Mayor Vico Sotto honors Pasig frontliners with Tariman poem

Mayor Vico Sotto.


The City Government of Pasig headed by Mayor Vico Sotto will honor frontliners at Plaza Bonifacio today, Wednesday, Dec. 30 with a special marker containing the poem written by island poet Pablo A. Tariman.

The poet who is also a Tribune columnist was the recipient of the 2002 Outstanding Pasigueño Award given the City Government of Pasig.

Tariman — whose earlier poems appeared in Sunday Times Magazine and Manila Bulletin — wrote more than 200 poems during the lockdown which started March this year.

The new online website, The Diarist.Ph, described Tariman as an “unlikely bard of Philippine social media” when his poems started appearing almost every week in his FB page since the March lockdown.

Wrote Alya Honasan of The Diarist.Ph: “Although writer Pablo Tariman has been reporting on the arts, the Philippine classical music scene in particular, since the 1970s—he first watched pianist Cecile Licad, who would become his lifelong friend, when she was 14 and performing in Legazpi City—people have been delighted by a recent revelation. For the past year, and more intensively during the COVID-19 quarantine, Tariman has been posting his deeply expressive, melancholic poetry on Facebook—and bowling over friends and readers accustomed to his usually acid tongue.

“The wry Tariman admits he was just ‘testing the waters’ by posting poems on Facebook. “Then the good reactions started coming in, and I couldn’t believe it. Miracle of miracles, some poems went viral.” Tariman’s piece on the poor mother with five kids who died while waiting for a ride home to Bicol during quarantine was shared and liked by more than 6,000 netizens. He wrote almost daily, he recounts, and on the seventh month of the lockdown, had written more than 200 poems on various subjects.

“His poetry is capturing the nation’s heartbreak,” commented restaurateur and writer Waya Araos-Wijangco..

The good news: Tariman’s works are set to appear in a couple of anthologies, and he is reediting a few others for a publishing company. “A second wind? Just a continuation of a previous passion,” he says. “It was timely because at my age, I am writing with fervor, not so much to impress, but to chronicle this stage of my last season. I couldn’t have written those poems when I was younger. I just realized my ‘soft’ book launch happened on Facebook.”

Tariman — who has three daughters and six grandchildren — was born in Baras, Catanduanes on December 30, 1948.

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