17 December 2013, 2:15 a.m. – A YEAR away from marking its third decade, the annual Gawad Ustetika again brought together budding and acclaimed writers in celebrating the glory of the Thomasian pen at the Plaza Mayor Saturday evening.

The prestigious Parangal Hagbong was given to drama enthusiast Piedad Guinto-Rosales and the late writer-editor Norma Miraflor. The Parangal Hagbong is a lifetime achievement award given by the Varsitarian to Thomasian alumni who made remarkable contributions to the development of Philippine literature.

Now on its 29th year, Ustetika is the country’s longest-running campus literary derby, organized by the Varsitarian.

The awards night recognized literary works by Thomasians who excelled in their respective categories, namely Dulang May Isang Yugto/Once-Act Play, Sanaysay, Katha, Tula, Maikling Kwentong Pambata, Essay, Fiction, and Poetry.

“Baraha” by Kris Joven Medalla (Arts and Letters) bagged the first prize for Dulang May Isang Yugto, while Christine Emano’s (Arts and Letters) “Sarung Bangi” and Danielle Joyce Factora’s (Arts and Letters) “Ang Kasalanan sa Kasalanan” landed on second and third spots, respectively.

Winners for the Sanaysay category were “Cuatro Aguas” by Rommel Roxas of the Faculty of Engineering (1st place), “Si St. Jude Thaddeus” by Hexene Giselle Daya of the Faculty of Arts and Letters (2nd place), “Pan de Coco” by Marie Giselle Dela Cruz of Arts and Letters (3rd place), and “Bilog” by Jansen Joel Romero of Arts and Letters (honorable mention).

For the Katha category, the winners were “QWERTYUIOP” by Christian Mendoza of the College of Accountancy (1st place), “Kuwentong Kuwentista” by Ryan Jamil Ario of Engineering (2nd place), “Langoy” by Christine Emano (3rd place), “Seis” by Rijel Immanuel Reyes of Arts and Letters (honorable mention), and “Seldang Babasagin” by Joshua Carlo Pile of Arts and Letters (honorable mention).

Rommel Roxas received first prize in the Tula category for his entry “Katalik ng Palad.” Elaine Lazaro (Graduate School) won second place for “Paglayas at Iba Pang Tula,” while Paul Castillo (Graduate School) grabbed the third spot for “Hulagway.”

“Tahing Kamay ni Nanay” by Marie Giselle Dela Cruz was named the first-prize winner in the Maikling Kwentong Pambata category. “Ang Pagtupad sa Kahilingan ni Lucia” by Hope Jael Perez (Arts and Letters) and “Ang Nanay kong Tatay” by Christine Emano won second and third prizes, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Essay category fell short of winners, with only two honorable mentions — “On the Woman’s Anatomy” by Sophia Beatrice Lazo (Arts and Letters), and “Thread” by John Evan Orias (Graduate School).

There was no first-prize winner in the Fiction category, but Paul Castillo (Graduate School) won the second prize for “Reply Slip” and Karina Pe Benito (Arts and Letters) won the third prize for “Parlor Geis.”

Joshua Carlo Pile received the Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta Award after bagging the first prize in Poetry for “The Vanishing Sea.” Other winners were “Unresolved Geometries” by Jan Marvi Atienza of the College of Architecture (2nd place), “Melancholia” by Maria Karen Valera of Arts and Letters (3rd place), “Borderline Between Déjà Vu and Jamais Yu” by Hans Lawrence Malgapu of Arts and Letters (honorable mention), and “Taking the Moment of Inertia” by Rommel Roxas (honorable mention).

The jurors for this year’s Ustetika were: Carlomar Daoana, Mookie Lacuesta, and Mariano Kilates (Poetry); Joselito de los Reyes, Benilda Santos, and Vim Nadera (Tula); Jun Cruz Reyes, Abdon Balde, Jr., and Eros Atalia (Katha); Sarge Lacuesta and Kit Kwe (Fiction); Oscar Campomanes, D.M. Reyes, and Shirley Lua (Essay); Romulo Baquiran, Jerry Gracio, and Jose Wendell Capili (Sanaysay); Victor Torres, Ralph Galan, and Chuckberry Pascual (Dulang May Isang Yugto/One-Act Play); and Michael Coroza, Eugene Evasco, Luis Gatmaitan, and Rebecca Anonuevo (Maikling Kuwentong Pambata).

The recipient of the Rector’s Literary Award—chosen by the Rector Magnificus himself from among first-prize winners to honor the work that best reflects “the Catholic vision of grace and redemption”—has yet to be named. J.B.M. Ramil and M.D.L. Macalino


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