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#TINTANews: Basabalak 1st Anniversary!


In an actual started-from-the-bottom-now-we’re-here moment, TINTA has risen from barely being a blimp on the literary radar to rubbing elbows with Cebu’s literary greats. It has grown to become more than just a student-run organization; it’s become a movement.

Born out of The Reading, an intimate gathering of TINTA members to talk about pieces they were working on or things they had been reading, TINTA decided it wanted a way to expand that and make the event more accessible to people. And thus, Basabalak was born.

Then called Poetry Nights, the Basabalak was held on the ground of Handuraw Events CafĂ© and TINTA had partnered up with The Nomads, a social media literary group. It wasn’t the best place to have the event because it was loud and disruptive to people who were just there to dine; it felt like shoving poetry down people’s throats.

And sometimes poetry is hard to swallow so TINTA took its first step to taking the lit scene to another level: it moved the event to the second floor of the Cafe, which was more isolated and cozy. It would be where all the subsequent Basabalaks would be held.

It was the place where the Cebu lit scene would be changed for good. The March Basabalak found TINTA opening its doors to the likes of Merlie Alunan, Daryll Delgado, John Barrios, and Noel Tuazon. TINTA would then be rubbing elbows with more of Cebu’s established writers when it partnered up with BATHALAD (Bathalan-ong Halad sa Dagang) in July. At that point, it would be well-acquainted with writers such as Jeremiah Bondoc, Josua Cabrera and Anthony Kintanar. In the next months, Basabalaks would also be graced by balakeros Adonis Durado and Butch Bandillo.

Basabalak is a place where poets of all ages and backgrounds could come together for a night of literary sharing. It created a space which was safe that anyone could come up to the stage, grab the mic and perform to their heart’s content, whether this was a balak (as basabalak suggests), another creative piece of writing, or a song, anyone was welcome to step up. Basabalak created an atmosphere in which all forms of art are celebrated and every artist is given a voice.

Basabalak is that constant you’ve always dreamed of – it is something to look forward to every month. It might not be that text you were waiting to get, but it’s so much sweeter than that, some would even call it therapeutic. A night to release all that is trapped in you just waiting to come out; a night of healing through words and good company.

This month will see TINTA celebrating its first year anniversary of Basabalak on the 27th of February.  To be a part of this life-changing journey and see TINTA grow even more, feel free to come up to Handuraw’s second floor and bring the whole team with you!

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This article for #TINTANews is written by Astrid Ilano.

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