The 18th Iligan National Writers Workshop (INWW) held May 23-27, 2011, capped this year’s edition with the JY Balacuit Literary Awards, the launching of The Poetry of Place, the book of last year’s workshop proceedings, and the workshop’s “resurrection” as a major writing event in the country.

The panelists adjudged as “promising” seven of the works the 17 fellows submitted garnering for these fellows the Balacuit awards and cash prizes.

The winners were: (Play) First Place, “Makahiya,” Bonifacio Javier; Honorable Mention; “Maratabat,” Rogelio Garcia; (Short Story) First Place, “Ang Pagsukod sa Baruganan Pinaagi sa Usa ka Plato’ng Kutkot,” Kei Valmoria-Bughaw; Runner-up, “Eddy,” Michelle Abigail Tan; Runner-up, “Human sa Bagyo” Fr. Jonecito Saguban, TOR; (Poetry) First Place, “Cotabato,” Allen Faw Samsuya; Runner-up, “Aswang,” Gil Montinola.

The Balacuit Awards is supported by the family of the late Vice Chancellor for Research of the MSU-IIT who was a patron of the workshop.

Only the Iligan workshop, one of three institutionalized national writing workshops, publishes its proceedings every year. This year’s edition, The Poetry of Place, edited by Workshop Founder Christine Godinez-Ortega, includes last year’s proceedings that are an invaluable resource to understand the creative writing pedagogies of our writing community.

Bursaries from the Magayoong-Mamaliding families and the MSU-IIT to support next year’s workshop have been pledged to add to three other fellowships already in place: the Manuel Buenafe, Ricardo Jorge S. Caluen, and Boy Abunda bursaries.

Significantly, this 18th workshop is a milestone of sorts as it has gone over the challenges posed in last year’s workshop. (When its main funding support, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, failed to release funds to Iligan because of bureaucratic technicalities, the support of friends from all over kept the workshop alive. Eventually, the victory of supporters over its antagonists allowed the conduct of the workshop, the transition phase to this “resurrection.”)

Panelists this year were: John Iremil Teodor, Merlie M. Alunan, Erlinda Kintanar Alburo, Steven Patrick C. Fernandez, German V. Gervacio, Godinez-Ortega, and this year’s Keynote Speaker, Pearlsha B. Abubakar (INWW, 2002).

The Mindanao Creative Writers Group, Inc. manages the workshop supported by the NCCA, the MSU-IIT, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Multi-media Information and Dissemination Unit.

Topics : english