“Kan Pinahali Si Tabi Sa Kahadean Kan Ugali” by Jaime Jesus Borlagdan of Tabaco, Albay, “Anino ni Nino” by Peyj Padrigon of Iriga City, and “Kapistahan kan Bulan” by Ofero Basbas of Naga City were declared winners of Kabulig-Bikol’s Usipon Pan-Aki Writing Contest 2019.
These three stories were picked selected from among 18 children’s stories written in different varieties of Bikol submitted to the contest.
The first prize winning piece is a rhythmic fable about using the Bikol word for ‘please,’ tabi. Note the cadence and rhyme in the first two lines: Warang dai nakakamidbid kay Tabi sa kahadean kan Ugali. Ta sa kahadean kan Ugali si Tabi an hadi.
Anino ni Nino is about a boy who would rather play with a flashlight to cast shadows on the wall because he does not want his friends to see his disfigured face. Kapistahan is an ecological story about fireflies who were carried off by a strong wind to a mysterious and filthy place.
This Children’s Short Story Writing Contest is the second competition sponsored by Kabulig. In 2018, the writers’ organization sponsored a poetry writing contest on the theme of Girok: Erotika, the title of its first published book.
Other pieces that caught the judges’ attention were “Si Cerina Asin an Kulay Bulangiw Na Sira” because of its seascape setting and ecological theme, “Si Asela asin an Takuring” for its playful use of sound, “An Makangangalas na Aparador” on how a child views the ordinary as magical, “An Alkansya ni Atoy,” “Si Kring-Kring An Pambihirang Kuting,” and “Kurob,” a nascent science fiction story. While some were deemed too mature for 6 to 9 year-olds, some are worth publishing as single books or as part of an anthology. Kabulig Bikol Inc. will provide assistance to the writers for the possible publication of the best works.
Cash prizes, trophies, and books will be awarded to the winners in a program on February 25, 2019, at Arabica café, from 3 to 5 pm. Excerpts from the stories will be performed. Tickets are available from any member of Kabulig-Bikol, Inc, Marissa Redburn, Frank Penones, Doods Santos, Esting Jacob, Jerome Hipolito, Elbert Baeta, and Aldy Manrique. Poets Niles Jordan Breis and Emman Barrameda will also take their oath as new members of Kabulig.
Kabulig-Bikol, Inc. is a non-profit non-government organization dedicated to supporting and promoting Bikol arts and culture. Kabulig, meaning one who shares or helps in an endeavor, has been the most sustained Bikol literary organization in the last decade and has produced and supported many of the present crop of writers actively writing in the Bikol languages. The names of the organization and its members are now inscribed in the second edition of the CCP Encyclopedia. – Doods M. Santos