Thirteen years since the first ever anthology of Philippine short stories was published in the Czech language, a new and wider selection of works by Filipino writers is given special focus by the notable Czech literary monthly, Plav. The August 2015 issue entitled “Literatura ng Pilipinas” was successfully launched in Prague.
A result of the joint cooperation of the Czech Embassy in Manila and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), this issue offers the Czech readers a broad and diverse scope of Filipino literature from the late 19th century to the early 21st century not only written originally in Filipino and English, but also in Spanish and Chinese.
Co-edited by Silvie Mitlenerová and Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olša, Jr., the special issue features a variety of works ranging from the classics of José Rizal, Nick Joaquín, and F. Sionil Jose to the works of contemporary writers such as Marc Gaba, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, and Crystal Koo.
Furthermore, in an effort to show the linguistic diversity of Philippine literature, samples of works by leading contemporary poets writing in Filipino like Rio Alma, Enrique Villasis and Joel Toledo, poetry by Tsinoy authors Go Bon Juan and Grace Hsieh-Hsing Lee and a Spanish short story by Pedro Paterno are contained as well.
As a pivotal moment in the strengthening of cultural and literary ties between the Czech Republic and the Philippines, the launching of the “Literatura ng Pilipinas” PLAV issue held in Prague was hosted by Philippine Ambassador to the Czech Republic Victoriano Lecaros and Ambassador Olša. It was attended by over 100 guests from various cultural and literary organizations in the country.
This special issue is a product of the joint translation exchange program agreement between the Czech Embassy Manila and the KWF that is set to intensify the Czech-Philippine ties in the field of culture and the arts.
Besides the selections published in PLAV, this program will also initiate the translation and publication of three titles of Czech literature into the Filipino language and reciprocally three books written by the writers from the Philippines into the Czech language.
Another project under this agreement is the upcoming launching of the book-length selection of the best poems by Nobel Prize winning Czech poet Jaroslav Seifert translated in Filipino.