On September 1, 2014, the Palanca Awards’ 64th anniversary was celebrated at The Peninsula Manila. About 47 literary artists of 20 categories were cordially honored for their literary works.
The Palanca Awards is named after Don Carlos Palanca, Sr. as it commemorates his vision for Filipinos with aspirations and creativity for literature, whereas the event gives incentives to those who contribute their works. Aside from being renowned as the “Pulitzer Prize of the Philippines,” the primary goal of the award is to make unpublished works recognized apart from works that have already been rendered famous.
For the Filipino Division, the categories that subsisted were Maikling Kuwento, Maikling Kuwentong Pambata, Sanaysay, Tula, Tula para sa mga Bata, Dulang Ganap ang Haba, Dulang may Isang Yugto, and Dulang Pampelikula. The English Division, on the other hand, consisted of ShortStory, ShortStoryforChildren, Essay, Poetry, Poetry Written for Children, Full-Length Play, and One-Act Play.
Although each division is further distinguished the language the work is written in, there is a particular division that includes both Filipino and English literary works, namely the Kabataan Essay portion.
Lastly, there was a division for Regional Languages which included an assortment of Filipino short stories such as Hiligaynon, Cebuano, and Iluko.
The Palanca Awards Hall of Fame introduced a couple of its newer members, namely Dr. Alice Tan Gonzales, who exhibits the Hiligaynon culture in the form of her masterpieces, and Mr. Rodolfo C. Vera, with his exceptional craft in the theatrical field.
Before the recognition for the artists began, the play Balediksiyon by Mr. Salvador Biglaen was performed to evoke mischief and humor for those who were present. It placed 2nd under the “Dulang May Isang Yugto” category.
Gilda Cordero-Fernando, the night’s guest of honor, also received The Gawad Dangal ng Lahi award. Ms. Cordero-Fernando lent her share of adventures and minor setbacks – which eventually led to her success – in the industry. It was not the longest of speeches, but it was one that undeniably resonated sincerity and humility. The speech was gleaming proof that she was indeed deserving of the award.
As the Palanca Awards branched out to 20 categories, it granted 47 talented candidates to be deemed as qualified literary artists. There were also 57 judges that were divided into panels for the different kinds of fields they had exemplified themselves.
“Just create your own original ideas,” says Alvin Yapan, when asked what aspiring writers should maintain through the years. “Look for your voice. It’s very difficult and competitive in the creative writing industry, so stay original and [never] lose the passion because it’s so easy [for an individual] to lose the passion in such a competitive environment.” Yapan’s Ang Bugtong ng Manok at Agila, was awarded 1st place in the Maikling Kuwento category.
Annually, the creativity of artistically inclined Filipinos surfaces with the Carlos Palanca Awards. This year was no different, as the aptitude of young Filipino writers along with the veterans merge through their literary prowess in the various fields of writing.
Coming from a generation that promotestechnological innovations and their advanced speed of delivery, the Filipino youth today that shows interest, writes, and participates for the Palanca Awards rekindles hope for more constituents in the future.