A TIME for celebration! The University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada’s second-highest ranked university in terms of academic excellence, and regarded by World University Ranking as one of the world’s best learning institutions, is currently holding the World Poetry Canada and International Peace Festival Exhibit where artists and artisans from all over the world have gathered to display their handiwork. Doc Penpen’s sensational book of poetry, PENTASI B, occupies a prominent place in said exhibit. It was the first public accolade accorded by UBC to a home-grown poet, a singular honor that the Filipinos should be proud about.
Doc Penpen was first awarded the title “Father of Philippine Visual Poetry” by Manny Calpito, CEO of OTUSA.TV, a California-based internet television, then on May 25, 2012, World Poetry Canada and International conferred on him the title “Father of Visual Poetry”.
PENTASI B, a stand-alone work of art considering its elegant design and exquisite graphics, is the biggest drawer in the exhibit. UBC Library disclosed that on daily average of 1,000 students view the book. According to Ms. Ariadne Sawyer, one of the exhibit’s indefatigable prime movers, a security guard told her that “the displays were the most popular that he had seen”. “People keep coming back”, he further added. Visitor stats count on site recorded highest ever– 1,373 page loads, 1,096 unique visitors and 672 return visitors for a certain day!
Credit must go to Ariadne Sawyer, herself an internationally published poet and recipient of “International Peace Poetry Award in May 2011 at the World Poetry International Festival”. She played a pivotal role in ensuring that Doc Penpen’s book of poetry would be highlighted during the UBC’s exhibit. Thanks to her steadfast faith on Doc Penpen’s avant garde poetic style, PENTASI B found a niche alongside some of the world’s best books in the UBC Library, the second-largest research library in Canada.
The tremendous reception that PENTASI B is getting is not unexpected as far as Doc Penpen’s hordes of local and international followers are concerned. They are convinced that the Filipino poet deserves every acclaim his book is meriting. Without downplaying the other rave reviews, it was perhaps Marcelino Dijamco III, the talented 31-year-old US-based videographer-writer, who gave the best, most in-depth analysis of the poet and his book. He wrote, “I was there too at the studio. I don’t know why every time they open the book, I feel a new world, a new invention, a new face for the Filipinos. There was a sudden manifestation of ingenuity and total gravity, the gift for humanity. I can connect to that ‘hooked’ situation and ‘wow’ experience, the magical lore from pages to pages. This is not just something to be shared, but everything to be remembered, a starting spark from a Filipino whose great mind never ceases to explore and evolve.” Now, that may be impossible to top!
by Jobb S. Gosamo