Multi-awarded Writer, Pioneering Cultural Worker
to be Honored in Premio Arejola
Writer Abdon M. Balde, Jr. and culural advocate
Leonor Dy-Liaco are this year’s
recipients of the Premio Tomas Arejola Lifetime Achievement Award.
Balde, a native of Busac, Oas, Albay, has won prestigious national literary awards, including the Palanca, Gintong Aklat and the National Book Award. Although written in Tagalog, Balde’s tales are set in the region and distinguished for their celebratory Bikol sensibility. Dy-Liaco, on the other hand, is a Naga city resident and a long-time president of the Kabikolan Foundation Inc. and is a pioneering figure in Bikol cultural promotion and research. They will be presented the Lifetime Achievement medallion and a testimonial plaque at the awards rites of the 4th Premio Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikolnon on Sept. 19, this year at the St. Vincent de Paul Auditorium of the historic Holy Rosary Minor Seminary in Naga City.
Balde and Dy-liaco were chosen by a committee chaired by Judge Ramon A. Arejola of the Arejola Foundation for Social Responsibility, the body running the annual literary prize. Judge Arejola is the presiding judge of the Daet Municipal Trial Court. The other members of the selection committee include Carlos Arejola, Kristian S. Cordero, Fabiana A. Arejola and Mrs. Amelita Zaens.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was first conferred to Prof. Ma. Lilia F. Realubit, Ph.D in 2004. Dr. Realubit is widely regarded as Bicol’s foremost critic and cultural researcher. It has since been awarded to celebrated poets Luis Cabalquinto and Gode Calleja in 2005, noted Bikolista Levy Aureus and posthumously to Luis G. Dato last year.
Also expected to grace the occasion are the honorees in the Osipon (fiction), Rawitdawit (poetry) and the Salaysay (essay) categories, namely Judith Balares-Salamat, Adrian V. Remodo, Marissa Reorizo-Casillan, Irene L. Taniegra, Jaime Jesus Borlagdan, Ryan B. de los Reyes, Aida B. Cirujales, Eurely P. Arroyo, Jerico Rebadeo, Jhonald A. Caballero, Christine P. Cordez, Victor Dennis T. Nierva. They will be presented the Premio Arejola Diploma of Merit and are eligible to win medallions, the category prize of P2,500 and, ultimately, the Parasurat kan Taon title and P10,000 cash prize. Excerpts of the winning entries will be read during the awards rites by Janet Fabay, Evangeline Pontejos and Merlie Arnante. The public is cordially invited.