The Unyon ng Mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (Umpil) has announced the seven recipients of the 2013 Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas: writers Alicia Tan Gonzales (fiction in Hiligaynon); Grace Hsieh-Hsing Lee (poetry in Chinese); Francisco T. Ponce (fiction in Ilocano); Eduardo Jose E. Calasanz (poetry in Filipino); Rolando B. Tolentino (fiction and essay in Filipino); Mario I. Miclat (fiction in English and Filipino); and Floy Quintos (drama in Filipino).
They will be honored in an awarding ceremony at the Leong Hall Auditorium, Ateneo de Manila University, on Aug. 31, 2 p.m., with the Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez and Gawad Pedro Bucaneg recipients, Lina B. Diaz de Rivera and the Baguio Writers Group, respectively.
Gawad Balagtas is awarded to living Filipino writers who have contributed outstanding works in any language currently used in the Philippines; Gawad Benitez to outstanding literature teachers; and Gawad Bucaneg to consistently productive literary organizations. All the previous recipients of the Gawads are invited to attend the whole-day event.
The awards will be the culminating part of a two-day conference that celebrates the Andres Bonifacio sesquicentennial, the “Andres Bonifacio as Writer Conference for Teachers” on Aug. 29-31 at the same venue.
Guest of honor is scholar and sociologist Randolf S. David.
On Aug. 29-30, respected scholars will deliver papers on the aesthetics, theory and praxis, and the influence of Andres Bonifacio’s works during the 1896 Revolution and its aftermath. The main objective of the conference is to put to the fore Andres Bonifacio’s image as organic intellectual and thereby correct misconceptions which are the root causes of his marginalized position in Philippine literary history.
Among the critics and scholars who will lead the three panel discussions include Ateneo de Manila’s Oscar Campomanes, Ma. Luisa Torres Reyes, Jayson P. Jacobo and Edgar Samar; University of the Philippine’s Roland B. Tolentino, Ramon Guillermo and Luna Sicat-Cleto; and De La Salle University’s Shirley Lua and Jose Victor Torres. To further inspire the teachers explore methods of teaching the Bonifacio texts, veteran educators will demo-teach on the hero’s poems and prose works, namely Danilo Francisco M. Reyes (AdMU), Ferdie Lopez (University of Santo Tomas) and Salvador Biglaen (Miriam College).
Poet and broadcaster Lourd de Veyra leads the Writers Forum called “May Protesta pa ba sa Pagsulat?” (Does Protest Still Count in Literature?) with writers Axel Pinpin, Ina Stuart Santiago and Leloy Claudio.
The event is supported by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, Ateneo Institute for Literary Arts and Practices, Kagawaran ng Filipino and the School of Humanities of the Ateneo de Manila University, the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Education.