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PIA Press Release

Tricycle driver wins national award on poetry

By Neil D. Lopido

Tacloban City (1 June) -- Nemesio "Totoy" Baldesco, a tricycle "padyak" driver from Calbayog City, won the Jimmy Y. Balacuit Special Award on Poetry in the just concluded 17th Iligan National Writers Workshop held at the Mindanao State University, Iligan City on May 23-28, 2010.

According to Harold Mercurio, Lamiraw Creative Writing Workshop Coordinator of the Northwest Samar State University in Calbayog City, Baldesco was given with such meritorious award by the panel of critics from big universities in the country for his craftsmanship in his poem "Sikad" which talks about the life of a tricycle driver who takes pain in earning money just to feed his family and send his children to school.

Mercurio informed PIA that the panel of critics who granted the said award were: Antonio Enriquez (Ateneo de Zamboanga), Leoncio P. Deriada (UP Iloilo), Merlie M. Alunan (UP Tacloban), Victor N. Sugbo (UP Tacloban), German V. Gervacio (MSU-IIT), Steven P.C. Fernandez (MSU-IIT), this year?s keynote lecturer, Lawrence Ypil (Ateneo de Manila University), and workshop director, Christine Godinez-Ortega (MSU-IIT).

Baldesco was the only fellow from Eastern Visayas. Along with him were: Bernardo Miguel from Calabanga, Camarines Sur; Paul A. Castillo from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila; Roberto Klemente R. Timonera from MSU-IIT, Iligan City; Gratian Paul R. Tidor, MSU-IIT, Dipolog City; Herminigildo M. Dico, MSU-IIT, Dumingog, Zamboanga del Sur; Jona B. Bering from the University of San Carlos, Cebu City; Jayson E. Parba, Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro City; Kyra Camille C. Ballesteros, Ateneo de Manila University, Taytay, Rizal; Romulo P. Pena, UP Diliman, Quezon City; Reynaldo A. Villaruz, Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion, Roxas City; and Anili F. Butcon, Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City.

Mercurio gladly informed also that the said writer has already received numerous awards from various award-giving bodies. In Eastern Visayas for example, the Ibabao Arts Council of Calbayog bestowed unto him the Poet Laureate Award of Calbayog in 2008 during the Siday sa Kahanginan Poetry and the Provincial Government of Samar proclaimed him Champion in the Oral Siday Competition held in 2004 during the Samar Day Celebration. While at the national scene, Baldesco received a Gantimpalang Ani Award for Poetry in 1994 from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and in 2007 the Gawad Komisyon Karangalang Banggit for Poetry by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF).

As a traditional writer in Waray, Baldesco updated himself in contemporary writing through his active involvement in the annual Lamiraw Regional Creative Writing Workshop held in Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU). His attendance in the Iligan workshop this year is a big leap in broadening his knowledge in poetry and literary criticism, especially in honing his craftsmanship, Mercurio said.

Baldesco, 55, lives in Brgy. Matobato in Calbayog City, together with his writer-wife Ana and his children who are also artists in their respective fields. (PIA-8/Lamiraw) [top]

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