National Artist Virgilio Almario is Writing a Poem Every Day Until ECQ is Lifted
National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario, also known by his pen name Rio Alma, has been composing poems every day and publishing them online since March 22.
"My poems are until the ECQ ends," Almario told Esquire Philippines. That means Almario would be writing a poem every day until May 15, unless the enhanced community quarantine is extended yet again.
His latest work, titled May Paminsan-Minsang Ulan Sa Tag-Aráw (There is Some Rain in the Dry Season) is about the unseen heroism that does not call for recognition.
Another poem, titled Ang Loro (The Parrot), is about the endless nagging of a beloved grandmother.
Ako’y si Malikhain (My Name is Creative) talks about getting ahead through flattery, bribery, and flouting of the rules.
Alamat ng Tatlong Uwak (Legend of the Three Crows) tells the story of three crows who were tasked by the goddess named Sinukuan to resolve the outbreak using their unique talents.
Alamat ng Bayan ng San Roque (Legend of the Town of San Roque) tells of how the people of an ancient and prosperous town were punished for their selfishness and greed.
As of this writing, Almario has composed and published 41 poems since March 22. They can be read on his Facebook page.
Almario is the chairman of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino or KWF. In 2003, he served as dean of the College of Arts and Letters of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. In the same year, he was proclaimed National Artist for Literature, the highest recognition conferred by the government to Filipino artists.