In Support of the Nomination of Bienvenido Lumbera as National Artist
February 19, 2005
We in Kilometer 64, a group of poets, support the nomination of Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera as National Artist.
As poets we have taken an interest in developments in the Philippine cultural scene. We are aware of the requirement that for one to be a National Artist, he or she should have made a significant impact on Philippine culture.
Not only has Lumbera made a significant impact on Philippine culture: he has contributed to the strengthening of what is Filipino in Filipino culture.
The removal of identity from consciousness was invariably among the devices resorted to by the Spanish, American, and Japanese colonizers in their bid to subjugate the Philippines. The effects of this on the Filipino psyche have stood in the way of genuine national development.
Lumbera contributed to the Filipinos? self-awareness by unearthing, through painstaking research, the achievements of our nation in the field of culture for the past several hundred years.
Aside from this, Lumbera has directly contributed to the further development of an authentically Filipino culture by creating poetry and drama reflecting the continuing Filipino quest for full independence, and by promoting through his critical studies the works of other artists who work along this line.
Lumbera has not only significantly affected Philippine culture. He has contributed immensely to the formation of a truly Filipino culture.
For this, he fully deserves to be conferred the National Artist award.