Czech Poetry Jukebox now playing in BGC

(From left to right): Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olša, Jr.,  Ondřej Kobza, Mayor Lani Cayetano, and Chairman Virgilio Almario photo by: Tilak Hettige

Bonifacio Global City has a new permanent art installation – a poetry jukebox, reciting Czech and Filipino poetry in English or Filipino. All you need is to stop for a while, press the button, select a poem and listen.

This ingenious Czech concept that aims to make public spaces around the world more lively by playing poetry on demand has alreadybeen installed in public spaces around Europe, Israel, and most recently in New York. Manila is the first Asian city where poetry jukebox has been erected in One BHS Park behind Shangri-La Fort in BGC.

The first poetry jukebox in the Philippines was unveiled by H.E. Jaroslav Olša, jr. Ambassador of the Czech Republic,Mr. Virgilio Almario, Chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Ms. Lani Cayetano, Mayor of the City of Taguig.

For the project of poetry jukebox („poeziomat” in Czech), which plays 20 poems (nine Czech, one Slovak and ten Filipino), a huge number of creative people from the Philippines were brought together. Passers-by can listen to Czech delicate verses of Jaroslav Seifert, Antonín Sova, Vítězslav Nezval, Jiří Orten, Václav Hrabě or Fráňa Šrámek, to name a few. Slovak poetry is represented by a progressive poetess Eleni Cay. Selected Czech poems were translated to Filipino by Mikael Co and Virgilio Almario.

Ten Philippine notable poets on the list include Virgilio Almario, Joselito D. Delos Reyes, Mikael De Lara Co, Gemino Abad, Mookie Katigbak Lacuesta, Jerry B. Gracio, Allan Pastrana, Ildefonso Santos, Roland S. Tinio, and last but not least Alfred Yuson.

The project would not be complete without captivating voices of Lourd de Veyra, Mikael De Lara Co, Mookie Katigbag Lacuesta, Indra Cepeda, Krip Yuson, and Allan Pastrana.

Filipino poems were selected by writer and publisher Sarge Lacuesta, who was instrumental also in producing the recordings.

According to Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, jr., who was behind the idea, the Poetry Jukebox will be donated as a gift to the people of the Philippines to permanently mark the 100th anniversary of independence of the modern Czech state in 1918.

This genial Czech invention was donated to Bonifacio Art Foundation (BAFI) by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, with the financial support of Czech microfinance company HomeCredit Philippines.

To know more about the Poetry Jukebox, visit the website:





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