Palanca winners recognized after two-year hiatus

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Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson

Filipino writers, poets, and playwrights play an important role in countering and correcting falsehoods running rampant in an extremely polarized public sphere, said Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson, guest of honor at the 70th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature awarding ceremony. 

“Tiyakin natin na ang ating isinasalaysay, bagaman fiction, ay hango sa maingat at malalim na pananaliksik at laging ginagabayan ng kamalayang Pilipino na makatao (Let’s make sure that what we narrate, although fiction, is based on careful and deep research and always guided by Philippine human consciousness),” said Mr. Tiongson in his speech at the Marquis Events Place in Bonifacio Global City on Wednesday night. 

A professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines (UP) Film Institute and former dean of the UP Diliman College of Mass Communication, Mr. Tiongson said Darryl Yap’s 2022 film Maid in Malacañang is a prime example of what writers must fight against. 

With a story that manipulates people’s emotions, the controversial film about the Marcoses should be fact-checked and received with a critical mind, he said. 

HIATUSAfter a two-year hiatus, the Palanca Awards resumed its annual ceremony recognizing Filipinos who exhibit the gold standard in writing excellence. Its committee received 1,455 entries but awarded only 59 writers, of which 28 are first-time awardees. 

The total number of writing categories awarded was 22, as the Novel and Nobela categories were open this year. These categories are open only every two years.  

Lawyer-educator Atty. Raymundo T. Pandan, Jr., was awarded the Novel category grand prize for Bittersweetland, described as “a novel for Negros, for its people, for the crop which sustains us and which we must sustain to endure, also to endure our bittersweet life.” 

Meanwhile, filmmaker-musician Khavn dela Cruz emerged as grand prize winner in the Nobela category for ANTIMARCOS, which is “a base for the comprehensive exploration of the limits of the Filipino language, employing a myriad of tones and styles towards a destructive synthesis of genres, formulas, and taboos,” based on the novel’s synopsis. 

In the Kabataan Division, the youngest winners are twelve-year-old twin sisters Glorious Zavannah Exylin C. Alesna and Glorious Zahara Exylin C. Alesna, who took home the first prizes for the Filipino and English essay categories respectively. 

“In the 70th year of this tradition, may our so-called tribe or community of exemplary writers continue to provide lessons and vigorous examples of nation-building,” said Criselda Cecilio-Palanca, in a speech representing the family behind the award. 

Established in 1950 in memory of Don Carlos Palanca Sr., the Palanca Awards aims to develop Philippine literature by providing incentives for writers, serve as a treasury of Philippine literary gems, and assist in their dissemination. — Brontë H. Lacsamana

Here is the complete list of winners at the 70th Palanca Awards: 


Grand Prize — ANTIMARCOS by Khavn 
Special Prize — Teorya ng Unang Panahon by Edgar Calabia Samar 

1st prize — “Ang Value ng X Kapag Choppy si Mam” by Charmaine M. Lasar 
2nd Prize — “Barangay Alitaptap” by Abegail E. Pariente 
3rd Prize — “Kung sa Bawat Pagtawag ay Pagtawid sa Dagat” by Alec Joshua B. Paradeza 

1st prize — “Si VeRaptor1 Laban kay Trolakuz” by Mark Norman S. Boquiren
2nd Prize — “Balong Batsit, ang Bidang Bulilit at Bayaning Bulinggit” by Wilfredo Farrales Sarangaya
3rd Prize — “Mirasol para kay Lola Sol” by Benedick N. Damaso

1st prize — “Kung Magkapalad Ka’t Mangmang” by Venice Kayla Dacanay Delica
2nd Prize — “Tatlong Pancit Canton” by Jhon Lester P. Sandigan
3rd Prize — “Isang Dekadang Kontrata sa Piling ng mga Mikrobyo” by Nathaniel R. Alcantara

1st prize — “Uyayi ng mga Patay na Buwan” by Ralph Lorenz G. Fonte, M.D.
2nd Prize — “Pintula” by Enrique S. Villasis
3rd Prize — “Mga Anino sa Guho at iba pang mga tula” by Sonny C. Sendon

1st prize — “Tula, Tula, Paano ka Ginawa?” by Christian R. Vallez 
2nd Prize — “Ale Bangbang” by Rebecca T. Anonuevo 
3rd Prize — “Mga Pahina sa Alaala ng Nanay” by Ninia H. dela Cruz

1st prize — Punks Not Dead by Andrew Bonifacio L. Clete 
2nd Prize — Dance of the Foolies by Layeta P. Bucoy 
3rd Prize — Huling Haraya nina Ischia at Emeteria by Ryan Machado

1st prize — Mga Silid ng Unos: Tomo Uno by Joshua Lim So 
2nd Prize — Anak Datu by Rodolfo C. Vera 
3rd Prize — Badung by Steven Prince C. Fernandez

1st prize — Amoy Pulbos by Avelino Mark C. Balmes, Jr. 
2nd Prize — DOS by Noreen Besmar Capili 
3rd Prize — Ang Pananalangin sa Getsemani by Ehdison M. Dimen 


Grand Prize — Bittersweetland by Raymundo T. Pandan, Jr. 
Special Prize — 1762 by Alvin Dela Serna Lopez 

1st prize — “Ceferina in Apartment 2G” by Ian Rosales Casocot 
2nd Prize — “Ardor” by Exie Abola 
3rd Prize — “The Money Changer” by Hammed Bolotaolo 

1st prize — NO WINNER 
2nd Prize — “Cloud Keeper” by Elyrah L. Salanga-Torralba
3rd Prize — “My Grandma who lives in Half a House” by Heather Ann Ferrer Pulido 

1st prize — “Letter from Tawi-Tawi” by Atom Araullo 
2nd Prize — “Filipino Millennial Monomyth” by Michaela Sarah De Leon 
3rd Prize — “The Helmsman’s Daughter” by Alexandra Francesca A. Bichara

1st prize — “Bol-anon Prodigal” by Ramil Digal Gulle 
2nd Prize — “A Few Dawns from now, A Sunfish” by Soleil David 
3rd Prize — “The Blueline by Lawrence” Anthony R. Bernabe 

1st prize — “An Empty Chair in the Corner” by Elyrah L. Salanga-Torralba 
2nd Prize — “Picnic, Symphony and other concepts a 4th Grader needs to know” by Peter Solis Nery 
3rd Prize — NO WINNER

1st prize — The Cave Dwellers by Ronald S. Covar 
2nd Prize — Salvaged Eman by Bonifacio P. Ilagan 
3rd Prize — Agencia Feliz by Maria Kristine B. Roxas-Miller

1st prize — Orgullo Compound by Layeta P. Bucoy 
2nd Prize — Black Bordello by Jay Mariano Crisostomo IV 
3rd Prize — The Lost Filipino Patriots of America by Dustin Edward D. Celestino 


1st prize — “Barang” by Noel P. Tuazon 
2nd Prize — “Ikigai” by Manu Avenido 
3rd Prize — “John Wayne ug ang Goldfish kong Inahan” by Januar E. Yap 

1st prize — “Ang Macatol Kag Ang ‘Queen of Relief’” by Peter Solis Nery 
2nd Prize — “Malipayon nga Katapusan” by Early Sol A. Gadong 
3rd Prize — “Esperanza” by Ritchie D. Pagunsan

1st prize — “Ti Kimat Ken Ti Silag” by Oswald Ancheta Valente 
2nd Prize — “Ti Ubing” by Remedios S. Tabelisma-Aguillon 
3rd Prize — “Karton” by Rodolfo D. Agatep Jr. 


1st prize — “Pamimintana” by Glorious Zavannah Exylin C. Alesna 
2nd Prize — “Ang Larong Naipanalo Ko” by Hansly Kendrich C. Saw 
3rd Prize — “Mga Bantas ang Nagsilbi kong Guro” by John Clarence D. Espedido 

1st prize — “Home is a Bowl of Warm Soup” by Glorious Zahara Exylin C. Alesna 
2nd Prize — “Covid-19 is My Alter Ego” by Jenine A. Santos 
3rd Prize — “The Social Pandemic” by Gavin Micah T. Herrera 

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