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Santiago B. Villafania, a bilingual Filipino poet who writes in English and in his native language of Pangasinan, is the author of four poetry collections: Bonsaic Verses (CreateSpace, 2012), Pinabli & Other Poems (C&E Publishing / De La Salle University, 2012), Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles (Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, 2007), and Balikas na Caboloan (Voices from Caboloan, 2005) published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts under its UBOD New Authors Series. His second book, Malagilion was a finalist in the 2007 National Book Award for Best Book of Poetry; and won the Gawad Komisyon (Gantimpalang Tamayo sa Tulang Pangasinan) for Pangasinan poetry in 2007. Villafania has been published/anthologized in several countries and translated into several languages. He is one of the 11 Outstanding Pangasinenses and recipient of the 1st Asna Award for Arts and Culture (Literature) in 2010; and one of the Six Filipino Poets in "World Poetry Peace Festival" in Canada, 2013. He is a member of the Philippine PEN and writes a regular weekly column for the "Sunday Punch".
Santiago Villafania is a bilingual Filipino poet who writes in English and in his native language of Pangasinan. He advocates for the resurgence of Pangasinan as a literary language.
His works in the vernacular are some of the most representative, if not among the few that comprise that Pangasinan contemporary literary body. In his first book, Balikas na Caboloan (Verses from Caboloan, 2005), the Pangasinan anlong resurfaces asserting its tradition amidst intersecting and pollinating genres and literary influences.
His book of poems, Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles (2007), is an attempt to open the propylaea of literary renaissance in Pangasinan. This second book by Pangasinan's leading poet today is impressive in both form and substance. Villafania has created 300 sonnets and 50 villanelles in his own language that attempt to reflect the primacy of native culture and return the poet to the central stage of social life.
His works have also been translated into Spanish, Italian, Hindi, and Arabic. His unpublished book of poems 'Murtami' was translated into Hindi entitled 'Premanjali' and was released in the New Delhi World Book Fair in 2013.
He is one of the 11 Outstanding Pangasinenses conferred with the 2010 Asna Award for the Arts and Culture (Literature) during the first Agew na Pangasinan and also the 430th Foundation Anniversary of the province on 5 April 2010. His book, Malagilion was recognized by the National Book Development Board and Manila Critics Circle as Finalist for Best Book of Poetry in the 27th National Book Award; and he also won Unang Gantimpala in the 2007 Gawad Komisyon (Gantimpalang Tamayo sa Tulang Pangasinan).
Villafania is a member of the Philippine PEN and currently writes a literature and culture weekly column for the Sunday Punch.