Hoping to provide a creative outlet to millions of Filipinos in these trying times, The Next Poets Society conducted its first–ever national poem writing contest online from May 15–27, 2020.

With the theme Life and Love, more than 500 participants penned their chances submitting entries from all over the country.

Days after the grueling judging followed by online voting, 𝐀𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐥 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐣𝐨 𝐒𝐨𝐧 of Cavite emerged on top with his poem “Larong katoto, di nahahapo” while 𝐏𝐚𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐬𝐚 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝐀𝐥𝐟𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐨 of Zamboanga City followed in a close second with her entry “Philautia.” 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐬 𝐖𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐥 𝐅𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐳 of Pangasinan took the third spot with his “SILA.”

“Poetry helps me balance the way I think. It is such a good medium for me to see and dive into different perspectives especially during this crisis when negativities try to overwhelm me,” says Son when asked how poetry helps him cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

There were three other hopefuls who clinched as finalists: 𝐊𝐢𝐦 𝐀𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐥𝐨 𝐏. 𝐔𝐦𝐚𝐲𝐚𝐦 from Quezon City, 4th Place (Entry: Paano Magmahal ng Isang Uod?), 𝐀𝐫𝐧𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐂. 𝐆𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐬 from Valenzuela City, 5th Place (Entry: My Quarantined Love Amid Quarantined Life), 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐜 𝐌𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐜 𝐀𝐫𝐚𝐲𝐚𝐧 from Las Piñas City, 6th Place (Entry: Ang Natuto).

Read on for the top three and their works.
At first place, Angel Allen Montejo Son from Cavite.
“Larong katoto, di nahahapo” by Angel Allen Montejo Son
At second place, Patrizsa May Alfonso from Zamboanga City.
“Philautia” by Patrizsa May Alfonso
At third place, Charls Werrol Fernandez from Pangasinan.
“SILA” by Charls Werrol Fernandez