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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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Friday, August 29, 2008

entry arrow11:17 AM | Sillimanian Writers in the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards

Three Silliman University alumni bagged top prizes in the 2008 Philippines Free Press Literary Awards.

Dumaguete-based poet and fictionist Cesar Ruiz Aquino won First Prize for Poetry for “Jerahmeel,” Manila-based poet Marjorie Evasco nabbed Second Prize for Poetry for “Luna’s Lost Earrings,” and Copenhagen-based novelist Lakambini Sitoy won Third Prize for the Essay for “The Sound of Silence is Not a Vacuum.”

The other winners for the essay were Wilfredo O. Pascual, who won first prize, and L. Lacambra Ypil, who won second prize. For poetry, Lourd de Veyra won third prize. For the short story, first prize went to F.H. Batacan, while the second and third prizes went to Celeste Flores Coscolluela and Amado Bajarias, respectively.

The judges for short fiction and the essay were Dean Francis Alfar, Vicente Groyon III, and Katrina Tuvera, while the judges for poetry were Alfred Yuson, Marne Kilates, and Victor Peñaranda.

Aquino is currently a member of the faculty of the Silliman University Department of English and Literature, while Evasco, who is the 2008 Outstanding Sillimanian Awardee for Creative Writing, is with De La Salle University. Sitoy, a former president of Silliman’s student government, recently taught at the Negros Oriental State University, but is now currently writing a novel in Denmark. Sitoy’s Sweet Haven has also been long-listed in the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize, which is considered as the Asian Booker Prize.

“The poem is composed of 14 lines and 2 stanzas, and I wrote it for the poetry and dance collaboration project with Myra Beltran for last year’s Frida Kahlo Centennial of the Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Mexico,” says Evasco of her winning poem.

The Philippines Free Press Literary Awards is one of the oldest and biggest literary prizes in the country.

The recognition goes to what are adjudged as the best literary works in English by Filipino writers culled from the annual crop published in the magazine. First handed out in 1949, its roster of winners have included many of the giants of Philippine literature, including National Artists Nick Joaquin, Francisco Arcellana, Edith L. Tiempo, and N.V.M. Gonzalez, and other writers including Kerima Polotan Tuvera, Mig Alvarez Enriquez, Gregorio C. Brillantes, Gilda Cordero-Fernando, Bienvenido N. Santos, Estrella Alfon, Wilfrido Nolledo, Wilfredo Pascua Sanchez, Erwin Castillo, Renato Madrid, Resil Mojares, Ninotchka Rosca, Alfred Yuson, Tita Lacambra Ayala, Emmanuel Lacaba, Lina Espina Moore, Gemma Cruz Araneta, Federico Licsi Espino Jr., and Cirilo F. Bautista. Silliman writers have been regularly included in the winning roll announced every year, and top prizes have gone to such locally-trained writers as Edilberto K. Tiempo, Roberto Montebon, and Timothy Montes.

The awarding ceremony was held last August 27 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati.

The Philippines Free Press Magazine, one of the country’s oldest news magazine, is celebrating its Centennial this year.

[dean has some photos]

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