MANILA, Philippines - Writers are lauded at this year’s Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, adding to the list of luminaries in Philippine literature. (WATCH: Shakira Sison: The courage to write)
Carol Ramoran reports.
The Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature rolls out its 63rd awards.
The most prestigious award for literature in the country, it’s regarded as the Pulitzer of the Philippines.
Fifty eight of the 1,100 entries were honored Sunday.
Rappler columnist Shakira Sison won the first prize for the Regional Division's Essay category.
Her essay 'The Krakauer Table' delves into her relationship with her father.
SHAKIRA SISON, PALANCA WINNER, 1ST PLACE ESSAY: When I found out I won, I was so happy. 'Cause I've been trying on and off for a while so I was jumping up and down. At first I thought it would be too much of a production to go home for this and then my wife was like - you need to this. It's something you've always wanted. You don't join this contest every year just because. And finally you got it. Not just third or second place. You have to go.
University of Santo Tomas Professor Eros Atalia bagged the grand prize for the Nobela category in Filipino for 'Tatlong Gabi, Tatlong Araw'.
This is Atalia's second Palanca.
He published a couple of books, one of them turned into a movie.
EROS ATALIA, PALANCA GRAND PRIZE WINNER, NOBELA: Natutuwa ako kasi nakita siguro ng mga judges yung pagtatangka ko na may bagong putahe na iooffer tungkol sa pagkkwento sa horror. (I’m happy because the judges probably saw that I was trying to offer something new in the realm of writing horror stories.)
The late Carlos Palanca was a patron of the arts and educational institutions.
Held every year, Palanca organizers maintain a high level of integrity in selecting winning entries.
All work are submitted anonymously and thoroughly screened by the country’s toughest judges for literature.
Organizers say winning a Palanca is just the beginning.
ATTY. CHRISTINE QUIRINO-PACHECO, PALANCA 1ST DEP. DIRECTOR GENERAL: We expect the writers to take up our challenge, write and not only write but share it - share it to everyone. We are now in the digital age. We have the internet. That's why we're challenging everybody. We're just the spark.
SHAKIRA SISON, PALANCA WINNER, 1ST PLACE ESSAY: I guess they [the judges] felt it was a sincere voice. If you read the essay it's very heartwarming, but it's not an entirely positive view of my father. I guess the judges sensed that kind of truth, how difficult it was to write the piece.
Carol Ramoran, Rappler Manila.