August 31, 2012
3:00-4:15 p.m., SocSci Rooms 1 & 2
Parallel Session 1-E

Moderator: Prof. Pamela Punzalan, Department of English

University of San Carlos, Cebu City

“Culture on Trial: Translating Gremer Chan Reyes’ Men at Sea”

Translation has emerged as a relevant medium through which countries can be familiar with and understand each other, and people can obtain access to knowledge which would not have been available in another way. Translation works like a mirror where one can reflect upon the self as well as use it as a window to look through other cultures. From this contextual frame, this paper attempts to introduce a Cebuano text, Gremer Chan Reyes’s Men at Sea, to English speakers.

Hope Sabanpan-Yu is the director of the USC Cebuano Studies Center and a professor of comparative literature at the Department of Languages and Literature. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in literature, creative non-fiction, theory and criticism. She has translated and edited Cebuano works into English such as Mila’s Mother (2008), a serialized novel by the late Austregelina Espina-Moore entitled Ang Inahan ni Mila; Men at Sea and other stories (2009), a translation of the short story collection of Gremer Chan Reyes,Crack Shot and other Stories (2010), a translation of the short stories of Ernesto D. Lariosa, Where the fire tree grows (2010), a novel by Austregelina Espina-Moore, Reawakened Bliss (2011), a translation of Gardeo Patra Quijano’s short story collection and Hunger in Nayawak and other stories (2012), a translation of the short story anthology by Lamberto Ceballos.

Northwest Samar State University
Calbayog City, Samar

“Translating in Waray: How do you translate pweragaba?”

The primary literature of Waray is poetry and siday became the generic term for Waray poetry (Rosales, 2008). Publication of siday in print has been very sparse in the last one hundred years and in most cases these are printed in the local tongue with no available translation in English or Filipino. Translations came later in the 1990s when publications sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and other independent publishers set a requirement to provide translation, which in most cases, were done in English, in order to bridge the language gap to non-Waray speakers.

This paper underscores how translation in Waray to English is done, vice-versa, and how language and culture are translocated in both languages (Alunan, 2012) based on the prevailing translation practices by Waray translators in Samar and Leyte which are embodied in published literary materials in the contemporary times from 1990-2011. It also articulates the cultural and political significance of translating literary pieces only in these languages as an act of resistance against the emerging hegemony of Filipino which is the national language (Sugbo, 2002).

Phil Harold L. Mercurio is the author of the book on Waray poetry entitled Ayaw Pagpudlaan Tuogugiba pa nga mga Siday (2010) published by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under the Ubod II New Authors Series. As a writer, he humbly claims that he is a product of the Iligan National Writers Workshop (INWW) and the UP Visayas Creative Writing Program (UP VisWrite) in UP Tacloban where he likewise took his AB Communication Arts major in Literature and Communication Research. A cultural worker, he is the convenor of the Lamiraw Creative Writing Workshop (2004) in Samar and co-founder of three writers organizations in Eastern Visayas: Calbayog Literary Arts Organization (CALAO Writers) Inc., Abaknon Literary Arts Guild (ALAG Writers) Inc. and Katig Writers Network Inc. He is a faculty of the Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU) in Calbayog City where he teaches English, Literature, Development Communication and Translation. At present, he is finishing his M.A. in Language and Literacy Education at the UP Open University.


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