The University of the Philippines Press capped off its 50th golden anniversary and kicked off its 51st year with the announcement of the winners of its critical essay writing contest this March 16 at the UP Diliman Executive House. The event was attended by UP President Alfredo Pascual, UP Vice-president Gisela Padilla-Concepcion, former UP Press  directors, and other guests of honor from the UP System.

In both English and Filipino divisions, the primary object of evaluation and/or analysis had to be a UP Press book, which may be as old as the press itself (in other words, published between 1965 and the present). The first place winners are Laurence Marvin Castillo, an instructor from UP Los Banos, and Thomas David F. Chaves, from UP Diliman. Both took home Php 30,000. Christian Benitez from Ateneo won in both language divisions, also taking home [a combined] Php 30,000.

Judges for the English Division were Prof. Danilo Francisco M. Reyes, Dr. Ruth Jordana L. Pison, and Dr. Ronald Baytan (Chair). Judges for the Filipino Division were Dr. Jonathan O. Chua, Dr. David Jonathan Y. Bayot, and Dr. Eulalio R. Guieb III (Chair). Present to hand out the awards were UP Press director J. Neil Garcia, deputy director Gerry Los Banos, and Vice-president Padilla-Concepcion. Director Garcia also announced the forthcoming opening of the Press’s first commercial store in the UP Town Center, to be inaugurated in May or June this year.

The complete list of winners:


First Place

Ang Sarili sa Digma, Ang Digma Sa Sarili: Ang Pagtatalaban ng Indibidwal at Kolektibo sa Agaw-dilim, Agaw-liwanag

Laurence Marvin Castillo


Second Place

Kung Papaano Umalpas sa Panahon: Isang Pagbasa sa Dalumat ng Panahon sa Kuwadro Numero Uno ni Benilda Santos

Christian Jil R. Benitez


Third Place

Kung Bakit Mahalaga ang Pangungulit sa Nobela: Pagbasa sa Tutubi, Tutubi ‘Wag Kang Magpahuli sa Mamang Salbahe

Chuckberry J. Pascual


Fourth Place

Katawan ni Guillermo

U Z. Eliserio


Fifth Place

Ang Operasyon, Ang Aparisyon at ang Pilipinang Kalakal: O ang Domestic Helper sa Singapore, ayon sa “Anatomiya ng Isang Alila” ni Allan Derain at “A Stranger in the Room” ni Caroline Hau

Arbeen Regalado Acuña



First Place

Hamlet and His Problems of Politeness:

Rolando S. Tinio as Creative Rewriter

Thomas David F. Chaves


Second Place

Magical Metnonymies:

Spiritual Absence and Simplified Revolution in Eric Gamalinda’s My Sad Republic

Dominic Paul Chow Sy


Third Place

Towards The Unsurmountable You:

The (Non)presence in Mark Anthony Cayanan’s Except You Enthrall Me

Christian Jil R. Benitez


Fourth Place

Cultures & Texts – Representations of Philippine Society the Age of Anthropocene


Raul Pertierra

Photo credit: Alvin Encarnacion