Jessrel Escaran Gilbuena, writing fellow for Poetry in Sebuano, Diandra-Ditma Aguam Macarambon, writing fellow for Fiction in English and Sheryl Love Sumugat, writing fellow for the Play in Filipino led six winners in the 12th Annual Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Awards during the closing program of the 19th Iligan National Writers Workshop held at the Elena Tower Inn on May 18, 2012.

Gilbuena of the Cebu Normal University won first place for his poem, “Buot.” Macarambon, a faculty member of the Mindanao State University Main Campus won for her short story, “The Right Choice” while Sumugat, a graduate of the MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology won for her play in Filipino, “Banua”.

The other winners were: Sittie Urdoja Madale Magayoong of Marawi City, Honorable mention for her poem in M’ranao, “Ariko”; and Honorable mentions for the short story were Norman Darap of the University of San Agustin, Iloilo for his short story in Kinaray-a entitled “Bangkil” and Jesus Insilada of West Visayas State University for his short story in Hiligaynon entitled “Panubok Sa Pula nga Pulos”.

The cash awards and certificates were handed to winners by Dr. Jimmy C. Balacuit, Jr. and his wife Julie, assisted by Christine Godinez-Ortega.

Other highlights during the closing program included the book launching of the 18th Proceedings of the 18th INWW (2011) entitled A Literary Mind: Holding Up in a Pop Culture edited by Godinez-Ortega and published by the MSU-IIT OVCRE (2012). This was followed by the poetry reading from the Proceedings by this year’s writing fellows.

This year’s workshop also had many firsts. It was the first time that the workshop accepted entries in M’ranao apart from the regular entries in English, Filipino, Sebuano, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a. But unlike the previous years, there was no entry in Chabacano this year.

The rest of the 19th Iligan workshop writing fellows were: Tomas Agulto, Pia Montalban, Marvin Mejaro, Glenn Diaz, Philip Kimpo, Jenelyn Garcia, Francis Senolos, Aurea Lynne Paz, Teomie Nale, Jr., Jermafe Kae Prias, Jeffrey Javier, and Iryne Kaamino while the panelists were: Merlie M. Alunan, Leoncio P. Deriada, Antonio R. Enriquez, J. Neil C. Garcia, Godinez-Ortega, Steven Patrick Fernandez, German V. Gervacio, John Iremil E. Teodoro, Macario D. Tiu and the keynote speaker, Victor N. Sugbo.

Next year during the 20th Iligan workshop, a change of format in the workshop and an anthology of works by its alumni and a fund-raising strategy will be launched aside from the homecoming program and dinner for its alumni.

The Iligan workshop is an annual event hosted by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Extension’s Multi-Media Information & Dissemination Unit (OVCRE-MMIDU) and the Mindanao Creative Writers Group. It is funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the MSU-IIT Office of the Chancellor, the OVCRE and sponsors of four writing fellows, the Ricardo Jorge S. Caluen Bursary for Writing, Manuel E. Buenafe Writing Fellowship, Boy Abunda Writing Fellowship and the Bai Zaima Macalinding Mother and Child Foundation.

Topics : inww