October 27, 2015, 12:39a.m. – A THOMASIAN’S piece bagged an award in the first literary contest in honor of National Artist for Literature F. Sionil José last Oct. 26.

Political science graduate Joshua Carlo Pile’s short story “On Good Days, Like Sundays” took home second prize in this year’s F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards.

“It’s very encouraging particularly for a young writer, less because of the personal triumph and more because it’s a reminder of the enduring place and power of stories in society and nationhood,” Pile said in an interview.

“On Good Days, Like Sundays” depicts the daily frustrations people experience on riding the MRT tied to the daily life of the Filipino people post-Marcos era. 

According to Pile, the story was inspired by his “own experience in riding the train daily to work for quite some time and the disturbing attempts at historical revisionism that we are seeing lately, especially among the young.”

Pile is joined by Joy Icayan of Cavite, whose story “Portrait of a Family” won first prize, and Dominic Paul Sy of University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, who won third prize for his work “A Natural History of Empire.”

Honorable mentions were given to Rolly Jude Ortega of Notre Dame of Marbel University for his piece ”Day of Mourning,” and UP Baguio alumnus L.A. Piluden for “Tales from the Old Benguet Road.”

Pile, a 2014 graduate of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, received the Rector’s Literary Award in 2013, the highest award of the Gawad Ustetika, the longest-running campus literary derby in the country spearheaded by the Varsitarian

The judges of the F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards included Palanca winners Charlson Ong and Francezca Kwe, and Philippines Graphic Magazine editor in chief Joel Pablo Salud.

The F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards is endowed by the children of José and is awarded to unpublished works of fiction in English written by Filipino writers aged 30 years and younger.

“[The award] is to honor our father’s legacy to the young writers of the Philippines. It seeks to advance excellence, integrity, social justice and the expression of love of country in literature. It is also to honor our mother’s devotion to nurturing both our father’s well-being and his art,” said the José children, namely Tonet, Evelina, Brigida, Eddie, Eugene, Alex and Nikko, in a public statement. Z.G. Duque II and C.A.P. Sta. Cruz


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