Davao Artists Give Tribute to Tita Ayala during LitOrgy

Editor's Note | March 4, 2019

Davao artists gathered to give tribute to the late poet Tita Lacambra-Ayala during LitOrgy: Asterisks in Bloom at Suazo Bar on February 23.

The event, that has been on-going since 2009, always sparked curiosity. Delivering the foreword of the event, Laura Elizaga, daughter of Tita Ayala, said that hearing LitOrgy reminded her of enlightenment and “something live, wild, uninhibited and therefore authentic.”

“So,” Laura Elizaga concluded, “LitOrgy is an enlightened celebration of art, literature, and music through live performance.”

20 artists performed during the event. Each of the 16 readers presented works of Tita Ayala from her renowned books like Sunflower Poems, Ordinary Poems, Adventures of a Professional Amateur, and Friends and Camels in a Time of Olives. Some translated her works from and to their local languages. Four of them played their original compositions.

John Bengan, president of the Davao Writers Guild and professor at UP Mindanao translated “Flowers of Youth” and “Collisions” to Binisaya. UP Mindanao professors, Jombits Quintos and Darylle Rubino translated “Tulang Simponiko” to English and “Sunflowers” to Hiligaynon, respectively. This is to grant Tita Ayala’s life wish of having her poems translated.

John Bengan also shared an incident when Tita Ayala went to UP Mindanao a day earlier for a film viewing. She sat in Bengan’s Literary Translations class, instead. She told him that she would love to have her poems translated to the local languages.

Cristina Elizaga, Tita Ayala’s granddaughter, shared that although Tita was indeed the artist that became a pillar of arts in the country, she was also the loving grandmother who always insisted that Cristina accompany her to Davao Writers Guild meetings.

“Thank you for giving her this purpose,” she said.

“Tita was a bold person. She wouldn’t have been able to do all the things she did if she wasn’t bold,” Angely Chi, one of the organizers of LitOrgy, said during her closing remarks. “If there is something else you want to do apart from LitOrgy, dare to do it.”

LitOrgy: Asterisks in Bloom is organized by the Davao Writers Guild, Young Davao Writers, and UP Literary Society. It is also a fund-raising event for Tita’s independent publication The Road Map Series. (Grace Tangaro)

For more photos from the LitOrgy: Asterisks in Bloom, please visit our Facebook photo album here: http://bit.ly/LitOrgy-TALA

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