The University of Santo Tomas Publishing House was named Publisher of the Year at the 30th National Book Awards last Nov. 12 at the National Museum. Handed out yearly by the Manila Critics Circle and National Book Development Board, the 30th National Book Awards feted the best books published in 2010.
It is UST Publishing House’s (USTPH) third time to be named Publisher of the Year, having previously received the honor in 2003 and 2004. The winners received a cash prize of P15,000 as well as trophies made by award-winning sculptor Salvador Joel Alonday.
Jack Wigley, deputy director of USTPH, accepted the award on behalf of the director, award-winning writer-editor Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo.
He thanked the MCC and NBDB for the award and the Dominican fathers and the UST administration, led by UST Rector Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, OP, for their support of the press. De la Rosa himself had won the National Book Award for history previously.
“The award is a fitting recognition of UST and its Quadricentennial celebration,” Wigley said, referring to the 400th anniversary celebration of Asia’s oldest university. He likewise invited everyone to attend the huge launch early next year of all of the titles of the USTPH’s “400 Books for 400 Years” project, also in connection with the UST Quadricentennial.
The complete list of winners: Best Book in the Social Sciences: “Sanghiyang sa Mundo ng Internet” by Rhoderick Nuncio (Vibal Foundation Inc. and De La Salle University); Best Book on Poetry: “If I Write You This Poem, Will You Make It Fly” by Simeon Dumdum Jr. (Ateneo de Manila University Press); Juan C. Laya Prize for Best Book on Fiction: “Blue Angel, White Shadow: A Novel” by Charlson Ong (UST Publishing House); Isagani R. Cruz Prize for Best Book on Literary Criticism/Literary History: “Banaag at Sikat: Metakritisismo at Antolohiya” by Maria Luisa Torres Reyes (National Commission for Culture and the Arts); Alfonso T. Ongpin Prize for Best Art Book: “The Urian Anthology 1990-1999” introduced, compiled and edited by Nicanor G. Tiongson (University of the Philippines Press and Film Development Council of the Philippines) Best Book on Nonfiction Prose: “Sagad sa Buto: Hospital Diary at Iba Pang Sanaysay” by Romulo P. Baquiran Jr. (UST Publishing House);
Best Book on Leisure: “Celebrations: A Culinary Feast from the Roces-Reyes Table” by Karla Prieto Delgado, Gianna Reyes Montinola, Cristina Roces-Garcia, Ginny Roces-de Guzman, Sylvia Roces-Montilla and Vicky Veloso-Barrera (Anvil Publishing, Inc.); Best Design:“To Give and Not to Count the Cost: Ateneans Inspiring Ateneans 1859-2009” by Rodolfo P. Ang, Nancy Pe-Rodrigo and Maricor E. Baytion, book designed by Felix Mago Miguel (Admu Press); Publisher of the Year: UST Publishing House.
Special citations were given to “Lumbay ng Dila” (Juan C. Laya Prize for Best Novel in a Philippine Language) by Genevieve L. Asenjo (C&E Publishing, Inc.); “The Life and Art of Botong Francisco by DM Reyes, Alice G. Guillermo, Roberto G. Paulino and Ino M. Manalo (Vibal Foundation, Inc.); “Watersheds: Sheltering Life” by Grace Roxas (Wide Angle Media Inc.); and the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation and Anvil Publishing for the Great Men and Women of Asia series.
Founded in 1981, the Manila Critics Circle is a nonprofit, nonstock organization of professional literary critics and newspaper columnists who believe Philippine books deserve much more attention than they usually get from business, media and the general public.
Membership in the Circle is strictly by invitation: a unanimous vote is required before anyone is invited to become a member.
Members are: National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario, Juaniyo Arcellana, Cirilo F. Bautista, Isagani R. Cruz, Ruel S. De Vera, Shirley O. Lua, Resil B. Mojares, Danton Remoto, Soledad S. Reyes and Joel Pablo Salud.
In 2008, the MCC entered into an agreement with the NBDB to institutionalize the National Book Awards with the NBDB to better honor Philippine publishers and authors.