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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Winners of 2008 NCCA Writers Prize Bared

Five Filipino writers will be awarded cash to be able to finish their projects in fiction, essay, biography and poetry by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), led by its chairman Dr. Vilma Labrador and executive director Cecile Guidote Alvarez, through its 2007 NCCA Writers’ Prize, one of the country’s top literary awards.

Ed Maranan, Elyrah Loyola Salanga, Telesforo Sungkit, Jr., Kristian Sendon Cordero and Rosario Cruz-Lucero will be honored with a trophy, a certificate and the first tranche of P50,000 each at the awarding ceremony on July 25, 2008, at the lobby of the NCCA Building in Intramuros at 6 p.m.

In the essay in English category, Maranan’s The Country in the Heart: A Writer’s Times and Travels is chosen. He is a veteran fictionist, poet, activist and teacher.

A professor at the University of the Philippines, 28-year-old Elyrah Loyola Salanga wins in the literary biography category. Her project, Alfrredo Navarro Salanga: Sa Mga Pahina at Ibang Salaysay, will tell about his father, the great late writer Alfredo Navarro Salanga. Elyrah has already won a Carlos Palanca Award for essay in 2006.

In the novel in Cebuano category, the prize goes to Telesforo Sungkit, Jr., who is now based in Laguna but hails from Bukidnon, for his project Mga Gapnod sa Kamad-an.

Kristian S. Cordero wins in the poetry in Bicolano category for his project Segunda Mano. Hailing from Iriga City, Cordero teaches at the Ateneo de Naga University, is author of two collections of poetry and has won several awards including a Palanca Award for short story and the Madrigal-Gonzales Best First Book Award in 2006.

Rosario Cruz-Lucero, prominent writer, critic, professor at the University of the Philippines and Palanca awardee, wins in the short story in English category for her Papa’s Field and Other Stories of the Disappeared.

There are no winners in the drama category in any of the Panay languages.

The winners will be given a grant of P250,000.00 gross each to assist them during the writing stage of the project and will be given in four tranches. The grant is good for one year, after which a manuscript of the writing project will be submitted to the NCCA for possible publication.

The biennial award was spearheaded by National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario when he was executive director of the NCCA. This is in line with NCCA’s mission to “encourage the continuing development of a pluralistic culture by the people themselves,” will be creating the opportunity to have a direct hand in the development of Filipino literature. With this grant, the NCCA Writers’ Prize, writers will be freed from the demands of their work and shall be able to focus on the writing of the project for one year.

For the awarding ceremony on July 25, Dr. Ricardo de Ungria, commissioner of the Subcommission on the Arts and head of the Committee on Literary Arts, will be the guest speaker. The NCCA is at the 635 General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila.

For details, contact the NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office at 527-5529 / 527-2192 loc. 612-615.

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A Tao 道 Sign

Le poèt de Pangasinan

Santiago B. Villafania, a bilingual Filipino poet who writes in English and in his native language of Pangasinan, is the author of poetry collections Bonsaic Verses (2012), Pinabli and Other Poems (2012), Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles (2007), and Balikas na Caboloan (Voices from Caboloan, 2005) published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under its UBOD New Authors Series. He has been published in several countries and translated into several languages. Villafania is one of the 11 Outstanding Pangasinan conferred with the 2010 ASNA Award for the Arts and Culture (literature) during the first Agew na Pangasinan and also the 430th Foundation Day of the province on April 2010. He is a member of Philippine PEN writes a regular weekly column for the Sunday Punch.

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A collection of ghazals in Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com


A collection of haiku, senryu, tanka, haiga, and other poems in English and Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com


“Santiago Villafania is a searcher with a seemingly insatiable curiosity and endurance. His quest has brought him to explore world poetry from points East and West. He is no stranger to sophisticated verse forms such the Sapphic strophe nor to the diverse permutations of the Japanese haiku. But he is not a formalist, he has daringly explored Asian and Western cultures in a very personal way and writes his mind with a daring, invigorating, aesthetically pleasing ease. In his poetry Villafania displays not only a breadth, but it feels very much like a breath of fresh air.” – Ute Margaret Saine, poet, critic, translator, past president of PEN Orange County and the former editor of the California Poetry Quarterly

“Villafania’s emergence as a poet is a fine moment to celebrate. Another voice from the regions augurs a richer body of writing that Filipinos can hold up as a mirror of our native culture.” – Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature

The Beloved Idiom | A Reading of Villafania’s ‘Pinabli & other poems’ by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo


LCCN.: 2010338612

Order your copy now at CreateSpace or Amazon.com :)

"The publication of Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles by Santiago B. Villafania should be a source of rejoicing for readers of regional literatures. This second book by Pangasinan's leading poet today is impressive in both form and substance. Villafania has created 300 sonnets and 50 villanelles in his own language that attempt to reflect the primacy of native culture and return the poet to the central stage of social life."A Boost to Pangasinan Literature from Breaking Signs by Cirilo F. Bautista (Philippine Panorama, 16 Dec. 2007, pp.25-26)

"Villafania is not only a visionary poet, he is a linguistic philosopher who codifies the origin of language and culture, dissects the myths and the common beliefs of the people against the urban legends, juxtaposes the literary tradition against the modern influences by dialectically infusing them in his poetic revelation of truth."Poetic Revelation in Language and Culture by Danny C. Sillada (Manila Bulletin, 12 May 2008, pp. F1-F2)

Photos: Book Launching at the Pearl Manila Hotel, 5 Feb. 2008


"Santiago Villafania's Balikas ed Caboloan certainly has reinvigorated the anlong tradition of Pangasinan that for a long period of time suffered silence from the hands of writers more attuned to English writing. Characteristically anacbanua, Villafania's poetry echoes his predecessors and presages a promising era for young writers in Pangasinan." – Dr. Marot Nelmida-Flores

Thesis: Bilay ed Caboloan - Reconfiguration of Space using a New Historicist Lens by Ayesah Tecson

from Pangasinan 'Anlong': Oral tradition into the 21st century published in Manila Times / Sunday Magazine, March 13 & 20, 2011.

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In Many Tongues

Translations of Sonnet To A Pilgrim Soul in different languages.

Translations of Erolalia in German, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian, and Hindi language. And here is the 1st version of the poem published in The Sunday Times (Manila Times, 11.23.2003).

Six of my poems translated into Arabic by Prof. Abdul-Settar Abdul-Latif (English Dept., College of Education, University of Basrah, Iraq) and have been published in TEXT - the Cultural Monthly Journal, Issue No.13

Swansong of the sea with translations in Italian, Arabic, Hindi, and Spanish.

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