Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ascalon, Jr. (middle wearing blue jacket) delivers closing remarks and expresses gratitude to Ms. Jenny Crabbe (left of DCM Ascalon wearing black dress with pink floral design) for hosting the evening program.

19 OCTOBER 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of this month’s celebration of Filipino American History Month, the Embassy partnered with the Philippines on the Potomac (POPDC) and the US-Philippines Society in hosting a small program celebrating the works of Philippine National Artist Jose Garcia Villa.

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). Mr. Luis Francia, a poet and a student of JG Villa, virtually joined and read two of Villa’s poems. 

On behalf of PH Ambassador to US Jose Manuel Romualdez, Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ascalon, Jr., in his remarks, underscored the importance of promoting Filipino culture and the arts by promoting the works of national artists such as Jose Garcia Villa. He also stressed the significance of the Filipino American History Month celebrations in raising the profile and empowering the Filipino American community in the United States.

Jose Garcia Villa became a Philippine National Artist for Literature in 1973 and is considered as one of the best poets of his generation. 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).

The program was held at the residence of Ms. Jenny Crabbe, an active member of the Filipino Community. More details can be found in the Philippines on the Potomac DC Page here.###

Soprano Eriko Murray and Pianist Kumiko Chikata performs Jose Garcia Villa’s poems set to music.