ON ITS 32nd year, Gawad Ustetika, the country’s longest-running campus literary derby, will bestow lifetime achievement awards to multi-awarded playwright Jesus Peralta and, posthumously, to the late Spanish Dominican Fr. Fidel Villarroel, O.P.
Peralta, a Carlos Palanca Awards hall of fame awardee, and Villarroel, the Philippines’ “most prolific saint-maker,” will be honored with the Ustetika’s Parangal Hagbong, given to outstanding Thomasian writers.
Peralta is a consultant for the National Commission of the Culture and the Arts and a pioneer of art criticism in the country.
Peralta obtained his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from UST. He is a painter, photographer, poet and prizewinning playwright for his plays “My Brother’s Keeper,” “Play the Judas,” and “Lounger than Mourning.”
Villarroel, who passed away in October 2016 following multiple organ failure, was UST’s long-time archivist and is credited for writing the “Positio Super Introductione Causae,” the historical research that led to the canonization of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and 15 martyred companions in 1987.
Villarroel authored 23 books and 65 articles on theology and the histories of UST, the Philippines and the Church.
His two-volume book titled “A History of the University of Santo Tomas: Four Centuries of Higher Education in the Philippines,” published in 2012, earned him the Gintong Aklat Award. Villarroel described it as “the best award I have received” in a 2014 interview with the Varsitarian.
Budding Thomasian writers in various categories such as poetry, fiction, essay and one-act play will be recognized in an awarding ceremony on March 9, Thursday at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building.