Deadline extended | 2019 UST National Writers Workshop


The Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS) of the University of Santo Tomas is now accepting applications to the 2019 UST National Writers Workshop to be held April 7 to 14, at Ridgewood Residence, Baguio City.

Fourteen fellowships will be available to writers 21 years and older. Accepted fellows are expected to stay for the entire duration of the workshop.

Submission in either English or Filipino must consist of either two short stories, two works of creative nonfiction, two one-act plays, screenplays, or four poems.

Address all applications to Chuckberry Pascual, workshop coordinator, CCWLS office, Benavides Building, UST, España, Manila. Deadline for submission is November 9, 2018. For any queries, call 4061611 loc. 8281.


1. A double-spaced manuscript of not more than 25 pages, in three (3) copies;
2. an updated resumé with a 2X2 picture;
3. a letter of recommendation from a literature or writing mentor;
4. a letter of intent certifying that the works are original; and
5. the author’s name and the work’s genre should be included in the manuscript’s header.

The Manila Times: Three wordsmiths and their winning works

By Alvin Dacanay
Originally published by The Manila Times with the url

Fifty-four writers won in the 68th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature earlier this month. Of that number, nearly half—26—have won before, clear proof that they continue to fulfill the potential that they showed when they first scored a Palanca, or even long before that. The Literary Life is delighted that, among this year’s previous awardees, three are recent contributors to this page.

One of them is playwright Allan B. Lopez, whose 2014 Palanca award-winning essay about his mother, “Return Flight,” saw print here in late May. This year, he placed third in the one-act play in Filipino category for “River Lethe,” which has two cancer patients having an affair and dealing with their mortality in between bouts of sex—the ultimate life-creating act—in a motel room.

Named after a mythical underworld river that causes forgetfulness, “River Lethe” won positive reviews when it was staged in the 14th Virgin Labfest at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) earlier this year. It is Lopez’s 11th creative work recognized at the Palancas. His other winning plays include “Higit Pa Dito” in 2010, “Masaganang Ekonomiya” in 2008 and “Anatomiya ng Pag-ibig” in 2004.

The dramatist describes “River Lethe” to Literary Life in an email as a “spiritual play” that ruminates on “mortality, passion, regret at dahas ng panahon.”

According to Lopez, he first thought of writing the play to the sound of a bell pealing while having coffee in a public plaza one afternoon in Luxembourg. He was told that the bell tolled every 3 p.m. for a minute, and noted that as it did people seemed to be following its rhythm as if it was the natural thing to do.

After it stopped tolling, while the world continued on its normal course of business, it seemed that something was cut in the scene that those who did not listen failed to notice, Lopez said in Filipino.

That was when my two characters—drowning in a “very private turmoil”—were born, he added.

It took the playwright more than a year to plan the play’s structure, and wrote it in one night after figuring out exactly what to do. The pattern was repeated after he had the play critiqued during a reading session of the Manila-based playwrights’ group Writer’s Bloc Inc., of which he is a longtime member.

Female experience

In contrast, poet Mark Angeles did the research for and penned his 14-poem collection “Ang Babae sa Balangiga at Iba Pang Tula” for about two months. For his efforts, he snagged second prize in the poetry in Filipino category this year. It is his fourth win, after “Engkantado” in 2010, “Asal-Hayop” in 2013 and “Di Lang Lalang” in 2016.

Angeles—whose poems “Distant Explosion,” “Buwan ng Wika” and “Where We Are” were published here within the last three months—calls his latest collection “an attempt at asserting the possibility of writing the biological and historical female experience in my capacity as a male poet.”

“I heard from somewhere that male writers have no right to write about female concerns, like menstruation and childbirth, simply because they cannot go through the pains and joys of these experiences. I wrote about these encounters in the first person in my poems,” said the 38-year-old, a senior high school teacher at Caloocan City’s Notre Dame of Greater Manila.

The poet quickly pointed out, however, that he “did not intend to antagonize women. Instead, the collection is my solidarity message, a celebration of womanhood, in a sense.”

“I want everyone to read about how women struggle as human—how they discover the functions of their bodies—and as part of society and history,” Angeles said.

Although he is yet to find time to gather his winning poems in a book, Angeles said some of the poems from “Ang Babae sa Balangiga” will appear in the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Creative Writing’s 12th issue of Likhaan: The Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature and the 40@40 special commemorative anthology. Both will be released later this year.

Constructing the self

If women’s experiences inspired Angeles’ collection, art inspired Rodrigo dela Peña Jr.’s first-placing English poetry collection, “Self-portrait with Plastic Bag,” in which he said he “became interested in exploring how a sense of self is constructed and how it may, in turn, be deconstructed through a poem.”

“I remember being enthralled by Georgette Chen’s Self-Portrait when I first saw it at the National Gallery of Singapore. The painting’s quiet confidence spoke to me and seemed to be telling me something,” dela Peña said.

“But I was also inspired by ordinary things, such as a plastic bag (a nod to the film American Beauty) and a carpenter’s tools. It’s a matter of being open and alert to poetic possibilities that might unfold,” he added.

According to the 36-year-old, who works as a project manager in a Singaporean events company, it took him about a year to finish “Self-portrait” while preoccupied with other writing projects.

“I do prefer to take my time when writing a poem and I’ve never written a complete poem in just one sitting, so one year to complete this suite of poems sounds about right,” he said.

Dela Peña’s latest win came after he nabbed third prize in 2015 for the now-published Aria and Trumpet Flourish and second prize last year for “Blood Compact,” both in the poetry in English category.

It also came three months after his Noli Me Tangere-inspired collection, “Tangere,” was named a finalist in Singapore’s Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize. Another Singapore-based Filipino poet, Lawrence L. Ypil, won that award in August.

Literary Life published three poems from that collection—“Correspondence,” “Exchanges” and “In the Woods”—in the last three months.

As for the poems in “Self-portrait,” some will see print in the forthcoming Likhaan journal, while a few others were already featured in other publications. The collection’s opening poem, “You Did Not Ask to be Born,” is published here for the first time.

As the winning works of Lopez, Angeles and dela Peña, and those of the rest of this year’s Palanca awardees prove, Philippine literature continues to flourish in ways both expected and unexpected. That they continue to be recognized should encourage other writers, especially aspiring ones, to follow their example and persevere in the literary life. For most, if not all of them, it is a life like no other.

Father-daughter bag prizes at 68th Palanca Awards

A father-daughter duo from Iloilo who won in separate categories at the 68th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. This is the first time in the history of the Palanca Awards.

Palanca Awards Hall of Famer Leoncio Deriada won third prize in the Short Story-Cebuano category for his work Dili Baya ko Bugoy, while his daughter Dulce Maria Deriada won third prize in the Short Story-Hiligaynon category for Candelaria. Dulce received her father’s award on his behalf, as he found it difficult to attend the ceremony.

“I’m very happy for the recognition but we could’ve been happier if my father were here with me. Before, I used to accompany him as his guest, but now I can say that I’m a winner too,” Dulce said. “It was actually him who told me to join this year.”

With this year’s award, Leoncio now has 18 Palanca awards under his belt. He was inducted into the Palanca Hall of Fame in 2001. Some of his first prize-winning pieces include the full-length play Maragtas: How Kapinangan Tricked Sumakwel Twice (2001), the one-act play Medea of Syquijor (1999), and the short story for children The Man Who Hated Birds (1993).

Dulce, on the other hand, is among this year’s first-time Palanca winners. Taking a day off from her teaching duties, she explains that her winning piece Candelaria is a story showcasing Ilonggo beliefs and culture while also putting into the spotlight the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Jaro, a limestone statue depicting Mary with the Child Jesus carrying candles. Also known as Our Lady of Candles, it is currently enshrined on the balcony of Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City and is recognized by the Catholic Church as the patroness of Jaro District and the whole of Western Visayas.

“Those who live in Iloilo know well of the image, and it’s believed to be miraculous. The statue is said to be growing bigger and bigger each year,” explained Dulce.

Leoncio, who is now 80 years old, is largely recognized as the Father of Contemporary Literature in Western Visayas. He is now a Professor Emeritus at the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) where he teaches Comparative Literature. He is a multi-lingual writer, having produced works in English, Filipino, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, and Cebuano.

Dulce also teaches at UPV in the Division of Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences. She also serves as the President of Hubon Manunulat, an organization that promotes the advancement of West Visayan literature.

Despite growing up as the daughter of a literary titan, there was no pressure for Dulce to follow the footsteps of her father. Instead, it just happened naturally.

“I grew up surrounded with books and I got acquainted with other writers at an early age. Growing up, my father didn’t really force me to take up writing, but he was supportive and encouraging whenever I did it. I even remember him storing my writing assignments when I was in Grade 1,” said Dulce.

To aspiring writers who are seeking their first Palanca award, Dulce suggests starting with the basics, which is by reading a lot.

“My father always told me to read and read, and this is what he always tells his students. Because of reading, I became attracted to books at an early age, and this really helped me in putting into words my imagination and improved my vocabulary use. So for those who want to become a successful writer, you have to read,” Dulce said.

Such advice definitely helped Dulce to not only win the country’s most prestigious literary award but get to share it with her father too. This rare recognition accomplished by the Deriadas, which has added to the rich history of the Palanca Awards, shows that while skill in writing can run in the blood, it also needs to be cultivated and nurtured in the right environment to prosper.

Named after businessman and philanthropist Don Carlos Palanca Sr., the Palanca Awards continuously seeks to cultivate Philippine Literature by providing incentives for writers and serving as a treasury of these literary gems. It is considered the gold standard in writing excellence, highly-coveted by Filipino writers, young and old alike. For complete list of winners, visit

Panawagan sa Paglahok : 2nd PUP Multi-Genre National Writers Workshop 2019

Ang IKALAWANG PAMBANSANG PALIHANG MULTI-GENRE SA MALIKHAING PAGSULAT ay pangungunahan ng PUP Sentro para sa Araling Pangwika at Pampanitikan at ng PUP University Printing Press, na ang pangunahing layunin ay magsanay/maghasa ng mga manunulat mula sa iba’t ibang rehiyon ng bansa na may sensibilidad na pangmasa ang panulat sa iba’t ibang kategorya ng panulat. Idaraos ang palihan sa Mayo 2019.

1. Bukas ang palihan sa lahat ng manunulat: mag-aaral, propesyonal, manggagawa, guro, artista, o kung anupaman ang propesyon sa buhay.

2. Mga kategorya para sa palihan
▪ Nobela
▪ Script na pampelikula
▪ Script para sa dula
▪ Maikling kwento
▪ Tula
▪ Graphic Novel (Komiks)
▪ Kritisismong Pampanitikan
▪ Creative Non-fiction
▪ Kwentong Pambata
▪ Dagli

• Maaari lamang lumahok sa isang kategorya.

• Tatlong akda ang ipapasa para sa Dagli; dalawang akda para sa Maikling Kwento, Creative Non-fiction, at Kwentong Pambata; limang akda naman para sa Tula; isang akda para sa Kritisismong Pampanitikan; at isang chapter para sa Nobela, Script na pampelikula at Script para sa dula. Tatlong strips na may tatlo o higit pang frames naman para sa Graphic Novel (Komiks).

• Maliban sa dagli, tula, at Graphic Novel (Komiks), maglakip ng isang pahinang sinopsis sa mga akda, at abstrak (300 salita) naman para sa Kritisismong Pampanitikan. Maglakip din ng bionote at Curriculum Vitae.

3. Ipasa ang akda sa ganitong format:
▪ Three hard copies + Digital file ng manuscript (MS Word 97-2003 format)
▪ Arial type ▪ Font size 12
▪ Double spaced, 8×11 (liban lamang sa tula)
▪ 1 inch margin all sides
▪ Lagyan ng pahinasyon ang bawat pahina. (ex. 1 of 5)
▪ Para sa Kritisismong Pampanitikan, malayang makapipili sa format ng pagtatala (MLA o APA o Chicago Turibian). Ang paksa ay nararapat na nakatuon sa kasarian partikular na sa kababaihan at/o LGBTQ na tumatagos sa mga sumusunod: produksyong pampanitikan, mga teorya at lapit (feminismo at/o queer), araling pangkasarian, kilusang pampanitikan, estetikang pampanitikan, palihan at patimpalak pampanitikan, at iba pang kaugnay na paksa. Ang ipapasang kritikal na papel ay 15 hanggang 25 na pahina kasama ang sanggunian.

4. Nararapat na ang ipapasang akda ay orihinal, hindi pa nagwawagi sa anumang patimpalak, hindi pa naililimbag o sumailalim sa konsiderasyon para mailimbag.

5. Ang lahat ng mga mapipiling lahok ay makakukuha ng stipend, libreng akomodasyon at transportasyon papunta sa venue at pabalik mula PUP Main Campus.

6. Ang mga mapipiling lahok ay aabisuhan sa pamamagitan ng e-mail at tawag.

7. Ang deadline para sa pagpapasa ay sa Nobyembre 29, 2018.

8. Maaring dalhin nang personal ang hard o digital copy sa South 413, Sentro para sa Araling Pangwika at Pampanitikan c/o Prop. Jomar A. Adaya o sa opisina ng University Printing Press (sa likod ng Laboratory High School) c/o Dr. Renato C. Vibiesca sa PUP Main Campus, Sta. Mesa Manila. Maaari ring ipadala sa email:

Para sa mga katanungan, maaaring magtungo sa tanggapan ng Sentro para sa Araling Pangwika at Pampanitikan c/o Prop. Jomar A. Adaya o sa opisina ng University Printing Press (sa likod ng Laboratory High School) c/o Dr. Renato C. Vibiesca sa PUP Main Campus, Anonas St.,Sta. Mesa, Manila o tumawag sa 716 7832 loc. 744 o sa loc. 317. Maaari ding bisitahin ang facebook page ng PUP Center for Literary and Language Srudies o ang PUP University Printing Press.

The Manila Times: Visayan National Artists seen to boost regional literature

Originally published by the Manila Times on Oct. 28, 2018 with the url:

Two renowned writers from the Visayas joined five other Filipino arts practitioners in being inducted into the Order of National Artists (ONA) last week, with their inclusion seen as a major encouragement to and recognition of creative writing and literature in the regions.

In a ceremony in Malacañang last Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte conferred the National Artist title on essayist and literary historian Resil B. Mojares of Cebu province and the late novelist Ramon L. Muzones of Iloilo province.

He also bestowed the honor on the late illustrator Lauro “Larry” Alcala, composer Ryan Cayabyab, children’s theater pioneer Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio, architect Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa and maverick filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik (real name: Eric de Guia).

The President lauded the newest National Artists for their “passion and dedication to [their] chosen craft,” and urged them to “pass down their knowledge and skills to the younger generation, because it is only by educating and training the youth [that] the legacy and work of our artists can live on.”

Mojares told The Manila Times after the ceremony that he was “honored” to receive the award.

According to him, becoming a writer was not a conscious decision, but something that he grew into.

“I grew up in a provincial town (Dipolog in Zamboanga del Norte) where my parents were public school teachers; our home had a library; my father contributed articles to journals and magazines,” the septuagenarian author said in a brief interview last Friday.

For him, writing is “not a job,” but a “passion and compulsion,” adding that he considers another National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin, as “an important influence who I came to know early in my career.”

Holder of postgraduate degrees in literature from the University of San Carlos in Cebu and the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, Mojares was lauded by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) as “one of the leading figures in the promotion of regional literature and history.”

“As founding director of the Cebuano Studies Center—an important research institution which placed Cebu in the research and documentation map—he pioneered Cebuano and national identity formation,” the state-run arts agency said in a statement, referring to the professional role he performed from 1975 to 1996.

“For over 50 years, Mojares has published in diverse forms (fiction, essay, journalism, scholarly articles and books) across a wide range of disciplines (literature, history, biography, cultural studies and others),” it added.

Mojares has published 17 books and edited, co-edited or co-authored 11 others. These include The Origins and Rise of the Filipino Novel: A Generic Study of the Filipino Novel Until 1940 (1979); From Marcos to Aquino: Local Perspectives on Political Transition in the Philippines (1991); House of Memory: Essays (1997) (“My most personal work,” Mojares said); The War Against the Americans: Resistance and Collaboration in Cebu, 1899–1906 (1999); Waiting for Mariang Makiling: Essays in Philippine Cultural History (2002); Brains of the Nation: Pedro Paterno, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Isabelo de los Reyes and the Production of Modern Knowledge (2006) (“The most substantial and scholarly”); and Isabelo’s Archive (2013), which the author professed to be his “current favorite,” because “it is an exercise in what I would like to do now, blur the boundary between literary and scholarly writing.”

The author won second prize for his short story “Beast in the Fields” in 1971, as well as several National Book Awards. For his contributions to Philippine literature, the Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas (Umpil, or Writers Union of the Philippines) bestowed on him the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for lifetime achievement in 1997.

Prolific Ilonggo writer

On Muzones, the NCCA described him as a “Hiligaynon poet, essayist, short story writer, critic, grammarian, editor, lexicographer and novelist who authored an unprecedented 61 completed novels.”

Born on March 20, 1913, Muzones finished pre-law at Far Eastern University in Manila and law at Central Philippine University in Iloilo City in 1952, according to the Panitikan: Philippine Literature Portal website.

Some of his novels, a number of which are groundbreakers in Hiligaynon literature, are Ang Bag-ong Maria Clara, Maambong Nga Sapat (1940), Margosatubig (1946), Si Tamblot (1946), Si Tamblot Kandidato Man (1949), Ang Gugma sang Gugma Bayaran (1955), Babae Batuk sa Kalibutan (1959) Malala nga Gutom (1965), Shri-Bishaya (1969), and Dama de Noche (1982–1984).

“Hailed by his peers as the longest-reigning (1938 to 1972) among ‘the three kings of the Hiligaynon novel,’ Muzones brought about its most radical changes while ushering in modernism,” the agency said in the statement.

For his literary contributions, Muzones received the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas in 1988 and the Gawad CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) Para sa Sining in 1989. He died on Aug. 17, 1992.

Author and scholar Ma. Cecilia Locsin-Nava, who represented Muzones in Wednesday’s ceremony and who wrote History and Society in the Novels of Ramon Muzones (2001), told The Times that this recognition for the late author was a long time coming.

According to her, Muzones’ award marked the first time an author writing in a regional language garnered it.

“In the years since the ONA was instituted, those who win are always writers in Filipino or English. For the first time this year, somebody from the region won. So this is really history-making,” Locsin-Nava said.

She expressed hope that the honor conferred on Muzones and Mojares would serve as the dawn of a new era for regional writers.

“[T]he one thing they have in common is that [they] are pioneers in their field. They’re trailblazers, they start new things, and Resil’s talent is…entirely different from Muzones’, so I’m happy the judges [recognized this],” Locsin-Nava said.

She also said it was only fair to have authors writing in different Philippine languages also win the title, since “70 percent” of Filipinos “live in the provinces.”

“[P]eople from the regions should be recognized. It’s high time that they should get their place in the sun, because for 45 years they were ignored,” she added. CATHERINE S. VALENTE AND RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA / The Manila Times

Panawagan para sa Kontribusyon | BIO (LENTE): Mga Katha ng Dahas at Danas Sa Banwa

Rolando B. Tolentino, German Villanueva Gervacio at Januar Yap

Iimbestigahan ng antolohiyang ito ng maikling kwento at personal na sanaysay o creative non-fiction ang mga porma ng danas at trauma ng dahas na direkta at indirektang kinimkin at isisiwalat ng manunulat batay sa kanyang panlipunang relasyon sa mga kasalukuyang kaganapan sa banwa o bansa.

“Ang sakit ng kalingkingan, ramdan ng buong katawan,” ika nga ng matandang kasabihan. Ang banwa ay isang lawas, isang katawan. Ang hambalos sa isang dako ay lumalatay sa buong bansa.

Ambisyon manapa ng BIO(LENTE) na sipatin o lentehan ang bisyon ng manunulat sa samu’t saring isyung nagpapalabo,nagpapabalaho, nagpapaalagwa sa kasalukuyan at kinabukasan ng banwa.

Sa panahon ng fake news at post-truth, paano kakathain ang mga lawas na itinitimbuwang ng ninja cops sa ngalan ng War on Drugs ng tila buang na pinuno? Nakasubo na ba ang kaning may Malaysian at Vietnamese na bukbok? Nabundol rin ba ng TRAIN Law o naipit sa martial law? Nakinguyngoy rin ba sa mga biktima ng Lumad killings, Sagay 9, NutriAsia, landslides sa Naga at Itogon o mismong napulbos ng Ground Zero ng Marawi, o binagyo ng Yolanda o Sendong?

Na-trigger ba ng PPP, Pede DeDeralismo o Marcos revisionaismo, kasabay ng pangwawasak sa trolling, cyberbullying at illegal mining? O sadyang na-badtrip ng pinaghihingalong MRT, jeepney phaseout at shabu cover up o ni Roque, Panelo, Gadon, Bertis, Mocha, Sasot o mga stem-celled pulitikong gusto na namang sa halalan ay makalusot—halimbawa, sina Enrile at Imelda—subalit wala namang mapagsumbungan kundi ang Facebook at Twitter—ito na ang espasyo para sa iyo.

Ipadala ang iyong akda sa

Ang manuskrito ay kinakailangang:

–orihinal at hindi pa nalalathala sa anumang paraan;
–naka-attach bilang wordfile at may 2,500-3,750 na salita o 10-15 pahina double space;
–nakasulat sa Filipino o Ingles o anumang rehiyonal na wika na may salin sa Filipino o Ingles.

Tatangkain ng antolohiya na may representasyon ng manunulat at katha mula sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao. Ineenganyong magsubmite ang mga manunulat mula sa rehiyon.

Pagpipilian ng mga editor ang ipinasang manuskrito at pagpapasyahan kung maisasama sa manuskritong ipapasa sa isang press.

Pebrero 28, 2019 and dedlayn ng pagsusumite ng manuskrito.

Math professor returns to Palanca stage, bags two more wins

It’s rare to find someone who excels in polar disciplines like Math and literature. But for Early Sol A. Gadong, the ability to do both requires the discipline to do what needs to be done at the right moment and the will to pursue one’s passion even when things get tough and complicated.

Gadong, a high school professor at the University of the Philippines Visayas, recently earned distinctions at the 68th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Her work Sa Lum-ok Sang Imong Suso won first prize in the Hiligaynon Short Story category while Maraming-Maraming-Marami received the third prize in the Maikling Kuwentong Pambata category. She is one of only two writers who bagged prizes in two separate categories this year.

When asked how she’s able to write creative pieces despite her busy schedule, Gadong admitted, “You just have to take the little pockets of time to write.” True enough, she writes while having breakfast or waiting for her class to start.

Writing, for Gadong, is an enjoyable activity that allows her to relax, as well as pour out her thoughts and feelings. “It’s a cathartic process. Whether I’m extremely happy or sad, writing has been one of the best ways for me to cope with the surge of emotions,” she explained.

Sa Lum-ok Sang Imong Suso tells the story of two former girlfriends who struggle to get back together, juxtaposed with the changes happening in Iloilo brought about by a well of political actions. On the other hand, Maraming-Maraming-Marami narrates the tale of a child who tries to learn math concepts, motivated to do so by an older brother who works in the mines.

Gadong said that she found the inspiration to write the said children’s story through a seminar/workshop on child labor she attended. Being an educator who loves math and literature at the same time, she also shared that she can’t help but allude to math concepts when writing stories for kids. In the same way, she uses literature to teach math to her students. “These disciplines really influence each other in the way I teach,” Gadong remarked.

Her grades back in school may have showed her knack for numbers, but she knew that writing will always be part of her being. While pursuing a math course in college, Gadong would still seize opportunities to write for the school paper or join literary contests. Aside from fiction, she also writes non-fiction pieces in English, Filipino, and Hiligaynon.

Even as a professional, she would participate in writing workshops to hone her skills. She attended the San Agustin Writers Workshop in Iloilo City, the Iyas National Writers Workshop in Bacolod City, and the Ateneo National Writers Workshop in Quezon City.

A mother language writer

Gadong advocates writing in one’s mother tongue. It’s something that she was inspired to uphold after exposure with writing mentors such as Palanca Hall of Fame awardee Leoncio P. Deriada, who is a fictionist/playwright/poet, as well as other West Visayan writers whom she spends most of her time with.

One of her writing influences is John Iremil Teodoro, a published author in Kinaráy-a, which is an old Visayan language. “I learned the sensibilities of West Visayan setting, cultures, and traditions from him,” Gadong explained.

In 2015, Gadong and other West Visayan writers gathered to create Hubon Manunulat, an organization that provides an avenue for young Visayan writers to write in their mother tongue. The group regularly holds zine festivals, book summits, and writing conferences for aspiring writers and literary enthusiasts.

In 2016, she won her first Palanca award — second prize for her Hiligaynon short story Nagakaangay nga Panapton.

While her accomplishments both in math and literature seem astounding, Gadong asserted that solving equations and weaving stories are not just inherent skills. Rather, these are practices that keep the mind healthy and the psyche in check.

Named after businessman and philanthropist Don Carlos Palanca Sr., the Palanca Awards continuously seeks to cultivate Philippine Literature by providing incentives for writers and serving as a treasury of these literary gems. It is considered the gold standard in writing excellence, highly-coveted by Filipino writers, young and old alike. For complete list of winners, visit

Lunsad-Aklat: Constant Retelling: Exploring the Bangsamoro Narrative

Ang Balangiga Press, katuwang ang UP Sandigan para sa Ikauunlad ng Kamalayang maka-Araling Pilipino ay iniimbitahan ang lahat sa paglulunsad ng koleksyon ng sanaysay ni Amir Mawallil na pinamagatang A Constant Retelling: Exploring the Bangsamoro Narrative. Gaganapin ang paglulunsad aklat na ito sa Pandayan Theater, College of Arts and Letters Pavillion 1, University of the Philippines-Diliman sa ganap na alas-tres ng hapon hanggang alas-sais trenta ng gabi.

Bukas ito sa publiko. Kung mayroong katanungan kung paano pumunta sa venue, maaaring magbigay ng mensahe sa Facebook page ng Balangiga Press o kontakin si Jehu Laniog sa numberong 09151905684.

Rappler: Duterte names 7 National Artists

Original story from Rappler with this link:

MANILA, Philippines – Seven giants in Philippine art and culture will be named National Artists on Wednesday, October 24, in a ceremony in Malacañang.

They are cartoonist Larry Alcala, playwright Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio, composer Ryan Cayabyab, architect Francisco Mañosa, historian and literary critic Resil Mojares, fictionist Ramon Muzones, and filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik.

In a move sure to frustrate Noranians, actress Nora Aunor is again not on the list of awardees this year. (READ: Nora Aunor: A National Artist we deserve)

Malacañang sent the list to reporters late Tuesday afternoon, October 23, although a source involved in the selection process said the awardees were “proclaimed” Monday night, October 22. A few artists and literary writers had posted their versions of the list on social media earlier in the week.

The Order of National Artists is the highest recognition given by the government to Filipinos who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts. The Philippine president names them based on the recommendations of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

The country’s 7 new National Artists are:

Larry Alcala, National Artist for Visual Arts

Editorial cartoonist and illustrator Alcala’s pen brought to life the cartoon series Slice of Life in the Weekend Magazine, Mang Ambo in the Weekly Graphic, and Kalabog en Bosyo, the first comic strip where characters spoke in Taglish. His many works portrayed the idiosyncracies of the Filipino, especially our ability to laugh at ourselves in the face of great adversity, as personified in the character of Mang Ambo. The two detectives in Kalabog en Bosyo were brought to the big screen and played by comedians Dolphy and Panchito in a film by Sampaguita Pictures. Alcala died in 2002 at the age of 75.

Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio, National Artist for Theater

For her work in writing plays, promoting children’s theater, and puppetry, Bonifacio has been called the “Grande Dame of Southeast Asian Children’s Theater.” She has penned 40 plays, 20 books, and 30 stories, according to, and was chairperson of the University of the Philippines’ Creative Writing Program. She founded Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas, a children’s theater and puppetry troupe based in UP.

Ryan Cayabyab, National Artist for Music

“Mr C” is perhaps the most famous Filipino composer in recent history. He has composed musical scores for award-winning films, 10 full-length Filipino musicals, full-length ballets, a major opera, and a plethora of songs, including beloved classics like “Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka” and “Da Coconut Nut.” A force for original Pilipino music, he has spearheaded the Philippine Popular Music Festival and served as judge in talent shows, like Philippine Idol and Philippine Dream Academy. He leads the 7-member Ryan Cayabyab Singers.

Francisco ‘Bobby’ Mañosa, National Artist for Architecture

If Mañosa is a name unknown to you, the same likely cannot be said of his iconic works. The architect known for his modern interpretation of Philippine architectural design and use of indigenous materials is behind the Coconut Palace, world-famous Amanpulo Resort in Palawan, Pearl Farm in Samal Island, Shangri-La Hotel in Mactan, and the San Miguel building in Mandaluyong, among others. For his pioneering vision and promotion of indigenous Filipino architecture, Mañosa has garnered many accolades, both locally and internationally.

Resil Mojares, National Artist for Literature

Mojares is a multi-awarded writer, historian, and literary critic. His works include Origins and Rise of the Filipino Novel, The War Against the Americans, and books about eminent Filipinos, such as Vicente Sotto, Pedro Paterno, Isabelo delos Reyes, and Trinidad Pardo de Tavera. He has won several National Book Awards from the Manila Critics Circle and founded the Cebuano Studies Center, a library and research center dedicated to Cebuano culture and history.

Ramon Muzones, National Artist for Literature

Muzones is the preeminent name in West Visayan fiction. He is best known for his Hiligaynon novel Margosatubig: The Story of Salagunting, about a fictional Muslim state in Mindanao and the struggles of its hero, Salagunting, to wrest it from the clutches of usurpers. A tale that combines intrigue, romance, pre-colonial lore, fantasy, and adventure, it unfolded as a series in the Hiligaynon magazine Yuhum. In 1989, he received the Gawad CCP para sa Sining, an award given every 3 years to artists whose works have enriched their art form. His proclamation as National Artist is posthumous as Muzones died in 1992.

Kidlat Tahimik, National Artist for Cinema

Widely regarded as the father of independent Philippine cinema, Kidlat Tahimik (real name: Eric de Guia) is known for creating films that humorously but evocatively critique neocolonialism. A native of Baguio City, Tahimik has garnered numerous international and local awards for his films. His first, Perfumed Nightmare (1977), won the International Critics Award at the Berlin Film Festival. He has gone on to inspire generations of Filipino filmmakers to forge on with their independent vision, regardless of commercial considerations. In 2009, he received the UP Gawad Plaridel Award, the University of the Philippines’ highest award recognizing achievements in media.


The 3 female weavers given the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan award or named National Living Treasures in 2017 will also formally receive their award on Wednesday.

The 3 National Living Treasures are:

Yabing Masalon Dulo, B’laan ikat weaver

Yabing Dulo, also known as Fu Yabing, is a master of the craft of Mabal Tabih, a craft belonging to the B’laan tribe in Polomolok, South Cotabato. She learned the craft at the age of 10. Tabih is a woven textile made from abaca and natural dyes. Spiritually important to the B’laan, Tabih is used to make blankets, traditional skirts, and long-sleeved blouses. It makes use of designs inspired from nature or dreams.

Ambalang Ausalin, Yakan weaver

Apuh Ambalang, as she is called, is famous in her hometown of Lamitan and beyond for her mastery of even the most intricate of Yakan weaving styles. She is particularly unique for her seputangan creations. Seputangan is a special cloth placed on the shoulders of brides and grooms during weddings and boasts intricate designs. Apuh Ambalang can execute even the smallest designs, from the dawen-dawen (leaf-like) to the dinglu or mata (diamond/eye) patterns.

Estelita Bantilan, B’laan mat weaver

Bantilan, who hails from Sarangani, is recognized for her exemplary execution of B’laan mat or igem weaving techniques. B’laan mats, created using only deft hands, feature brilliantly-colored geometric designs and patterns made from dyed leaf strips.


Pundok Katitikan: Conversations about Creative Writing

The UP Cebu Creative Writing Program invites everyone to “Pundok Katitikan: Conversations about Creative Writing” on October 24, 2018, Wednesday, 5-8pm, at the Jose Joya Gallery.

It will feature distinguished Cebuano literary writers Josua S. Cabrera, Erik E. Tuban, Johanna Michelle Lim, and Karla Quimsing-Sinson.