Thomasian poets hail literary giant Cirilo Bautista

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Broadcast personality Lourd de Veyra says Cirilo Bautista is a “poet of industry” for his extensive epic imagination during a poetry reading at the Conspiracy Garden Café. (Photo by Camille Abiel H. Torres/The Varsitarian)

THOMASIAN poets honored the late National Artist for Literature Cirilo Bautista during a poetry reading at the Conspiracy Garden Café on Tuesday.

Broadcast personality Lourd de Veyra said Bautista is a “poet of industry” for his extensive epic imagination.

“[Cirilo] builds breathtaking cathedrals. ‘Yung mga tula niya are feats of intellect [and] of music. It’s about Philippine history…from Magellan to Rizal. Iba ang nagawa ni Cirilo. Malawak talaga,” de Veyra said.

Joselito de los Reyes, chairman of the UST literature department, explained how Bautista’s work became his model for good poetry.

“‘Yung tula niya ay napakasentimental, napakapraktikal [at] napaka-organic. So dun ako nagsimula. Since 1994, sinusundan ko siya tapos binabasa ko ‘yung column niya,” de los Reyes said.

Victor Emmanuel Carmelo “Vim” Nadera Jr., former Varsitarian editor in chief, said Bautista had “unparalleled dedication” to supporting budding writers.

Nadera, founder of the Varsitarian-hosted Gawad Ustetika, shared how Bautista supported the campus literary derby by being among its first judges.

“‘Yung paggalang ko kasi sa kanya, higit sa pagiging manunulat. Kung hindi [siya] ganun kabait, hindi tatagal ang Ustetika hanggang ngayon. [Siya] ang pinagkakautangan ko ng loob,” he said.

Bautista, who obtained his bachelor’s degree in English at the University in 1963, was named National Artist for Literature in 2014.

He died on May 6 last year at the age of 76.

The event, titled “LIRAhan: Arkipelago Cirilo,” was organized by the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo. Leigh Anne Darlene E. Dispo, with reports from Karl Ben L. Arlegui

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