Assoc. Prof. Joselito delos Reyes (right), the head of UST's Creative Writing program, who won in the 2022 Gintong Aklat Awards for his book, "#Pasahero: Mga Nakikisakay na Sanaysay." (Photo by Jeremy R. Edera/ The Varsitarian)

THE head of UST’s Creative Writing program won the Best Creative Nonfiction in Filipino plum at the 2022 Gintong Aklat Awards on Sept. 14 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay. 

Assoc. Prof. Joselito delos Reyes bagged the award for his book titled, “#Pasahero: Mga Nakikisakay na Sanaysay.” 

Published in 2021 by the UST Publishing House, the book is a collection of short, at times humorous, essays about the kinds of “travels” Filipinos go through every day. 

Maaari [itong] literal na pagsakay sa sasakyan para maglakbay, karanasan sa mga biyahe at pagiging pasahero,” delos Reyes told the Varsitarian. “May metaphorical na pagsakay. Aren’t we all pasahero ng biyahe ng buhay?”

(It may be a literal ride in a car to travel, or experiences in that travel and being a passenger. There are also metaphorical rides. Aren’t we all passengers in the journey of life?)

Delos Reyes said he had long been writing essays about his travels and commute.

“[U]nlike travel narratives na karaniwang tungkol sa malalayo’t kamangha-manghang adventures, I delve into the ordinary. Commuter life, short but meaningful distances, experiences in between,” delos Reyes said.   

(Unlike travel narratives which are usually about faraway and astonishing adventures, I delve into the ordinary.)

Although the award was a validation and a reason to keep on writing, delos Reyes emphasized that this was not the only form of validation. 

[T]andaan sana na hindi lang naman itong mga ganitong awards ang validation ng larangan. Malaking validation din kung napag-isip at napagnilay namin ang mambabasa,” he said.

(Remember that these awards are not the only validation in the field. Getting your readers to think and reflect is also a significant validation.) 

Asst. Prof. Paul Castillo’s “Lunas sa Nabubuong Lubos” was named a finalist in poetry in Filipino in the Gintong Aklat Awards. Castillo is the UST Publishing House deputy director.

Publishing House author Cecilia Brainard’s “Selected Short Stories” was a finalist in Fiction in English.

The Gintong Aklat Awards is a biennial event held by the Book Development Association of the Philippines to “recognize and encourage the production of quality books.”


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