Filipinas Heritage Library has partnered with independent publisher Firetree Press in presenting IMAGINING BATANES, an exhibition and series of talks on the remote group of islands in northern Philippines.
Imagining Batanes opened on May 12 with a conversation among Quintin Pastrana, director of Firetree Press; Ivatan artists Victoria Abad Kerblat and Xavier Abelador; and Ivatan anthropologist Prof. Edwin Valientes. The conversation also presented Asa Ka Awan du Vatan (A Year in Batanes), Firetree Press’ maiden publication. This limited edition book and journal curates the vivid watercolors and narratives of the seasons, lives, and cultures that make up Batanes.
The event will consist of two more talks on Batanes life and culture. On May 23, Prof. Nestor T. Castro of the University of the Philippines Department of Anthropology will present “Nanau nu Mangalkem: Ivatan Indigenous Knowledge on Biodiversity Conservation.” Prof. Florentino H. Hornedo, himself an Ivatan and a member of the faculty at the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School, will deliver a lecture on “Word & Reality in Ivatan Traditional Lyric Poetry” on May 30.
Watercolors by artists from the Yaru nu Artes Ivatan Gallery in Batanes, as well as photographs by Opal Bala and Raena Abella, are displayed during the event, and shall form part of Retrato, the photo archive of Filipinas Heritage Library. Supplementing the exhibit are Ivatan artifacts from private collectors and related books from FHL’s Filipiniana collection.