Monday, September 22, 2008


Bicol Mail’s Escandor wins
literary prize for Bicol fiction
By Jonas Cabiles Soltes

from Bicol Mail

THE jury of this year’s Premio Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikolnon have announced last Saturday the winners of Bicol Region’s premier literary prize.

Bicol Mail’s and Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Juan Escandor Jr. of Sorsogon bested other contenders for the top prize in the fiction category with his short story Taon nin mga Ayam.

Jonher A. Caneba of Iriga City shared the top prize in the poetry category with Jerome Hipolito of Calabanga, Camarines Sur, and Sonny Sendon of Iriga City with their collections of poems entitled Sa Pagtira asin iba pan mga rawitdawit, Pagbunag nin Paroy asin iba pan rawitdawit, and Vertigo, respectively.

Caneba was also proclaimed Writer of the Year. He wrote the script of Santigwar, a short film that won in the Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival.

Sendon is a member of the writer’s guild of University of Sto. Tomas, and was a recipient of an honorable mention in the Maningning Miclat Poetry Prize.

Only one one-act play, Natad kan Pagtiwala sa Pagkamoot by Richard D. Madrilejos of Tabaco City, is cited by the Premio Arejola this year. Madrilejos received an honorable mention for his work.

No entry was proclaimed winner in the essay category.

The finalists for the essay category are: Nata Bukol an Asenso sa Bikol by Filemon Baturiano, Jr. of Naga City, An Kontemporaryong Bicol: Sarong Pagsirip sa Kulturang Bikolnon by Raizsa-Daphne A. Benosa of Naga City and Agyat kan Modernong Panahon sa Kulturang Bikolnon by Fe Peralta of Pili, Camarines Sur.

Chosen from nearly thirty entries from all over Bicol and other parts of the country, the literary works were recognized last September 13 at the St. Vincent de Paul Auditorium of the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary in Naga City

Judges included Prof. Cyril Conde of Ateneo de Naga University, Prof. Jazmin Llana of Aquinas University, and anthologized poet Ben Escoto.

Winners of the top prizes each received P3,500 and a gold medallion.

Categories included poetry (rawitdawit), fiction (osipon), essay (saysay), playwriting (dula), stories for children (osipon na pan-aki), novel (nobela) and the honor of being named Writer of the Year (Parasurat kan Taon).

To honor the 2010 Tercentenary of the Bikol Devotion to the Lady of Penafrancia, the Patroness of Kabikolan, the Premio Arejola opened a special poetry category for high school and elementary students. Joville Andrea P. Foliente of Ragay, Camarines Sur won the special category.

The literary prize is a partnership between the Naga City Junior Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Arejola Foundation for Social Respondibility.

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