Bangsi storybook to be launched in Maitum


Bangsi storybook to be launched in Maitum

As part of the activities of this year’s Bangsi Festival, the Municipality of Maitum, the independent publishing house Aklat Alamid, and the writers organisation Sarangani Writers League is launching the storybook Gusto Maglupad ni Bangsi on 27 January 2023 at the Municipal Library of Maitum, Sarangani Province.

The book is a fictional story about the origins of the bangsi or flying fish’s ability to glide over waters. It also includes a spread on preparing marinated bangsi, the source of livelihood of thousands of residents of Maitum. Every January, the town recognises the importance of the bangsi and celebrates the bounty of the sea during the week-long Bangsi Festival. This year’s festival is slated from 20 to 27 January 2023 and includes several activities, such as a bangsi-splitting contest, street parade, fun run, boat race, sports tournaments, and dance contests.

The story is written in Binisaya and Filipino by Maitum resident Xaña Angel Eve M. Apolinar. It is the grand prize winner of Usbong, a contest on writing short stories for children in 2019 organised by Aklat Alamid, The Philippine Board on Books for Young People, and the National Book Development Board. Spain-based graphic designer and artist Dom Ochotorena, whose parents are from Manila and Zamboanga del Norte, provided the illustrations for the storybook. Meanwhile, Eric Gerard H. Nebran translated the story into English and Marigold Cagumbay Tumamac checked the content.

“I wrote the story at a time when I had a burning passion to achieve things in life. I was 17, a college freshie, and living independently in the busy city of General Santos. At first, the story was centred on the value of kindness. But after exchanges with the editorial team of Aklat Alamid, it evolved into a tale that aims to inspire children and people of all ages to dream high, work hard, and explore life outside of their comfort zone,” Apolinar shares about her writing process.

“To ensure that I used the appropriate language and descriptions, I talked to fisherfolks, children from the coastal barangays of Mabay and Old Poblacion, users of the Binisaya language, residents of Maitum, and writer friends,” she adds.

The book is indeed made possible by the help of these individuals and the support of the Municipality of Maitum, through the Office of Hon. Mayor Alexander Bryan B. Reganit, the Tourism Office, and the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation.

During the launch, copies of the book will be turned over to the Municipal Library and be given to a group of Binisaya-speaking children of Maitum. The book is also available for purchase through the online order form. (PR)