Vernacular writers win top honors in Balacuit Literary Awards

The five winners of this year’s 12th Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Awards wrote in the various regional languages. There were no winners for the English Division and none for the Category on Drama.

The Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Awards (JYB awards) is given during the culminating program of the Iligan National Workshop (INWW). This year, the culminating program was held on May 30, 2014 at Fontina.

Winners of the 12th Jimmy
 Y. Balacuit Literary Awards
Winners of the 12th Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Awards with Dean Rosalinda C. Balacuit, Dr. Jimmy C. Balacuit, Jr. and Dr. Christine Godinez Ortega, Workshop Director

Karen Y. Ramos, an AB Filipino major of the College of Arts & Social Sciences (CASS) won first prize in the JYB awards. Held annually since 2005, the JYB awards is given to the INWW writing fellows who exhibit the most potential as writers in the various categories: poetry, fiction, drama in English, Filipino, Sebuano, Waray, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, Chabacano, Higaunon and in Maranao. Panelists choose the winning entries from the manuscripts submitted by the writing fellows based on excellence in language use, craftsmanship, texture and presentation.

Ramos’s short story in Filipino entitled “Cinema 1 Now Showing… M-Hangin (Pinakadabest na kwento)” got the nod of all the panelists because of its inventiveness, humor and use of language. Second place went to Manuel M. Avenido, Jr. of Cebu City for his short story in Sebuano, “Mga Babaye sa Baylehan”and third place was won by Early Sol A. Gadong of Iloilo City with her short story in Hiligaynon, “Kon Indi Man Matulugan.”

The first prize for poetry went to Ela Mae G. Salazar, an undergraduate student from the Leyte Normal University for her poem in Waray entitled, “Pagkaturog” while second place went to the Maranao poem, “Bituwanen” (Divorcee) by Sorhaila L. Latip-Yusoph, Chair of the Department of English of the Mindanao State University main campus. There was no third prize for poetry and no prizes were given to the category on drama.

The Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary award is named after the late Dr. Jimmy Y. Balacuit, former Vice Chancellor for Research & Extension who supported the INWW during its inception in 1994. His widow, Dean Rosalinda C. Balacuit and children continue to sponsor the literary awards every year since 2002 during the 9th INWW.

The INWW, funded by the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) and the MSU-IIT is the only writers workshop in the country that emphasizes the regional languages and their literatures, imposes a quota of five writers each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and publishes its proceedings every year.

This year, the INWW received the first Gumercindo Rafanan Writing Fellowship for Sebuano writer bringing the total to four writing fellowships: the Boy Abunda Writing Fellowship for writers from Samar and Leyte; the Manuel E. Buenafe Writing Fellowship for any Muslim, Lumad or Christian writer from Mindanao; and, the Ricardo Jorge S. Caluen Writing Fellowship for a writer from Iligan City or Lanao del Norte. Organizers hope to tap more individuals who will sponsor INWW writing fellows in the future. CGO for OC OPI

Souvenir photo during the opening of the 21st Iligan National Writers Workshop at the Mini Theatre
Souvenir photo during the opening of the 21st Iligan National Writers Workshop at the Mini Theatre

Topics : inww  literary  awards