Abadilla was one of the only two Filipino students chosen as winners
By Isabella Manlangit
Photo by Dinah Goc
Grade 10 student Erin Abadilla was chosen as one of the 33 winners of the Poetic Heart poetry writing competition held at Emirates Institute of Banking and Financial Services, Dubai on January 24, 2017.
Poetic Heart is a gathering of poets across the region at a poetry symposium – a literary event held annually, since 2012. It challenges students across the UAE to create poems to promote unity and peace. “The poet’s words can generate harmony and guide humanity towards a peaceful world in which the dignity of life is respected, ” said Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, Founding President of SGI-Gulf, the organization behind Poetic Heart.
A panel of award winning poets judges the entries and decides on the winners. The winners then recite their poem during the Poetic Heart event. Abadilla was one of the only two Filipino students who were chosen as winners, the other was Cyrill Cecillano from Apple International School.
Erin’s poem, which was entitled, ‘Human and Nature’, talks to ‘Mother Earth’ and laments the harm that humans have done to ‘her’, stating: ‘My dear, my mother, despite your beauty, I couldn’t ignore what they’ve done to thee.’
The writing process began the day before New Year, when she was lacking inspiration. ‘I was looking for something to inspire me,’ Abadilla explained. ‘I thought about emotions, feelings because poetry usually speaks out the feeling about a topic, ’ she said. For her, it was a challenge to write about the environment, because she had a wanderlust. She loves nature but she’s not an environmentalist; therefore so she thought about her inspiration. ” When I think about this person, I have a lot of things to say, ’ she clarified. When she learned that she was picked as one of the few winners, she didn’t fully realize it right away. ‘I was kind of shocked. It didn’t really registernd in my mind, but when I started practicing, that’s when it started to register.’ After delivering her poem in the auditorium, she received a round of applause from the audience, which was composed of more than 700 students, teachers, poets, and selected musicians. The musicians included 15 year old Siya Arora, who sang a UAE version of ‘Wakka Wakka’ and the Winchester School. ‘I wish that the next person who will be given a chance to recite in that auditorium will have genuine thoughts in his or her piece,’ Abadilla advised. ‘Thoughts that reflect their personality, outlook in life and current situation in life, good or bad. I wish that their poems will be an honest piece, ’ she concluded.
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