Prevent Suicide with Poetry

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  • August 28, 2014

Sharing this announcement from Foundation AWIT:

In commemoration of the World Suicide Prevention Day 2014 in September, the Foundation for Advancing Wellness, Instruction and Talents (Foundation AWIT) is once again holding TEXTANAGA, a text (SMS) poetry (tanaga) writing contest. This year’s theme is “Suicide Prevention: One World Connected”.

A tanaga is a short pre-hispanic poetry composed of four lines with seven syllables per line containing a central metaphor. The contest aims to popularize and revitalize the tradition of the oldest forms of Filipino poetry by using modern technology while educating the public about mentalhealth issues.

TEXTANAGA entries must be written in Filipino and must express the role of connectedness in the fight against suicide. Every 40 seconds, the world loses one life to suicide. According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, “Connectednessis crucial to individuals who may be vulnerable to suicide. Studies have shown that social isolation can increase the risk of suicide and, conversely, that having strong human bonds can be protective against it. Reaching out to those who have become disconnected from others and offering them support and friendship may be a life-saving act.”

Here areexamples of a tanaga on the theme:

Example 1:
Bakit mo sinosolo
Ang problema ng mundo?
Samantalang andito
Kahit kailan ako! – Carmelo Nadera, Lucena City

Example 2:
Isipin mo at damhin
Ang diwa at damdamin,
Upang muling buhayin.
Ang kaluluwang angkin! – Myrtle Pacquing, Candon, Ilocos Sur

Contestants must submit original entries through text to 0915 2752033 (Globe); 09212067846 (Smart); 09327253686 (Sun). Each entrant may submit a maximum of three poems per week.

The contest commences on August 31, 2014. Accompanied by the name and address of the author, entries must be received through SMS not later than 5 p.m. every Saturday of the contest week. Every week during the contest month, judges will pick 1 winner (Text Makata ng Linggo) who will receive P1,000. At the end of the last week, the four Text Makata ng Linggo entries will again compete and only one will be declared a grand prize winner to receive 4,000.00. Announcement of the grand prize winner will be on 7 October 2014.

Textanaga was first held in 2005 as the first banner project of the Committee on Literary Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. In 2012, Foundation AWIT sponsored Dionatext Kontra Depresyon, a text poetry writing contest that promoted diona, another old Filipino poetic form.

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