MANILA (UPDATED) - ABS-CBN made a mark at this year’s Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.
ABS-CBN News reporter and Red Alert host Jeff Canoy bagged the first place in the Essay category of the English division for his long-form piece “Buhay Pa Kami: Dispatches from Marawi,” which is based on his five-month coverage of the Marawi siege.
Canoy was recently named the 2018 Marshall McLuhan Fellow for his journalism work. His Marawi documentary with fellow journalist Chiara Zambrano also won a Gold World Medal at the New York Festivals.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN writer Arden Rod Condez won second place for “John Denver Trending” in the Dulang Pampelikula category of the Filipino division.
In a message after the event, Condez talked about his winning entry: "This is also one of the 10 finalists for next year's Cinemalaya so pretty soon it will be translated into film."
"I am happy that the Palanca Awards appreciates the relevance of this story today," he said. "John Denver Trending" is about a 14-year-old farm boy whose life suddenly changes when a video of him brutally attacking a classmate became viral.
"It is a cautionary tale on the effects of how oftentimes we misuse social media," Condez said.
Canoy and Condez joined 52 other writers who were recognized for writing excellence. Of the 54, 26 are first-time winners. Six are below 20 years old and 14 are in the 21 to 30 age range.
Criselda “Dang” Cecilio-Palanca of The Carlos Palanca Foundation Inc. said she has noticed how much Filipinos patronize book fairs and local authors.
“I think Filipinos are learning to appreciate the value of reading books,” she said when asked if the large group of first-timers is a reflection of the booming local book industry.
Author Alfred “Krip” Yuson, who was conferred the Gawad Dangal ng Lahi and has won 13 Palanca Awards, also talked about the need of writers for confirmation, mentorship, camaraderie, and harmony with fellow artists.
Literature in the time of fake news
In her sponsor’s remarks, Cecilio-Palanca also talked about the proliferation of fake news and alternative facts.
“Why is truth under attack?” she asked, “As time and history hurtle forward, our gathering of writers this evening takes an ever increasing challenge and responsibility.”
She added, “And that is: To write, not just the truth but the enlightened, ultimate purpose of truth. To put forth words not just to enter another provocative idea or opinion in the social media superhighway. To create, not just to dazzle and delight with the novel interplay of wisdom and words. To write, not just to join the distinguished roster of Palanca Award winners through almost 70 decades. The highest call of the wordsmith is to positively transform, transcend, liberate. To pierce through the darkness, noise and confusion of our time with a shaft of light that leads to a greater light.”
Meanwhile, Canoy believes that journalism should also be treated as literature in the form of “slow-paced journalism in a fast-paced environment of disinformation.”
He said he has always thought of himself as a writer first before a television reporter and that it was a childhood dream for him to win a Palanca.
Asked why he wrote his winning piece, he said, “Sa limang buwan kong nag-stay doon (Marawi) naka-ipon ako ng maraming storya. At napili ko yung paraan para malahad yun at mabigyan ng atensyon ulit yung mga napagdadaanan ng mga kapwa Pilipino doon ay sa paraan ng long-form writing.”
(In the five months that I stayed in Marawi, I was able to gather so many stories. And I thought the best way to share them and to call attention to the situation of our fellow Filipinos there is through long-form writing.)
ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Division head Ging Reyes also attended the event.
“It’s such an honor that two ABS-CBN storytellers were awarded in tonight’s Palanca Awards Ceremonies. Lalong lalo naman akong proud kay Jeff Canoy dahil isa sya sa ating pinakamasipag at pinakamagaling na journalist ngayon,” she said. “Ang kanyang mga storya at reports mula sa Marawi ay hindi lamang makatotohanan kundi kumpleto, komprehensibo at nagpakita ng katotohanan na nangyayari kung saan saan sila nagpunta.”
Here's the complete list of 2018 Palanca awardees:
1st Prize Jack Lorenz Acebedo Rivera (Paglaya Mula sa Pagtakas)
2nd Prize Jacob Renz R. Ambrocio (Sino ang Lumansag sa Lunday ni Lola Basyang?)
3rd Prize Maria Jamaica S. Columbres (Gulugod sa Pagsibol ng Binhi)
1st Prize Floriane T. Taruc (Worlds Behind Words)
2nd Prize Jaz Varon Villanueva (Boundless)
3rd Prize Jana Gillian Ang (A Passage to Reading)
1st Prize Eugene C. Soyosa (Gina)
2nd Prize Andrew A. Estacio (Ang Kanonisasyon ng mga Santa Santino)
3rd Prize Luna Sicat Cleto (Tatlong Proposisyon ng Puting Hangin)
MAIKLING KUWENTONG PAMBATA
1st Prize Jerwin Eileen G.C. Tarnate (Ang Higad at ang Paru-paro)
2nd Prize Eugene Y. Evasco (Siyap ng Isang Sisiw)
3rd Prize Early Sol A. Gadong (Maraming-Maraming-Marami)
1st Prize Engr. Gil A. Dulon Jr. (Amoral Ang Siyensya Subalit May Boses Din Ang Mga Maso)
2nd Prize Adelma L. Salvador (Kambak-kambak)
3rd Prize Iza Maria G. Reyes (Hindi Ako Dalisay)
1st Prize Paul Alcoseba Castillo (Luna't Lunas
2nd Prize Mark Anthony S. Angeles (Ang Babae sa Balangiga at iba pang Tula)
3rd Prize Noel Galon (Ang Bata sa Panahon ng Ligalig: Mga Tula sa loob at labas ng Bayan ng San Diego)
TULA PARA SA MGA BATA
1st Prize Paterno B. Baloloy Jr. (Paumanhin ng Kuting)
2nd Prize Will P. Ortiz (Himbing na Kuting at iba pang Tula sa Ilalim ng Araw)
3rd Prize Noel P. Tuazon (Klik Madyik)
DULANG MAY ISANG YUGTO
1st Prize Michelle Josephine G. Rivera (Kaharian ng Pinto)
2nd Prize Maynard Gonzales Manansala (Tao Po)
3rd Prize Allan B. Lopez (River Lethe)
DULANG GANAP ANG HABA
1st Prize WALANG NAGWAGI
2nd Prize WALANG NAGWAGI
3rd Prize Rolin Cadallo Obina (San Nicolas (Ang Sarsuwela))
1st Prize James Ladioray (11 Septembers)
2nd Prize Arden Rod B. Condez (John Denver Trending)
3rd Prize Andrian M. Legaspi (Pandanggo sa Hukay)
SHORT STORY – CEBUANO
1st Prize Januar E. Yap (Baradero)
2nd Prize Dave T. Pregoner (Sunog)
3rd Prize Leoncio P. Deriada (Dili Baya ko Bugoy)
SHORT STORY – HILIGAYNON
1st Prize Early Sol A. Gadong (Sa Lum-ok Sang Imo Suso)
2nd Prize Alice Tan Gonzales (Haya)
3rd Prize Dulce Maria V. Deriada (Candelaria)
SHORT STORY – ILOKANO
1st Prize Ariel Sotelo Tabag (Gasanggasat)
2nd Prize Paul Blanco Zafaralla (Sarming)
3rd Prize Jaime M. Agpalo Jr. (Nakakidem-a-Simumulagat)
1st Prize Joe Bert Lazarte (Describe the Rapture)
2nd Prize Francis Paolo M. Quina (Pigs)
3rd Prize Matthew Jacob F. Ramos (The Final Bullet)
SHORT STORY FOR CHILDREN
1st Prize NO WINNER
2nd Prize NO WINNER
3rd Prize Maryrose Jairene Cruz-Eusebio (I have Two Mothers)
1st Prize Jefry Canoy (Buhay Pa Kami: Dispatches from Marawi)
2nd Prize Ronnie E. Baticulon (Some Days You Can't Save Them All)
3rd Prize Chuck D. Smith (Origin Story)
1st Prize Rodrigo V. Dela Peña Jr. (Self-portrait with Plastic Bag)
2nd Prize Shane Carreon (The Gods who Dissolved under our Tongues and other Poems)
3rd Prize Jose Luis B. Pablo (To Desire in Liturgy)
POETRY WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN
1st Prize Maria Amparo Nolasco Warren (Lola Elina Maria's Savory-Sweet Cookbook of Poetry)
2nd Prize Sigrid Marianne P. Gayangos (Of Monsters, Math and Magic)
3rd Prize Roselle Eloise B. Bunayog (Brave, Undying Warriors)
1st Prize Katrina M. Bonillo (Burying Mamang in Sugar)
2nd Prize Joe Bert Lazarte (Senator Pancho Aunor's Blue Balls of Despair and Disillusionment)
3rd Prize Luciano Sonny O. Valencia (Leavings)
1st Prize Beryl Andrea P. Delicana (Mango Tree)
2nd Prize Patrick James M. Valera (Symphony)
3rd Prize Dominique La Victoria (Toward the Fires of Revolution)