A selection of winning books: “Press Freedom Under Siege” edited by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo (Journalism), “The Philippines is Not a Small Country” by Gideon Lasco (Essays in English), “Ruta” by Benilda S. Santos (Poetry in Filipino), “Tarantadong Kalbo Volume 1” by Kevin Eric Raymundo (Graphic Literature), “A Watercolor Journey” by Claude Tayag, design by Miguel Mari (Best Design).
Ateneo Press is publisher of the year at 39th Nat’l Book Awards
Ateneo de Manila University Press dominated the 39th National Book Awards, with eight titles winning among their 29 finalists, the most of any publisher. It is also Ateneo Press’ eighth time to be named Publisher of the Year, a record-setting feat.
Recognizing books published by Philippine publishers in 2019 and 2020, the awards are presented by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Manila Critics Circle (MCC) to cite the best books published the previous year, but no awards were given in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards were announced in a virtual ceremony on July 30. This is the fourth straight awards that Ateneo Press has been named publisher of the year. In her prerecorded acceptance speech, Ateneo Press director Karina Bolasco noted how this signal honor was a fortuitous one, coming in the press’ 50th anniversary year.
She thanked all the authors and collaborators over the past five decades who “trusted us with their best and finest, of good heart and critical mind, in stimulating content and exacting form, in remarkable words that without fail shape the truth, the purpose and the meaning of life for themselves and countless others. For the sake of our many communities that form our nation, please continue to immerse, engage, analyze, speak out, document, appreciate, resist, imagine, liberate and love, for that is how books are created, that is how books are read.”
Two Inquirer columnists were among the winners. “Press Freedom Under Siege: Reportage that Challenged the Marcos Dictatorship,” edited by Ma. Ceres Doyo and published by the University of the Philippines Press, was named Best Book in Journalism.
“The stories still cry out and resonate with our present national situation. May our young journalists derive inspiration from the authors and from the stories especially when they must speak truth to power,” Doyo said in her acceptance speech.
Category judge Marites Dañguilan Vitug said the book exemplified “the courage that shone brightly during this dark period in our history” and “is a timely reminder to us all as, decades later, we witness history being whitewashed.”
“The Philippines is Not a Small Country” by Gideon Lasco, published by Ateneo Press, was named Best Book of Essays in English. In his speech, Lasco, who is a medical doctor and an anthropologist, thanked the young Filipinos for whom he wrote this book, adding, “I will take this award as an inspiration to continue writing.”
In his citation, category judge Jose Wendell P. Capili said the book “stuns from its uniquely millennial vantage point” and “in many ways, these essays are renewed manifestations of what we have become as Filipinos.”
Here are the winners:
Best Novel in English: “Tiempo Muerto: A Novel” by Caroline S. Hau (Ateneo de Manila University Press); Best Novel in Filipino: “Topograpiya ng Lumbay: Imus Novel 6” by RM Topacio-Aplaon (University of the Philippines Press); National Artist Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for Best Book of Short Fiction in English: “Voyager and Other Fictions: The Collected Stories of Jose Dalisay” by Jose Dalisay Jr. (Anvil Publishing, Inc.); Gerardo P. Cabochan Prize for Best Book of Short Fiction in Filipino: “The Next Great Tagalog Novel at Iba Pang Kuwento” by Allan N. Derain (Ateneo Press);
Pablo A. Tan Prize for Best Book of Nonfiction Prose in English: “Biyaheng Pinoy: A Mindanao Travelogue” by Edilberto N. Alegre (Ateneo Press); Best Book of Nonfiction Prose in Filipino: “Balager” by Emmanuel T. Barrameda (Isang Balangay Media Productions); Best Book of Essays in English: “The Philippines Is Not a Small Country” by Gideon Lasco (Ateneo Press);
Best Anthology in English: “Mindanao Harvest 4” edited by Jaime An Lim, Christine F. Godinez-Ortega, Ricardo M. De Ungria (Far Eastern University Publications); Best Book of Drama: “Salvador/Javier at Iba Pang Dula” by Lito Casaje (UP Press) and “Two Women as Specters of History: Lakambini and Indigo Child” by Rody Vera (Ateneo Press; Best Book of Literary Criticism in English: “Sensing Manila” by Gary Devilles (Ateneo Press); Best Book of Literary Criticism in Filipino: “Faustino Aguilar: Kapangyarihan, Kamalayan, Kasaysayan” by Epifanio San Juan Jr. (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House);
Philippine Literary Arts Council Best Book of Poetry in English: “When Bridges Are Down, Mountains Too Far: New Poems” by Gémino H. Abad (UP Press) and “We Shall Write Love Poems Again” by Dinah Roma (UST Publishing House); Victorio C. Valledor Prize for Best Book of Poetry in Filipino: “Ruta: Mga Bago at Piling Tula” by Benilda S. Santos (Ateneo de Naga University Press); Best Book of Graphic Literature: “Tarantadong Kalbo Volume 1” by Kevin Eric Raymundo (Komiket Inc.); Best Translated Book: “The World is Still Beautiful” by Lazaro Francisco, translated by Mona Highley (Ateneo Press).
Alfonso T. Ongpin Prize for Best Book on Art: “Philippine Cinema, 1897-2020” by Gaspar A. Vibal and Dennis S. Villegas; edited by Teddy O. Co (Vibal Group); Best Book on Professions: “Cool Minds, Brave Hearts: The People of the Philippine Central Bank” by Roel R. Landingin (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas); Elfren S. Cruz Prize for Best Book in the Social Sciences: “Rethinking Filipino Millennials: Alternative Perspectives on a Misunderstood Generation,” edited by Jayeel Cornelio (UST Publishing House); John C. Kaw Prize for Best Book on History: “Clothing the Colony: Nineteenth-Century Philippine Sartorial Culture, 1820-1896” by Stephanie Coo (Ateneo Press); Best Book of Journalism: “Press Freedom Under Siege: Reportage that Challenged the Marcos Dictatorship” edited by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo (UP Press); Best Book on Humor, Sports and Lifestyle: “Walk Manila” by Lorelei D.C. de Viana (FEU Publications);
Best Book on Food: “Lasa ng Republika Dila at Bandila: Ang Paghahanap sa Pambansang Panlasa ng Filipinas” by Ige Ramos (Anvil); Best Book on Science: “The Zanjeras of Ilocos: Cooperative Irrigation Societies of the Philippines” by Jose A. Rivera (Ateneo Press); Best Book Design: “A Watercolor Journey” by Claude Tayag, design by Miguel Mari (Holy Angel University Inc.); Publisher of the year: Ateneo de Manila University Press.