The Unyon ng Mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) is pleased to announce the seven recipients of the 2013 Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, writers Alice Tan Gonzales (fiction in Hiligaynon), Grace Hsieh-Hsing Lee (poetry in Chinese), Francisco T. Ponce (fiction in Ilocano), Eduardo Jose E. Calasanz (poetry in Filipino), Rolando B. Tolentino (fiction and essay in Filipino), Mario I. Miclat (fiction in English and Filipino), and Floy Quintos (drama in Filipino).

They will be honored in an awarding ceremony at the Leong Hall Auditorium, Ateneo de Manila University on August 31 (2pm) with the Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez and Gawad Pedro Bucaneg recipients, Lina B. Diaz de Rivera and the Baguio Writers Group respectively. Gawad Balagtas is awarded to living Filipino writers who have contributed outstanding works in any language currently used in the Philippines, Gawad Benitez to oustanding literature teachers, and Gawad Bucaneg to consistently productive literary organizations. All the previous recipients of the Gawads are invited to attend the whole-day event.

Prior to the awards, UMPIL sponsors the Writers Forum, a discussion on an issue important to writers and readers. Poet and broadcaster Lourd de Veyra leads the discussion on “May Protesta Pa Ba Sa Pagsulat?” (Does Protest Still Count In Literature?) with writers Axel Pinpin, Katrina Stuart Santiago, and Leloy Claudio. The awards is the culmination of a two day conference that celebrates the Andres Bonifacio sesquicentennial, the “Andres Bonifacio As Writer Conference for Teachers” on 29-31 August 2013 at the same venue. Guest of honor is scholar and sociologist Randolf S. David. On 29 August (Thurs), Randolf S. David will lecture on the conference theme, to be followed by the launch of Virgilio S. Almario’s Ang Pag-ibig sa Bayan ni Andres Bonifacio (UST Publishing House). In the afternoon, Dr. Oscar V. Campomanes (Ateneo de Manila), Dr. J. Pilapil Jacobo (Ateneo de Manila), and Dr. Jose Victor Torres (De La Salle University) will join the panel discussion on the “Rationale and Aesthetics of Bonifacio’s Works.” Then Prof. Danilo Francisco M. Reyes will demo-teach on a related topic. On the 30th of August, morning session, Dr. Francis Gealogo (Ateneo de Manila), Dr. Ramon Guillermo (University of the Philippines), and Dr. Rolando B. Tolentino (University of the Philippines) will discuss “Bonifacio’s Influence in the Development of Protest Literature in the Philippines,” to be followed with the demo-teaching on a related topic by Salvador Biglaen (Miriam College). In the afternoon session, Dr. Shirley Lua (De La Salle University), Dr. Edgar Samar (Ateneo de Manila University), and Dr. Luna Sicat-Cleto (University of the Philippines) will discuss “Contemporary Theory and Praxis That Illuminate the Bonifacio Texts and Context,” to be followed by the demo-teaching on a related topic by Prof. Ferdie Lopez (University of Santo Tomas).

The event is made possible by the support of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), Ateneo Institute for Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP), Kagawaran ng Filipino, and the School of Humanities of the Ateneo de Manila University, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Department of Education (DepEd). UMPIL members, teachers, and other interested parties are encouraged to attend the conference as well as the convention. For details, text Ms Eva Cadiz at 09178453721 or email the conference director and UMPIL Secretary General Michael M. Coroza at or