2nd Prize for One Act Play in English, 64th Palanca AwardsPosted: September 11, 2014
I won 2nd place for One Act Play in English in this year’s Palanca awards. Yes, I’m a Palanca awardee now.
I have never met the judges before, and I doubt any of them know who I am. But I am deeply thankful for the honour. I look forward to more Palancas in the future (I want a medal!)
No, I wasn’t able to attend the award ceremony. Not enough time and money.
Following the official announcement, congratulations from everybody poured in, and I thank them all for their good wishes. Special mention is to be made of actor Bamboo Ranada, who has been a fan of the play since he first read it, of young writer ate Hannah Enanoria, who went out of her way to make a statement on Facebook even though she couldn’t find me there anymore, and of poet Arkay Timonera and ballerina Marya Inocencio, who served to disseminate the news when I tried to keep it as quiet as I could (this blog post was inevitable because of them).
Silliman has also warmly received it. An article on the Weekly Sillimanian, featuring an interview with me, was lead story in one issue, and some MassCom Students interviewed me on a local TV station about it. I will make the article and interview available here when I get it.
My humble old organization in Ateneo de Davao, the Society of Ateneo Literature and English Majors (SALEM), had also announced their congratulations, and I thank them for it.
Palanca Hall of Famer Krip Yuson also mentioned me, among other winners, in his column on Philippine Star, and it was nice of him to remember me.
Perhaps most warmly, my mother proceeded to call me ‘Palanca awardee’ many days after hearing the news (she was the first to find out, even before I knew it, because she got the official letter in Davao while I was here in Dumaguete).
The play that won, ‘Killing the Issue,’ is my most successful work so far – it got me into Iyas in 2011 (in its original godawful Tagalog version) then to Silliman in 2012 (in its original godawful English version).
I wrote it when I was in third year college, just nineteen, and it was conceived on a jeepney going to school. Inspired by the Maguindanao Massacre, the play nevertheless tries to look at a reality true for all Philippine politics. I shall make it available here on this blog as soon as the Palanca Foundation uploads it online.
After years of slash and burn, it’s finally time to leave it alone.
But ultimate fulfillment for me would be if I hear that my hometown of Kidapawan is proud of me. I am a fan of the poet Rita Gadi, and if I’m not mistaken I’m only the second Palanca awardee the city has produced. But maybe before me, Kidapawan ought to recognize and celebrate her first. Ah, how our love for our hometowns is unrequited.