New confederations in Politics, Economy and Religion are being established to meet the demands of this ever changing world. The SEAWRITE is one such confederation that aims to introduce a new consciousness to the arts in general and to literature in particular.
We, South East Asians, have a common root: our forefathers who were called “Austronesians” or “Nusan tao.” These forefathers of ours were the ones who first inhabited and marked our lands, they were also the ones from which our distinct South East Asian sensibilities began.
Then and now, there is always the need for interconnectedness not only within our region, but also, with the rest of the world. We who are gathered here are faced with an urgent task: like our forefathers, we must serve, in the context of this gathering, as the cartographers of the present experiences and aspirations of our respective nations. Even if we tread on different roads, we must remember that we are still one. That is why the camaraderie forged today through the SEAWRITE is a treasure we must always keep.
We recognize the importance of the Awards Committee, your majesty. On behalf of PEN Philippines, this is Jun Cruz Reyes, expressing sincere gratitude for this initiative.