FEU-Institute of Arts and Sciences-Department of Language and Literature Studies successfully held the Verse Opener: The Open Mic Series, in partnership with the FEU Literature Society and Student Development Office, celebrating bravery and patriotism in commemoration of the 50th year of Martial Law. It will be recalled that during this period, freedom of speech was suppressed, and numerous human rights were violated.

The September 7, 2022 – event was graced by no less than the 2022 National Artist for Literature, Dr. Gemino Abad in the building designed by National Artist for Architecture, Pablo Antonio. He was joined by the Faculty Joshua Tayco, Cecilia Bethina Elmido, Diego Abad and students Desiree Bañares, Sophia Item, Frances Lucero, Claudia De Ocampo, Princess Elaine Chavez, Edrian Nabong, and Nica Acuesta.

A poet, literary critic, scholar, historian and writer like his father, Dr. Gemino Abad is widely considered as one of the forefronts of Philippine Literature in English to have preserved the nation’s poems in three anthologies, while writing ten (10) collections of his own, one fiction and nonfiction.

The event was conducted onsite and streamed live through the official Facebook page of the university. It started with an inspirational message from Dr. Abad on the importance of writing. “To have an adequate mastery of writing, you read”, the poet advises the audience to read and write and that he is even willing to read their works. He was then serenaded by The IAS Sessionistas and honored by the ten (1) dramatic readings of his poems, poems he anthologized, and original poems from students, which were heralded by one of his twin sons, Diego Abad, who is also a member of the FEU – IAS faculty.