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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

entry arrow9:24 AM | Tonight's the Night

It's September 1, and for the Philippine literary world, that means only one thing: everybody meets tonight at the Manila Peninsula to toast the winners of this year's Palanca prize. Alvin Dacanay, a winner himself tonight, writes of Palanca night 2003 in Philippine Graphic, and quotes me:

Dumaguete-based Ian Rosales Casocot, whose "Old Movies" clinched second prize in the Short Story in English last year, certainly knows how [Yvette Tan, who won two awards] feels. "I think the first one is always the best one," he replies when questioned how he would compare last year's win from his latest. "I was jumping up and down when I heard that I won," he relates how he reacted last year. "This time, it was actually nice to win again, but I always loved winning the first time."

Which is certainly true. You never ever forget your first time. To continue...

It turned out that his winning entry, "The Hero of the Snore Tango," which won in the same category and position as "Old Movies," started out as an essay. "I write a column for a local newspaper, and my editor told me if I could write an essay about All Souls Day. So I wrote about my father, who died a few years ago," he narrates. "I looked at the essay. I liked it very much I decided to turn it into a short story. I expanded it and I sent it out to some of my friends for comments. And they said that it was powerful enough for a Palanca entry."

"I felt less pressure," Casocot admits when asked if he felt any pressure brought about by his consecutive wins. "But the thing is, if you've won one, you want to win again and again. So I don't know if you would call it pressure...but I think you can call it addiction..."

I said that?

In any case, congratulations to my friends who won this year, especially the first-timers like Nikki, Mookie, Peach, and Maryanne. Enjoy the night, guys. Enjoy the generous buffet and the free drinks. Enjoy the company of kindred spirits....

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