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PIA Press Release

Region 8 fellows bag awards in national writers workshop

By Neil D. Lopido

Tacloban City (June 2) -- Two fellows in Eastern Visayas won the Jimmy Balacuit Literary Award in the recently concluded 16th Iligan National Writers Workshop held at the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) last May 25-29, 2009.

The two siday writers, who both graduated at the UP Tacloban College, were Harold L. Mercurio, from Calbayog City and Jhonil Bajado, from Maydolong, Eastern Samar.

Mercurio landed second place while Bajado placed third in Poetry Category. Cindy A. Velasquez of the University of San Carlos, Cebu City got the first place of the said literary award. Both Mercurio and Bajado received cash prizes and certificates from MSU-IIT and Jimmy Balacuit Foundation to include free registration, travel allowance, and board and lodging.

It Can be recalled that last year's INWW, three fellows from Eastern Visayas were also awardees of the same Literary Award in Poetry and Fiction. These writers were Leonilo Lopido from Dolores, Eastern Samar and Luciano Abia IV from Basey, Samar (Poetry Category) and Efmer Agustin of Abuyog, Leyte (Fiction).

The Iligan National Writers Workshop is one of the three institutionalized writing workshops in the country spearheaded by Prof. Christine Godinez-Ortega through the Mindanao Creative Writers Group, Inc. and MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Ralph Semino Galan, one of the famous writers and alumnus of the INWW, was invited to give the keynote address to the 16th INWW.

Manuscripts were evaluated by Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSsR, C. Godinez-Ortega, Arlene Yandug, Ed P. Ortega, German Gervacio, Steve Fernandez and Zola Gonzalez Macarambon.

The panelists of this year's workshop were Ma. Rosario Cruz Lucero (UP Diliman), Jaime An Lim (FEU), Merlie M. Alunan (UP Tacloban), Victor N. Sugbo (UP Tacloban), Leoncio P. Deriada (UP Iloilo), German V. Gervacio (MSU-IIT), Steven Patrick C. Fernandez (MSU-IIT), Macario Tiu (Ateneo de Zamboanga), Ralph Semino Galan (UST), and Christine Godinez-Ortega (MSU-IIT).

The awarding ceremony was highlighted by the launching of the 15th INWW Proceedings, 'About Us' edited by Prof. Christine Godinez-Ortega and the Special Issue of the Mindanao Forum which combines the keynote lectures from Lumbera to Enriquez edited by Christine Godinez-Ortega and published by MSU-IIT OVCRE. (PIA-8/with Harold Mercurio) [top]

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