the 61st palanca awards night

In 2009, I didn’t even think of having my hair did or applying make-up because hair and make-up takes two hours at least and I was feeling lazy. In any event (graduation, awards nights, book launches, work days), all I use are: eyelash curlers, pressed powder, blush-on, lipgloss and lipstick, a comb. I don’t know how to apply eye make-up, and even if I did, I don’t know how to make it last. I have this habit of touching my eyelids and turning smokey eye make-up into a pair of smokey smudges.

This year, I asked J if he could ask his sisters to do my make-up for me. I really just wanted to make my eyes pop out. For the pictures! (Whatever else!)

V and V were kind enough to agree. (V & V already sounds like a salon. They should put up one! Where they can also sell pastry!)

The makeover worked so well that my father gave a start when I reached our table the night of the event, hehe.

Blast from the past!

My parents:

My date! Howee.

Natasha Gamalinda and Rosmon Tuazon (who won 2nd Prize for Tula) were sitting at our table, but I didn’t recognize them! I thought Facebook would be able to help me in moments like this. Thank you Natasha for introducing yourself, and hope I’ll get the chance to see you guys again. (Oh my god I hope the two of you didn’t see me eating like a pig haha.) Congrats to your future hubby, Natasha! :)

Got a picture with the Alfars while waiting for the event to start. Congrats to Nikki for bagging the first prize for Short Story for Children, and Dean for sitting as chairman of the board of  judges for the Short Story category!

Always lovely to see the Spec Fic crowd. :)

With Aste, Grand Prize winner for the Short Story category. (And my boss! Ha!)

Food, then the usual staging of one of the winning dulang isang yugto.

This is Remi Karen Velasco’s “Ondoy: Buhay sa Bubong”. Hilarious!

Fooling around while waiting for the awarding to start.

Guest of honor is F. Sionil Jose.

Here’s the complete list of judges and winners. Congrats to everyone!

And of course, after the event, photo-op sa stage! Parang graduation lang!

I have a couple photos with my father’s mouth open, because he kept talking while the pictures were being taken. Worried na baka hindi raw masama yung Palanca logo sa likod. Haha!

With Ricky Davao, chairman of the board of judges for Dulang Pampelikula. Mr. Davao asked me, “Bakit hindi mo i-try mag-screenplay?” Well! Challenge –

no, not accepted. It’s too hard. /whine

Anyway this picture made my father really, really happy.

The cast of “Ondoy” with the author herself. :)

Of course we need to have our photos taken with Cai Cortez! “We’re big fans of Septic Tank!” said I, and she replied, “Na-enjoy niyo yun? Kahit wala akong linya?!” Winnur.

A wonderful night.

second time

That first win was so awesome and so satisfying that I thought there wouldn’t be a second one.

I just feel so happy right now.

“Maps”. First Prize for Poetry, Palanca Awards.

I posted the news elsewhere first (Twitter and Facebook) and immediately got a ton of love. Thank you so much for all the kind words. The show of support was just overwhelming. I can be quite unkind to myself and to my words, so I appreciate it when people take the time to message me to say that they like what I write, and that I should write more.

“Maps” should be uploaded on the Palanca website soon, and I hope you can read it and give me your comments. :)

notes on the 2009 palanca awarding ceremonies

i'm the one in the blue dress
i'm the one in the blue dress
with fellow PSF IV contributor and winner (First Place, Short Story for Children) Kate Aton-Osias
with fellow PSF IV contributor and winner (First Place, Short Story for Children) Kate Aton-Osias

More photos here

– I’m just jotting notes here because I’m too sleepy to write an entire blog entry.

– Bien Lumbera as guest speaker, Carlo J Caparas as judge for Dulang Pampelikula; I waited for the cat fight that didn’t come.

– But Mr Lumbera had some choice words. Maswerte kayong mga nagsipagwagi ngayong gabi; walang bahid-pulitika ang inyong pagkapanalo. (Rim shot.)

– Buffet!

– Buffet! That was too far from where we were sitting!

– My father lined up for the buffet three times. I am so proud.

– Unfortunately now I feel like I wasn’t able to get enough dessert.

– During the presentation of the one-act play (which was a riot, I’m telling you) there were two guys in front of my seat. I almost tapped them on the shoulder and said, Excuse me you’re in the way.

– It turned out to that they were part of the one-act play.

– Imagine if I actually turned the bitch on and told them to scoot to the side. Ulk.

– Favorite moment: My father rushing to our table before dinner was served, and telling my mother, Nakita ko si Ricky Davao.

– Favorite moment: Finding out that Anne Lagamayo (PSF contributor,author of “Hopscotch”) also won a Palanca. It took me three hours to finally figure out who she was, haha. (She and her mom were at our table.)


– So that’s why Mookie and Kael congratulated me at the Free Press shindig. Hee. I get it now.


Fuck me, man.

– Favorite moment: A judge onstage shaking my hand and saying, I heard you were very good.

– Favorite moment: Kael Co shaking my mother’s hand and saying, Napakahusay pong tumula ng anak niyo.


– Favorite moment: Conchitina Cruz (Conchitina Cruz!) saying, We love your work.

– Conchitina Cruz!

– Conchitina Cr – okay, enough.

– *Bleep* to me: Writers are HOT.

– Me: YES.

– The catch: They’re either taken, or they don’t like you.

– Dean Alfar: Look at [Eliza’s] fuck-me shoes!

– There! Quoted! Ha!

– I wanted to approach Luis Katigbak, but the fuck-me shoes wouldn’t let me, ow.

Bien Lumbera said that we Palanca winners must continue to write.



And done. :)


My concern for the day was our godforsaken fridge, which we couldn’t close anymore due to the ice in the freezer. I called up my landlady, asked her if she could send someone over to defrost the darn thing (or attack the darn thing with an ice pick – who cares, we just wanted to close the freezer).

She said: I’ll also have your letter sent over.

I said, Letter? And she said the letter was for me.

I remembered what Paolo Chikiamco said yesterday, and I went sort of numb.

* * *


I knooooow. Poetry! Never, never in my wildest dreams. :)

Below is the logo of the Palanca Awards. They say it’s like the Pulitzers of the Philippines. That sounds nice.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go check how our fridge is doing.