THREE Thomasian writers were honored at the 66th Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature last Sept. 2 at the Peninsula Manila in Makati.

This year’s crop of winners included UST Alumnus Segundo Matias who won third place in the Sanaysay Category for his essay “#PaperDolls,” a piece that deals with the process of “accepting and finding one’s self.”

Matias said the essay focused less on making a stand and was written as an act of self-expression.

As a publisher at Precious Pages Corp. and Lampara Publishing Co., Matias has published a lot of children’s stories such as “Alamat ng Gagamba,” “Alamat ng Buwaya,” and “Alamat ng Sampalok.”

Also affiliated with Black Ink Comics, he has released a lot of graphic novels like Animen, The Reaper, Vergil the Warrior Angel, Hands of the Dragon, My Midnight, Pepe: The Lost Years of Rizal, Fairies Wheel and Daughters of an Ancient Fairy.

He also wrote screenplays for national television, such as ABS-CBN’s drama series “Maalaala Mo Kaya” which include Kerubin (1992), Ayaw Ko Ng Mangarap (1992), and Sana’y Laging Makapiling (1993).

Matias has won Palanca twice: First Prize, Maikling Kuwentong Pambata, for “Alamat ng Duha” (2011), and Honorable Mention, Teleplay, for “Loida: Taxi Driver” (1991). He then served as one of the judges for Maikling Kuwentong Pambata category during the 64th Palanca Awards in 2014.

Journalism alumnus Louie Jon Sanchez placed second in the Tula Category for his collection titled “Tempus Per Annum at Iba Pang Tula.”

Sanchez said his writing was deeply tied to his sense of spirituality, with his poetry collections following the Liturgical Calendar.

“The creative practice is pretty much part of a personal life, of personal spirituality, of a yearning for the divine,” Sanchez said.

His poems are part of a larger collection titled “Kapiling,” which centers on the uncertainties that define the modern era, such as terrorism.

Sanchez is one of the 24 new winners of this year’s Palanca.

Philippine-Australian writer Merlinda Bobis, who took up her Master’s Degree in Literature from the University in 1987, placed second in the Poetry Category for her collection titled “Accidents of Composition.”

A master of both the English and Filipino language, Bobis’ works deal with the traditional Philippine culture which she incorporate with her experiences as an Australian immigrant.

Bobis has won three Palancas before: Honorable Mention, One Act Play, for “Ms. Serena Serenata” (1995), Second Prize, Tula, for “Lupang di Hinirang: Kuwento at Sikreto” (1989), and First Prize, Poetry, for “Peopleness” (1987).

Other winners were Mikaela Lu Apollo, Harvey D. Lor, Jason Renz Barrios (Kabataan Sanaysay), Jill Esther Parreño, Dawn Gabriela Emmanuele Dela Rosa, Alpheaus Matthew Llantero (Kabataan Essay), Orlando Oliveros, Emmanuel Barrameda, Paolo Miguel Tiausas, (Maikiling Kuwento),  Annalyn Leyesa-Go, Manuelita Conteras-Cabrera, Eugene Y. Evasco (Maikling Kuwentong Pambata), Christopher S. Rosales (Sanaysay), Mark Anthony Angeles, Allan John Andres (Tula), German Villanueva Gervacio, John Patrick Solano, Vijae Orquia Alquisola (Tula Para sa Mga Bata), Guelan Varela-Luarca, Mark Adrian Crisostomo Ho, Ma. Cecilia C. De La Rosa (Dulang May Isang Yugto), Carlito P. Casaje (Dulang Ganap ang Haba), Jimmy Flores, Ericdante Cabahug, Ymmanwel Rico Provinio (Dulang Pampelikula), Michelle Abigail Tiu Tan, Larissa Mae Suarez, Richard Cornelio (Short Story), Joemar Furigay (Short Story for Children), Maria Roselle Umias, Hammed Bolotaolo, Joel Vega (Essay), Angela Gabrielle Fabunan, Ana Maria Lacuesta (Poetry), Patricia Celina Ngo, Jaime An Lim (Poetry Written for Children), Patrick James Manongdo Valera, Robert Arlo de Guzman, Peter Solis Nery (One Act Play), Michael Aaron Gomez and Joachim Emilio Antonio (Full Length Play).

Thomasian alumni and faculty in this year’s panel of judges include Eros Atalia and Michael Coroza.

This year’s guest of honor and recipient of the Gawad Dangal ng Lahi was conferred to Antonio “Tony” Mabesa, actor, director and Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines.

The Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, funded by the Carlos Palanca Foundation Inc., recognizes distinguished literary works in the country. Cedric Allen P. Sta. Cruz and Nikko Miguel M. Garcia


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