Philippines’ Viva Andrada O’Flynn wins COVID Times Poetry world contest

HSBC Philippines
Viva Andrada O'Flynn Poetry
Viva Andrada O’Flynn was awarded as one of the global winners of the COVID Times Poetry. Photo courtesy of Viva Andrada O’Flynn.

The Philippines’ Viva Andrada O’Flynn was awarded as one of the global winners of the COVID Times Poetry.

The Philippine-born and now UK-based, O’Flynn recited her own poetry composition, ‘Who Knew”, at the COVID Times Poetry Competition, an international poetry contest held via YouTube and Facebook Live on April 22, 2020.

The competition organized by the World Humanitarian Drive (WHD) emphasized “openness among all, breaking barriers of language, nationality, and age. It unleashed poets to inspire and heal the world during this pandemic.”

Abdul Basit Syed, founder of International NGO “World Humanitarian Drive” (WHD) said he believes that “words can inspire and cure the agony of staying indoors in this lockdown.”

The competition received more than 3,000 entries around the world.

“At WHD we are overwhelmed by the responses of 3000+ poems received globally to inspire humanity with words of hope and love which has brought together a oneness of heart to face the challenges together,” WHD posted.

O’Flynn has also worked as a journalist, artist, event organiser, entrepreneur, and chef. She was previously the Coffee Shop Manager of The Friendship Café and Entrepreneur’s Champion of Create On The Square. She is now also the secretary of the Gloucestershire Filipino Association.

WHD also cited her achievements:

She won in all three categories, Vegan (First Prize), Twelve of the Same and Freestyle Categories (Both in Second Prize), of a Fairtrade Bake off at St. Stephen’s Church in Cinderford.

She is also a multi-awarded flower arranger, winning the Cheltenham Horticultural Society’s Summer Craft and Flower Show in 2019.

She also placed second in the Winchcombe Flower Show 2019 and in 2018.

Her business, Love Viva Cakes and Crafts, which holds a Food Hygiene Rating of 5 (Very Good) from the Gloucester City Council, won the Creative Business of the Year Award awarded by Women’s Business Club (WBC) in 2019 in the United Kingdom (UK).

“In the UK, far from family and friends back home in the Philippines, I do my best to represent where I come from. In my own way I want others to see the goodness and creativity of the Filipino people,” Viva said.

“Who Knew”
by Viva Andrada O’Flynn

Who knew
We could be heroes
Staying at home all day
Binging on tv shows and movies
Netflix, amazon prime, youtube, regular programming,
Live streaming cooking shows, exercise videos, art workshops, musicals, jam sessions,
Poetry readings, networking meetings, concerts, pub quizzes
We’re dressed in pjs, sofa is our throne
Dreaming, planning, resting, healing ourselves and nature
Experimenting on our play and creativity palette
Mixed with words, art, recipes, fun and games
Blowing bubbles, gardening, growing our greens, DIYs
What can we learn today
A new language, hobby, craft, skill, level up
What can we support
Even a 99-year-old war veteran can walk to raise millions in donations
Why can’t we
Just giving fundraising to help those in need
Text or bank transfer to give to charities and those vulnerable
We work from home, mingle with our family and friends online
We fight the virus from spreading, together one world at home
While frontliners work around the clock to keep life moving
Staying at home all day
We could be heroes
Who knew

Filipino-American poet Rachelle Cruz won an American Book Award for “God’s Will for Monsters,” a collection of poetry exploring the Filipino heritage of the author while the World Poetree Festival recognized Doc Penpen Bugtong Takipsilim, aka Dr. Epitacio Tongohan in real life, for being the Father of Visual Poetry and Ed Cordevilla, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the Philippines’ Viva Andrada O’Flynn for winning the COVID Times Poetry world contest!

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