Virgilio “Gil” Yuzon, UPLI President-elect, has led a multi-faceted life.
He has been a business executive and a self-made entrepreneur, a bemedalled athlete in various sports, a writer and omnivorous reader, and a student of philosophy and spirituality. Over the years he has also served in government in various capacities.
His guiding motto and principle in life is from an ode of the Latin poet, Horace – “Carpe diem” (“Seize the day”). His life model is the well-rounded “Renaissance man”, and his ideal is to be “pro aliis” (“a man for others”).
Gil Yuzon graduated Bachelor of Arts in Economics (Cum Laude) at the Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines’ premier private educational institution. As a senior business executive, he pursued his graduate studies in Business Economics at the Center for Research and Communication (University of Asia and the Pacific). In the course of his career, he travelled extensively, and gave seminar lectures on marketing communications in Philippine colleges and universities, for private companies, and within his industry.
Gil Yuzon’s active business life spans a period of more than forty years, primarily in marketing communications. After consecutive stints as an executive of a U.S. multinational company (Procter and Gamble Philippines) and the then leading Philippine ad agency (Philippine Advertising Counselors) where he became Senior Vice President, in 1971 he took up the challenge of founding and heading a new company, Hemisphere Advertising. This company which grew rapidly, later went into partnership with a major worldwide marketing communications group, Leo Burnett Inc. Upon his retirement as active Chairman in 2001, Hemisphere-Leo Burnett had become one of the top five companies in its industry and remains so to this day.
Gil Yuzon also served as head of his industry’s major organizations: president of the 4A’s (Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies) in 1984-85, and chairman in 1991; and chairman of the ADBOARD, the industry’s over-all self-regulatory body, in 1991.
He has also headed and guided various socio-civic and foreign cultural organizations, notably: president of the Rotary Club of Pasay; director of Alliance Francaise de Manille; Chairman of Alabang Country Club; and officer/director of various other regional and community groups.
In the field of education, Gil Yuzon has been, and continues to be, a member of the board of trustees of St. Paul University Q.C., a leading educational institution and part of the first private university system in the country.
Gil Yuzon has also served in the Philippine government in various capacities: board governor for Broadcast City (three television networks); senior consultant for the Department of Tourism; more recently, chairman of the government’s official TV station, People’s Television Network (PTV); and at present, director of the National Development Company, the Philippine government’s investment arm.
On the personal side, Gil Yuzon’s passion for sports since his youth has led him to excel in various athletic pursuits. He has been a bemedalled runner, a blackbelt in karate, a martial arts instructor and a practical shooting enthusiast. He has travelled all over the country on his motorcycle with the BMW Motorcycle Club, of which he was also chairman. He has also garnered numerous trophies in tennis and golf, two sports he has continued to play in his later years.
Gil Yuzon’s other passions are reading and writing, especially poetry. He is an avid student of philosophy (cosmology, theology, and ethics in particular), and a seeker in the broad and esoteric spiritual realm.
He has published two books. The first is a volume of poetry entitled “Glimpses of Love, Life, and Beyond,” a compilation of his best work over five decades. The second, more recent one, is a collection of his personal insights, expressed in concise creative form, which are basically renderings of the various aspects and ways in which the perennial philosophical and spiritual traditions view the Deity. The book’s title is “Looking at God 70 Ways, “ in celebration of his seventieth year.
Gil Yuzon is the son of the illustrious Pampango poet and orator, Dr. Amado Yuzon, who was the founder and moving spirit of UPLI. He succeeds his late brother, Benjamin Yuzon, who was president of the organization for many years. Gil’s mother is Fortunata Aquino, of the prominent Aquino family, which counts among its famous members Gil’s first cousin, Ninoy Aquino, contemporary Filipino national hero and martyr for democracy, and Ninoy’s son, President Benigno S. Aquino III, the country’s present chief executive.
Gil lives in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, in the Philippines with his partner, Sylvia and their daughter Bianca, who, when she was nine, had already written more than thirty poems of her own. He also has four lovely older daughters: Evangeline, Elaine, Celine and Carminia. He has eleven grandchildren and recently, at seventy-one, became the proud great-grandfather of a beautiful baby girl, courtesy of his eldest grand-daughter.
Gil Yuzon is honored to assume the presidency of UPLI, a prestigious and long-standing international association of respected poets from many countries. Together with its board of directors and with the active and generous support of its general membership, he hopes to infuse new energy and new blood into the organization so that it will continue to achieve its goals for many years to come.
He also looks forward to the added incentive and enjoyment of writing more prolifically in coming years.
Dr. Wanda A. Rider is a true woman of letters. She earned her BSE at Lyons College, Masters in Education at the Memphis State University and her Ph.D at the University of Mississippi. Aside from her post-graduate work at the University of Tennessee, she was awarded her Honorary Degree at the Academia Leonardo de Vinci, Rome, Art at the Memphis Academy of Arts, Music at MSU, and Writing at the Southeast Missouri State College. After acquiring all of these honors and degrees, she has served as an educator herself, by teaching high school and graduate school for 52 years.
Dr. Rider’s works include published articles in journals, book reviews, and magazine articles. She edited Recipe Masterpieces and The 100 Year NLAPW History Book, messages in 32 magazines, chapters in college text on Parallelism in Poetry, and History of Desha. She has edited biographies, histories, plays, short stories, dissertations, songs and poetry. She has also penned a chapter in Martha Mashall’s book, History of Tennessee NLAPW.
As the UPLI Executive Vice President, she spearheaded the 14th World Poetry Congress held in 1995 at Memphis, USA. She received the Golden Crown Award along with other meaningful medals, and presented the Gold Crown to Robert Penn Warren, the first U.S. Poet Laureate. She has attended World Congresses of Poets across the globe, including places such as: Taipei, New York City, Rome, Milan, Seoul, Arizona, England, Philippines, Bangkok, Texas, China, Alabama, Nicaragua, Greece, and Japan. With her husband, she has published Praise for Dr. Amado M. Yuzon, the founder of UPLI.
Aside from UPLI, Dr. Rider has played a vital role in many other noted organizations: past president of the Poetry Society of Tennessee and Mid-South Writers and the two-time National President of NLAPW with service on the board. She is a member of The National Faculty, Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Phi, honorary member of the National Beta Club, and Chair of the Mid-South Poetry Festival. She also started and chaired the Mid-South Writers May Festival.
Special Honors: Named Distinguished Alumna by Lyons College; Teacher of the Year Award; Master Teacher Award; “Dame of Merit” by the Knights of Malta; Tennessee NLAPW Lifetime Achievement Award; Tennessee NLAPW Most Outstanding Member Award; received Golden Owl Versatility Award in writing; recognized for achievements by superintendents of schools, mayors, governors, and Senator Howard Baker; Honored with plaques at the Memphis Board of Education, at Pen Arts and in Taipei Park as a Distinguished World Poet.
“Joy is contagious, spread it around.” This is Ms. Cheung’s general philosophy. She describes herself as a poet who lives life in the middle of the road, and being in the middle enables her to experience all sides and choices
Born, raised, and currently residing in Sonoma County California (having spent 4 ½ years in St. Thomas US Virgin Islands), Judy is a retired teacher. During her career she has taught students from age 2 to 99 years with intelligence ratings from profoundly developmentally disabled through untestable genius. Fundamentally, she is a teacher, and now that she is retired, she continues teaching through poetry to understand more about others and share with others the joy of life.
Ms. Cheung is the current secretary/treasurer, editor, photographer, and webmaster of the United Poets Laureate International, president and editor of Poets of the Vineyard Chapter of the California Federation of Chaparral Poets; twice past president of CFCP, vice president, editor, photographer and webmaster of Artists Embassy International based in Richmond, CA; and recording secretary, editor, photographer and primary web contributor of Sonoma County’s Redwood Empire Chinese Association, as well as a member of various other organizations.
“Poetry is a means of being part of the world. I can show what I see, tell what I think and meet people who will discuss issues using my poetry and the poems of others as catalysts. Poetry ties me to reality and leads me to new relationships with the world, a variety of people, and my own thoughts.”
Her recently published chapbooks include Living in Dreams, Poems and Photographs by Judy Hardin Cheung, Valley Quail Publishers, 2014; Moments of Contemplation, Poetry by Judy Hardin Cheung, Valley Quail Publishers, 2011; Increasing Self-Esteem Through Cultural Organization Participation,Redwood Empire Chinese Association, 2010; Heritage Comes From the World, Art and Poetry of the Early 21st Century by Judy Hardin Cheung, Valley Quail Publishers, 2009. She was also a major contributor to Inspiration and Collaboration, by Natica Angilly, Richard Angilly, Tanya Joyce, Judy Hardin Cheung, and the Poetic Dance Theater Company; Artists Embassy International, 2014.
Ms. Valerie Pennington is from Memphis, Tennessee. She is the mother of three active boys, ages 15, 13, and 8. She is President of the Parent Teacher Organization at Drummonds Elementary School, Secretary of the Parent Teacher Organization at Munford Middle School, and very active on the Munford High School Band Booster Club. She is the assistant/ secretary to Dr. Wanda Rider.
She has been involved in finances and number matters for large companies for most of her adult life. Her love of poetry, people and numbers make UPLI a great fit for her and her family.
She wrote poetry in her teens and early twenties and has recently started writing again. She has had a short book of poems, Memory Echoes, published. She is a member of the Poetry Society of Tennessee and UPLI. Japan was her first congress, but she plans to attend many more.
Dr. Kenneth Kuanling Fan is a real gentleman with a loving heart for the people of the world. A businessman, educator, and painter, but foremost a poet, he was born in Nanking, China. He acquired his first Bachelor of Arts Degree at the National Taiwan University, his MBA at the New York University, PhD at the Utah State University, and his Post-doctorate at the Columbia University, USA. As an educator, he has served as a professor at the National Taiwan University, professor and dean of the School of Business, National Chengkung University, and professor and development chairman at the California State University, Long Beach USA. As the “father of the computer industry in China,” he has many publications and ties relating to modern technology. He also has many published books on healthy living and how to a live long and happy life.
One of ten master painters in the contemporary art world of China, Dr. Fan has lead the delegation from Taiwan to China, breaking the ice and uniting both sides of China. He is the founder of Poetic Oil Painting, and spearheaded the Revolutionary Haiku Poetry Movement. Aside from being a UPLI vice president and board member, he has been president of various world congresses in poetry, culture, computers and business 15 times, including the President of Academia of Chinese Culture (Taipei) and President of the Chinese Artists Association (Beijing). He was the first president of the World Congress of Poets in China.
Dr. Fan’s paintings are exhibited in many countries, and he has won many awards internationally. He has also been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature thrice. Marble monuments built to honor him stand proudly in Taiwan and China. Dr. Fan is hailed as a true renaissance man, along the likes of Shakespeare, Picasso, and the other greats.
Professor Noriko Mizusaki is a professor of English in Daitoubunka University. A poet and translator, she was born in Tokyo, Japan, where she was brought up and educated. In 1972, she graduated from the Literature Faculty of Waseda University in Tokyo, majoring in English/American Literature. In 1975, she earned her Masters Degree in Literature Studies at Waseda University, with her thesis on Shakespeare. From 1977 to 1978, she stayed in Boston, USA, where she studied English at M.I.T. At the same time, she attended seminars and lectures for postgraduate and graduate courses on Shakespeare at Harvard University. During her stay, she also saw theatrical performances around Boston. In 1981, she completed her Ph.D in Waseda University.
One of her current major orientations is to work for international cultural exchange as a Japan-born poet, especially for English Haiku and Tanka. She has been strongly influenced by Asian-American movements, and cultural and human rights activities in the 1970’s and 1980’s. These movements tried to challenge the American societies at the time, and leading the protest, they expressed their own Asian identities and native-ness.
She was also influenced by the American Imagist poets, like Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, and other poets who took interest in Asian cultures, especially Chinese and Japanese, such as: Japanese floating pictures, haiku poems, calligraphy, ink brushing pictures, Zen faith, and oriental gardens, which they researched and introduced to English culture and poetry.
Professor Misuzaki’s poems have been translated into Italian, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Greek, Macedonian, Slovakian, Korean, Chinese, Mongolian, Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
A bilingual poet and author, Mr. Alexander Fui Sak Chang began writing poems in 1957/1958, using different pseudo names.He has won many international awards and prizes, poet laureate honors, and other prestigious international recognitions for world peace, harmony and brotherhood through poetry.
Mr. Chang was the Regional Director of Oceania, for the United Poets Laureate International, President of the Association of Chinese Writers SA, and an editor and producer of “Southland”/”Wen You” Chinese Literary magazine.
His poems include:
郑会石 Alexander Chang (Zheng Hui Shi)
历任南澳大利亞華文作家協會會長，南澳文学雙月刊《文友》雜誌编审及製作。南澳华团联合会副会长( Federation of Chinese Organisations South Australia)。世界桂冠诗人联盟董事( Regional Director for Oceania, United Poets Laureate International)，南澳作家中心( SA Writers Centre)，及南澳街头诗人会员( SA Friendly Street Poets Inc.)。
长诗:《梨抱的故事》- 《The Man From Kapuas River》，《火烧蓝山赋》，《伊拉克的泪》，《九月》，《十月》，《The Signature of Light》
Ms. Natica Angilly serves as president of Artists Embassy International, with the mission statement “to further understanding and good will through the universal language of the arts toward peace”. Working to create events and exchanges to continue fulfillment toward the goals of AEI, Natica serves as artistic director, choreographer, and co-founder of the Natica and Richard Angilly Poetic Dance Theater Company. The company is honored to have received many awards, are known as pioneers in the expansion arts field of poetic collaboration and continue as the only known company (founded in 1984) to give entire dedication to creation, performance, promotion, and expansion of poetry and dance as a unified art form.
Natica, Richard and her company of poetic dance ambassadors seek to nurture new environments for poetic exchanges, expression, and collaborative works. Natica and Richard founded the annual Dancing Poetry Festival, held at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, now celebrating its 21st anniversary. The festival (the first and still the only one of its kind) showcases poets, poetry, and poetry together with dance, in cultural exchanges and poetic performances.
Natica is a working member and volunteer of UPLI since 1981, and for her dedication, interest and work in poetry as motivation for dance, Natica was named “Spirit of Poetry” at San Francisco City Hall for National Poetry Month in 1986 by UPLI president, Dr. Benjamin Yuzon. Members of the National Poetry Month organizing committee, City Hall representatives, San Francisco Poetry Film Festival board of directors and delegates from many poetry organizations shared in the award ceremonies.
Named as “Spirit of Poetry”, “World Muse”, Arch Angel of Dance, World Teacher of Excellence, NAUW’s award winner for publication of the year, Mother of Poetic Dance, by various poetry organizations, Natica delights in continuing opportunities to help organize, facilitate and support events for poetic expression.
Natica is also vice president of the Alameda/Diablo Chapter of National League of American Pen Women, serving in active membership for more than 25 years, awards chair for the Bay Area Annual Poets Dinner, honorary member of the Ina Coolbrith Circle (considered to be the oldest poetry group in California), and a charter member of Alameda Island Poets. Her visual art works and unique poetic props are seen in galleries, museums, libraries, and were seen at San Francisco City Hall for National Poetry Month.
Books/Booklets by Natica Angilly (all containing poetry):
More information about Natica at www.dancingpoetry.com.
Mr. Rex B. Valentine has many poems written as a child and as a youth, that his mother, Dorothy E. Valentine, carefully saved for him. After her death in 2002 at the age of 91, he discovered her treasure of his writings. He has since published six books of poetry and other stories, most of them drawn from his active, interesting life.
He has won many international awards for his narrative poetry, including five first place winning poems in previous World Congress of Poets international contests, many 2nd and 3rd honorable mentions, which lead to his selection as the Guest Poet of the 104 World Congress of Poets conference in Osaka, Japan. Rex’s poems have been published in books, newspapers, magazines and other media in the last 10 years. He serves as Vice President of the Northwest USA of World Congress of Poets.
His universal backgrounds and interests range from real estate broker to water witcher. He currently lives on a cattle ranch in the state of Washington with his wife, enjoying his children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In poetry, he is a folksy, down-home poet with humorous messages of family values, clean living and universal love.
Mrs. Puntalee (Noi) Jirathun is a member of many literary groups and Thai organizations. She has won many international awards for her poetry, including International Poet, Laureate Woman of Letters. She was the UPLI World Congress of Poets President in Bangkok, Thailand (2000). An active member of the Poets of the Vineyard in California, she has also been with the Silpakorn University for many years.
Ms. Rhodora P. Maganito is an award-winning poet. She was one of the Top Ten Winners/ Top Ten Finalists competing for the honor of Poet of the Year at the 2000 International Society of Poets Convention held in Washington, DC. The ISP has awarded her a Publishing Contract and on 2001, her first book of poetry- The Awakening of A Soul – was published.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Dory obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Saint Paul College, Manila and a PHN Certification from San Jose State University, California.
On March, 2002 she was acknowledged as one of the Most Outstanding Students of P.G.M.N.H.S. on its 100th year Foundation Day Celebration. A Plaque of Recognition was awarded to her for bringing honors to the School in the field of Literature.
She is an active member of the United Poets Laureate International and on 2009, at the 21st World Congress of Poets in Managua, Nicaragua – she was given recognition as one of the awardees honored for Excellence in Poetry. Her poem, The Mirrors of the World, won first honorable mention during the friendly poetry competition amongst the participating poets.
On 2011, at the 22nd World Congress of Poets in Larissa, Greece – her poem entries to the poetry competition won back to back – first place, Free Form Category and second place, Free Verse Category.
On 2014, she also received a citation from the United Poets Laureate International for Excellence in Poetry at the 23rd World Congress of Poets in Osaka, Japan.
Also, on the 10th Year Anniversary of The Assisi Performing Arts, Gregory Scime, the Artistic Director and Founder, formally announced Dory as the Poet Laureate of the Summer Assisi Music Festival in Assisi, Italy.
And just recently, at the 24th World Congress of Poets 2016 held in Sonoma County, CA., USA last November 28- December 2; she once again received a medal, an award for Excellence in Poetry presented to her by the United Poets Laureate International.
Marie Palazzolo, TN, USA, was chair of the 24th WCP Founders Contest. She is also a member of the UPLI Board of Directors.
Weilin Fang, Nanjing, China, read his poem. Weilin was also a workshop leader on Chinese Poetry Forms.