Duterte appoints Ilonggo writer to language body

By: Victor “Touch” Prodigo

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed Ilonggo writer Alain Russ Dimzon as part-time commissioner of the Commission on the Filipino Language, representing Hiligaynon.

The President signed Dimzon’s appointment on January 24, 2019. His term will expire on January 6, 2022.

Dimzon is the first fellow in Hiligaynon Poetry of the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop. He won the Gawad Emmanuel Lacaba (Best New Writer in Hiligaynon) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in 2000 and the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for Hiligaynon Poetry in 2018 from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL).

In a message to The Daily Guardian, Dimzon said one of his thrusts is to develop the Hiligaynon language standards, particularly grammar, syntax, among others. He said he aims to gather all stakeholders to achieve this plan.

As a poet, songwriter, lyricist and fictionist, his other awards came from Home Life, Hiligaynon Magasin, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Ilonggo Music Festival, and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

His poems, songs, lyrics and fiction in Hiligaynon, English and Filipino have been published by the Sunday Inquirer Magazine, The Sunday Times, Philippine Panorama, Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic, National Midweek, Philippine Studies of the Ateneo de Manila University, The Best of Likhaan of the University of the Philippines Creative Writing Institute -Diliman, Busay of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, SanAg of the University of San Agustin, In Time Passing, There Are Things of the Society of St. Paul, Native Words, Native Roots of the Mindanao State University, Ani and the CCP Literary Yearbook of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Patubas and Mantala of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Sansiglong Mahigit ng Makabagong Tula  sa Pilipinas of Anvil, Tulaan sa Tren of the National Book Development  Board, Under the Storm of the MOV International Film, Music and Literature Festival and the Antithesis Collective, The PEN Journal of the Philippine Center of International PEN,  Ang Pagbalik Sang Babaylan of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, Alpha Records-Philippines, Calvary Church of Hong Kong, and the Asian Composers League.

He has written and co-written scientific and policy papers, which have passed the screening, and have been accepted, invited, presented or published by the University of Florida, United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization, University of California Riverside, American Academy of Sciences, Widener University of Pennsylvania, Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, International Society on Equity on Health-Australia, Sustainable Resource Development (SURED) – Germany.

His services have been hired by the World Bank Institute, United Nations Development Fund for Women, World Wildlife Fund, Save the Children Foundation, Canadian Urban Institute, among others.

He is the author of Ang Manunulat kag ang Pendulum (The Writer and the Pendulum), a book of Hiligaynon poems with English translation and notes on his Hiligaynon philological theory, his output for the 2006 Fray Luis de Leon Creative Writing Institute Competitive Book Writing Grant; Walo kag Dose Na (Hiligaynon Songs in the Folk Style Tradition), co-authored with Prof. Romulo Pangan, Kasingkasing Press; and Repentances & Rehabilitations (Earliest Published Poems), Kasingkasing Press; andTingog sa Iya mga Alagyan, Kasingkasing Press.

Dimzon is a member of the Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists International).