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          MANILA --  The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is inviting the public to join activities in line with the observance of the National Literature Month (NLM) in April.

          This year's theme is "buklugan panitikan", derived from a Subanen ritual called "buklog", a thanksgiving ceremony performed at the start of the planting and harvest season.

          "Celebrating literature is very important. Culture is based on language, and the use of language is literature," NCCA chairman Virgilio Almario told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.

          Almario said the NCCA chose "buklugan" as the theme for this year's observance, aiming to make the public appreciate the connection between our literature and language to other literature or languages.

          He added that this year is also the International Year of Indigenous Languages, thus, the NLM's theme is really apt.

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          Meanwhile the NCCA has prepared various activities and competitions for the month-long celebration.

          The NLM will officially open in Bataan on April 2, to commemorate Filipino writer, Francisco Baltazar's Day.

          There will be a "book fiesta" for the whole month of April to encourage more people to read and appreciate Filipino-authored books.

          A three-day "kundiman" writing camp will also be held from April 12 to April 14. This is open for Filipinos 18 years old and above.

          "Pista ng Komedya" and "Pistang Pampanitikan sa Baler" will be staged as well.

          On April 27, a National Writers Congress will be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Several literary artists will be honored during this event. (PNA)



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