Poetry in Motion

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Have you taken the LRT recently? Well – we all should…if only to wax poetic during the ride.

The Instituto Cervantes de Manila, led by Director Jose Rodriguez, and the Light Rail Transit Authority have collaborated to install posters inside the carriages of LRT – all of which contain celebrated Spanish-language poems by such writers as national hero Jose Rizal, Jesús Balmori, Claro M. Recto, José Palma, and Fernando Maria Guerrero; Spanish poets Calderón de la Barca, Lope de Vega, García Lorca, Antonio Machado, Luis Cernuda, Luis Rosales, Miguel Hernández and Gil de Biedma; and Latin American writers Pablo Neruda and César Vallejo. The poems, of course, have Filipino translations (so we can stop ogling at strangers and start memorizing some fine verse).

This new promotional campaign, entitled “Verse in the Metro”, was launched recently to encourage reading among Filipino commuters, as well as to strengthen the ties between Spain and the Philippines, two countries that share a common past that spanned more than 300 years.

“With almost one million commuters riding the train every day, it provides a great opportunity for the reading campaign to reach as many people as possible,” Rodriguez (rightmost in the photo) said.

Instituto Cervantes is the cultural arm of the Spanish government that promotes and teaches the Spanish language and culture. It is the largest Spanish teaching organization worldwide, with more than 70 centers in 4 continents. With its collection of classic and contemporary Spanish Institute, movies and music, the Instituto library has become an important agent in promoting the Spanish language in the Philippines and is an indispensable source for those who are interested in Spanish and Latin American cultures.

(Photo courtesy of The Manila Times.)

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