And the WikiPInoy of the Year nominees are....

by Ivy Jean Vibar,

Posted at Dec 02 2011 06:49 PM | Updated as of Dec 03 2011 02:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines - So-called muckrackers, a musician, an artist, a historian and online advocates have been nominated for an award honoring the empowerment of the public via open information.

Commission on Audit (COA) commissioner Heidi Mendoza and the late broadcast journalist Gerry Ortega have been named candidates for WikiPinoy of the Year, because of their drive to expose wrongdoings in government and the business sector.

Other nominees are comics artist Manix Abrera, political prisoner Ericson Acosta, Fil-Canadian YouTube sensation Mikey Bustos, historian Michael Charleston Chua, and musician and commentator Lourd de Veyra. 

Groups vying for the award include the people behind, Facebook page SEA Games 2011: Team Philippines News Updates, and

WikiPinoy of the Year is given by locally-based online encyclopedia WikiPilipinas every year to people or groups who empower the public using new media.

“Instead of being decided by the WikiPilipinas editorial board, this year’s winner will be decided by an online poll,” WikiPilipinas Project Lead Merck Maguddayao said. “Also, the nominees come from different fields…and so are able to use different media in spreading their message.”

Past recipients of the award include Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism Executive Director Malou Mangahas, political pundit Manuel L. Quezon III, and Filipino bloggers.

What needs to be said, via creative means

Meanwhile, LIKHAAN: University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing (UPICW) has named the finalists for the 11th Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award.

The award, former UPICW director Vim Nadera said, is important in advocating freedom of speech in the Philippines because it encourages young writers to say what needs to be said via creative means.

“It is [also] the country’s only award for Best First Book,” Nadera said in an online interview.

The award is given each year by UPICW and the Madrigal-Gonzalez family to encourage writers in Filipino or English who have published their first works to continue writing. This year’s judges are award-winning novelist Charlson Ong, poet DM Reyes and poet-critic J. Neil Garcia.

Published between 2009 and 2010, finalists include:

  • Bird Lands, River Nights and Other Melancholies by Jose Marte Abueg (UP Press)
  • And the Geek Shall Inherit the Earth by Carljoe Javier (Milflores Publishing)
  • Butterfly People by Robin Lim (Anvil Publishing)
  • Different Countries by Clarissa Militante (Anvil Publishing)
  • The Highest Hiding Place by Lawrence Ypil (Ateneo de Manila University Press)