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MCL prof, student collaborate to produce poetry book

In the photo are (L-R) Engr. Dennis Tablante, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Rogelio Valenzuela, author, Filipino Prof. Vilma Malabuyoc, Prof. Cristina Dimaguila-Macascas, editor, Paulo Keno Del Pilar, illustrator, Ms. Virginia Gapuz of Great Books Publishing, Prof. Oliver Castillo, A.B. Communication – Multimedia Arts Program Chair, and Mrs. Maxima Flavier of the Office of Research Promotion and Coordination.

A professor and a student from Malayan Colleges Laguna (MCL) launched their first ever poetry book titled Takas last December 2, 2013 at MCL’s E.T. Yuchengco Hall lobby.

Prof. Rogelio Valenzuela’s students present a sabayang pagbigkas performance of the poem Takas.

Takas is the first book collaboration between Filipino professor Rogelio Valenzuela and A.B. Communication – Multimedia Arts student Paulo Keno Del Pilar. Valenzuela is the author of the book, while Del Pilar, a 4th year student, is the illustrator.

“When Prof. Valenzuela asked for my inputs regarding the best way to present his poems, I told him that he could compile his works and make them into a book. He then asked me to work on the illustrations and I agreed,” Del Pilar said when asked how their collaboration started.

Valenzuela and Del Pilar have been collaborating since the latter’s first year as an MMA student. Their previous projects included WikaMalayan and an animation, Ang Alamat ng Bae.

Takas is the first in Valenzuela’s TulASALarawan series, which will feature Tagalog poems written to teach moral lessons. Each book in the series will be accompanied by illustrations.

“Simple lang naman ang illustrations ko,” Del Pilar told his fellow students present during the book launching. “I know you can do it, too.”

One of the highlights of the launch was a sabayang pagbigkas performed by Valenzuela’s students. Their piece was one of the poems in the book.

Dean Joy Hofileña of the College of Arts and Science and Engr. Dennis Tablante, Vice President for Academic Affairs, read their copies of Takas.

Valenzuela encouraged his students to get involved in Filipino literature. “Huwag ninyong panghinayangan ‘yong mga sinusulat ninyo kasi makakapag-ambag kayo sa mundo ng panitikan. Malaki ang maitutulong ninyo,” he said.

The school administration, meanwhile, said it fully supports Valenzuela and Del Pilar’s endeavor.

“Ito po ay isang testamento na ang bawat isa na magpupursige sa MCL ay may mararating,” said Engr. Dennis Tablante, MCL’s vice president for Academic Affairs. “I am encouraging the faculty members to keep on pushing themselves, and eventually their students, to come up with something very creative such as this [book].”

Takas was edited by Professor Cristina Dimaguila-Macascas and published by Great Books Publishing.

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