In the small yet captivatingly serene territory of the Cuyo group of islands in Palawan, the Cuyonon people enchantingly characterize the typical Filipino folks who are skilled in dance, drama, song, and other ethno arts. Soon, the rhythm of God’s Word in Cuyonon will join this harmonious communal symphony.
June 2017 marks a new era in the translation history of God’s Word in Cuyonon. After a series of consultations with local leadership and ordinary members of the Cuyonon communities, the Philippine Bible Society launched this year the revision work for the Cuyonon New Testament, commencing with the revision-translation workshop, held last June 19-24, at the Sircon Business Inn in Puerto Princesa. It was in 1982 when the first edition of the Cuyonon NT was launched by PBS.
The workshop was participated by representatives recommended by local leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), and other local Christian groups.
During the workshop, the participants were trained by PBS Translation Consultants, to equip them for the task of revising the 1982 edition. The PBS contingent was spearheaded by PBS General Secretary Dr. Nora G. Lucero along with the PBS Translation Consultants Bishop Daniel Arichea, Dr. Edgar Ebojo, Dr. Anicia del Corro, Mrs. Jojee Martinez, and Mrs. Jean Coloma.
In keeping with the spirit of unity around God’s Word, the workshop participants were officially welcomed by Dr. Lucero, as well as by some PBS friends in the province, including Bishop Ancho Buenaventura, Head Pastor of LifeChurch Philippines (with PCEC), as well as by some representatives of the Biblical Apostolates of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa and of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay (Roman Catholic).
At the end of the workshop, the PBS Translation Consultants selected the following as members of the Cuyonon New Testament Revision Project: Pastor Alfie Beguina (Baptist), Ms. Gezelle Abellanosa (Seventh Day Adventist), Mr. Enrico Cabiguen (Roman Catholic), and Ms. Lanie Abarca (Evangelical). Ms. Benafe Caabay was engaged as the Project Secretary. Dr. Edgar Ebojo is the Translation Consultant assigned to the project. Helping PBS in this revision project is the Canadian Bible Society.
Translation consultant Dr. del Corro remarks, “The translators are very conscious of the fact that their language is endangered with very few speakers. Nowadays, Tagalog and English are a threat to the survival of the Cuyonon language. Tagalog and English are the required medium of instruction in schools. They are fired up with fervor for their language. They want to encourage the people to keep on using Cuyonon. That is very encouraging. They believe in this, and so I believe they will be good translators of the team.”
Cuyonon translator Ms. Abenallosa says, “I am hopeful for the completion of this project because God will help us to make this possible. We know that we are just ordinary people used by Him, but with God nothing shall be impossible. I am hopeful because our community really needs it.”
This Revised Cuyonon New Testament project is set to be completed within two years. We continue to ask for prayers and support as the project moves on.