February 25, 2019 (11:13 AM)

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Artists pay their tribute to the late poet and Palanca awardee Tita Lacambra-Ayala in LitOrgy held last Saturday, Feb. 23.

Photo by Percival Vargas

With inspiring and moving poems, artists from The Davao Writers Guild (DWG) in cooperation with the Young Davao Writers, UP Literary Society and the Road Map Series Heritage hosted this year’s ‘Poetry Night’ called LitOrgy: Asterisks in Bloom as tribute to the late poet Tita Lacambra-Ayala.

Lacambra-Ayala is an acclaimed poet, having won the Palanca award for Poetry in English “A Filigree of Seasons” (Second Prize). She is also the founder of DWG and the Road Map Series. 
She turned 88 last January 2 and passed away a week after.

Held at Suazo last Saturday night, LitOrgy series is an annual event celebrating a night of poetry, music, and visual arts. Its title is a frisky word blend of ‘literature,’ ‘orgy,’ and ‘liturgy.’ The subtitle ‘Asterisks in Bloom’ is a reference to her poem ‘When I talk.’

According to event co-organizer Ms. Angely Chi, this year’s LitOrgy is notable for it gave homage to the late poet.

“[Tita Lacambra-Ayala] is one of the pillars of the literary and art scene, especially in Davao where she resided for years and stayed until the end of her life. She’s been doing a lot of work through her Road Map Series featuring artists and writers whom she takes interest on their works,” she said.

The Road Map Series is Lacambra-Ayala’s 1981 art and poetry folio that highlights Mindanao literature, according to Ateneo Library of Women’s Writings (ALIWW) website.

The latest in the series is titled ‘Solstice’ where it features her collection of poems, picked by her next of kin “as a way of celebrating her journey that adds meaning and momentum to all of our travels.”

Her beloved family, friends, and acquaintances, along with teachers and students, were the evening’s poetry readers.

Among who joined the roster of readers was John Nathan “Nate” Lim, a senior of the Creative Writing program of University of the Philippines Mindanao.

A first time participant, Lim noted the feeling of having “big shoes to fill in”.

“I’m performing with literary greats of Davao like Sir John [Bengan] and Sir Lakan [Umali]. I just really wanted to do something to honor Tita Ayala kasi she’s a great poet.” he said.

Musical artists Sol, Andrei Elizaga, Carlos Derequito, and Kim Fabular serenaded the room in between readings while EJ Fernandez’ tribute video showing the last footages of Lacambra-Ayala was screened in the background.

Laura Isabel Ayala-Elizaga, daughter of Lacambra-Ayala, said just as she was, her mother would also be happy with the outcome of the event.

“She loves to party. She loves to dance. She’s very appreciative of people’s efforts. You know she always wants to listen to what other people have to say and she’s inspecting if they have magic. She always wants you to tell her stories, to share your world. She wants to see your world…Enjoy siya, I’m sure. And she was here, watching,” she told Atenews.



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