo E. Valdez for Northern Luzon, Priscilla S. Macansantos for the Cordillera Region, Merdeka C. Morales for the National Capital Region (NCR), Maria Luna Sicat-Cleto for NCR, John Bengan for Eastern and Southern Mindanao, Yvonne M. Esperas for Eastern Visayas, Joyce L. Arriola for NCR, and incoming NCLA head Juliet Mallari for Central Luzon.
"A Conversation with Davao Writers" had faculty member Jhoanna Cruz and alumni Ria Valdez and Jade Baylon as discussants, and Jeffrey Javier as moderator. "Viewing the Regions: A film Showing and Panel on Local Cinema" had alumni Angely Chi as programmer/moderator, UP Mindanao Dance Ensemble alumna and former coach Glorypearl Dy as director of the film "Walay Midanguynguy (No One Came to Weep)" with fellow Ensemble alumni Ira Sisa Aparra, Camille Margarette Solon, Stephanie Majarocon, and Jemimah Keziah Morales as featured performers in the film; Ms. Aparra represented the film in the panel discussion. Ms. Aparra also performed with Kalihokan Kolektib in the opening and closing ceremonies; UP Mindanao Koro Kantahanay sang on both occasions. NCLA member John Bengan was the program director of "Reading the Regions" and was supported by UP Mindanao constituents Erlyn G. Piolo, Jeo Olar, Crest Contrata, and Ivan Acero as members of the secretariat. #UPMin25