Two faculty members of the Silliman University (SU) Department of English and Literature received recognition from two distinguished literary competitions in the Philippines.
Dr. Cesar Ruiz Aquino, poet and fictionist, was named this year’s Poet of the Year during the 2014 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards.
Aquino earned his Ph.D. from SU and has been teaching creative writing and literature in the university since 1981.He is also a regular lecturer-panel member of the annual Silliman University National Writers Workshop (SUNWW).
Aside from the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards, Aquino has received Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for poetry (1978, 1997) and short fiction (1979, 1989). He has also received a Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for Lifetime Achievement from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas (Writers’ Union of the Philippines or UMPIL) in 1997. He was also named National Fellow for Poetry by the University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing (U.P. ICW) in 2003.
The Nick Joaquin Literary Awards is the annual award of the Philippine literary magazine Graphic.
On the other hand, Karlo David, a Master of Arts in English, Major in Creative Writing student and an alumnus of the SUNWW, bagged 2nd place in the one-act play category in this year’s 64th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.
According to David, his winning piece, the one-act play entitled, “Killing the Issues” was written when he was still in his junior year in college.
David added that this play was written a few years after the Maguindanao massacre.
“‘Killing the Issue’ is an English one-act play about a political dynasty whose lives were changed when a journalist digs into the secrets of the family. As the story unfolds, the readers will find out the family’s deepest secrets, how journalists were being silenced, and how the story progresses,” David said.
David said that it took him a few days to write the play, but it took him years to revise it.
Being a writer for 10 years, David characterizes himself as a political writer; however, he clarified, that he is not a politicized writer.
“There’s a different between a political and a politicized writer. I don’t have an ideology, but I like the sense of politicians being at each other’s throats and political scheming,” David said.
David added that there is an ongoing talk about staging the play that he has written.
David also placed 2nd for his short story entitled “In the Manner Accustomed” during the 23rd Nick Joaquin Literary Awards last 2013.
By Nova Veraley V. Grafe