Held in Subic Freeport Zone in February, the 2014 Taboan Literary Festival awarded five writers the coveted Writers’ Prize.
A biennial award given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the prize included cash prizes and a one-year off from work to complete the manuscript.
This year’s awardees were Ariel Tabag (Novel, Ilokano language), Joselito Delos Reyes (Short Story, Filipino language), Hope Sabanpan-Yu (Essay, Cebuano language), Rafael Banzuela, Jr. (Poetry, Bikolano language) and Jeremy Alexandre Evardone (Drama, Waray language).
Taboan (a Visayan word for “marketplace) is organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), through the National Committee on Literary Arts, for the National Arts Month every February.
Meet the winners
Tabag, fellow of the 2002 the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop, has earned awards for his fiction and poetry in Ilokano and Filipino. His publications include Karapote (Curion) (2011, anthology of Ilokano short stories), Ay, Ni Reberen!
(OMG, Reverend!) (2013, short novel), and Samtoy (2011, Filipino translation of Ilokano short stories). His novel Kabessat Ti Bagis won the novel category in Ilokano Language in the NCCA Writers’ Prize.
A fellow of the University of the Santo Tomas Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies, Delos Reyes was named 2013 Makata ng Taon, an award given by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. His entry, “Kuma-Camanava: Mga Kwento sa Gawi Namin,” was awarded the Writers’ Prize for Short Story Category in Filipino Language.
Sabanpan-Yu, director of the Cebuano Studies Center, is author of four collections of poetry: “Paglaum” (2000), “Ang Tingog ni Maria” (2001), “Beads” (2002) and “Mga Dad-onon sa Biyahe” (2004). She won the Essay Category for the NCCA Writers’ Prize for her entry, “Naglangoy sa Langit.”
Meanwhile, Banzuela writes rawit-dawit (poetry) in Albay-Bikol to reflect on the Albayano values, attitudes, and introspection on his own stories and history perchance to excite some kind of pride of culture and time. NCCA awarded him the Writers’ Prize for his poem, “Dios Makina,” which is written in Bikolano.
A native of Palapag, Northern Samar, Evardone, a writer of poetry and fiction, won the NCCA Writers’ Prize for the Drama Category in Waray Language for his piece, “Epiko ni Sumuroy.”