Jose Garcia Villa poems set to music performed in Washington
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A small program celebrating the works of Philippine National Artist Jose Garcia Villa featured the performance of two of the poet’s works set to music.
As part of this month’s celebration of Filipino American History Month, the Philippine Embassy, Philippines on the Potomac (POPDC) and the US-Philippines Society hosted the event.
Soprano Eriko Murray and pianist Kumiko Chikata performed two of Villa’s poems set to music — “Monks and Raisins” (Samuel Barber/Jose Garcia Villa) and “Moonlight’s Watermelon” (Richard Hundley/Jose Garcia Villa). INQUIRER columnist Luis Francia, a poet and student of JG Villa, virtually read two of Villa’s poems.
Jose Garcia Villa became Philippine National Artist for Literature in 1973. Villa was also a recipient of multiple awards and fellowships, such as the Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, Shelley Memorial Award, and many more. He was known for introducing “Comma Poems” and the “reversed consonance rhyme scheme” in poetry writing. He also wrote under the pen name “Doveglion” (Dove, Eagle, Lion).
Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ascalon, Jr., highlighted the importance of promoting Filipino culture and raising the profile of the Filipino American community in the United States.
The program was held at the residence of Jenny Crabbe, an active member of the Filipino Community. More details can be found in the Philippines on the Potomac DC Page here.