Prolific scholar-writer Florentino Hornedo and the late polyglot poetic genius Federico Licsi Espino Jr. will receive this year’s Parangal Hagbong for Lifetime Achievement in Letters from the Varsitarian, the 83-year-old official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), during the 27th Gawad Ustetika student literary awards on Dec. 3 at the Quadricentennial Pavillion (formerly UST Sports Complex).
Parangal Hagbong is the highlight of the awards nights of Ustetika, the longest-running campus literary contest in the country, which is organized by the Varsitarian.
It is given to UST alumni who have contributed greatly to Philippine literature. Previous recipients include National Artists Nick Joaquin, Bienvenido Lumbera, Francisco Sionil José, Rolando Tinio and J. Elizalde Navarro (for his art criticism); as well as Zeneida Amador, Lilia Amansec, Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta, Cirilo Bautista.
An award-winning writer and educator, Hornedo has received several Palanca Awards for his essays. In recognition of his “service to culture, arts and community,” Hornedo was conferred the Pilak Award by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2004.
He was Most Outstanding Thomasian Alumnus in the Arts and Humanities in 2006. He has also received the Catholic Authors Award; National Book Award; Batanes Provincial Achievement Recognition for Cultural and Social Research; and Recognition Award for Social Research from the UST College of Education Alumni Association.
Espino, who passed away early this year, was a multi-awarded poet in English, Tagalog, Spanish and other Philippine languages. Aside from several Palanca Awards, he received the Premio de Poesia Ramon de Basterra in Bilbao, Spain; Fernando Ma. Guerrero Award and Premio Zobel in 1978; and Premio de la Literatura in 1979.