philippines free press literary awards 2011

The Winners and Finalists of the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards:

FICTION: (Judges are Charlson Ong, Celeste Flores-Coscolluela, Exie Abola)

1. Erscheinung – Michelangelo Samson (3rd Place)

2. Panopticon of El Hogar – Russel Stanley Geronimo

3. After The Body Displaces Water – Daryll Jane Delgado

4. When You See A Dog – Jenette Vizcocho (2nd Place)

5. Recuerdos de Patay – Caroline Hau (1st Place)

6. Sweet – Marguerite de Leon

7. Spawn – Popi Laudico

8. Desert Winds – Jean Gerald Anuddin

9. Numb – Jenette Vizcocho

10. A Study of Insects –  Irene Carolina Sarmiento

11. Works Cited – U. Eliserio

12. Fade to Red – Twink Macaraig

POETRY: (Judges are Noelle Leslie de la Cruz, Marne Kilates, Gemino Abad)

1. Variations on the Expulsion from Eden – Eliza Victoria

2. The Painted Prince – Frank Penones Jr.

3. Duwende – Myrna Peña-Reyes

4. Love is How We Come Undone -Amado Bajarias

5. How to Kill a Whale Shark – Timi Siytangco (2nd Place)

6. Warrior’s Wife (After Li Po) – Ino Habana

7. Weight Without Gravity – Andrea Teran (3rd Place)

8. The Widow, Upon Learning That Her Old Lover Had Returned to the Island of San Antonio – Merlie Alunan

9. Zeno’s Paradox – Luisa A. Igloria (1st Place)

10. Weight of the World – Michellan Sarile-Alagao

Congrats to the winners!

This year’s event was held at the Club Cafe of the Makati Sports Club.

Getting ready. Our unit looks so neat in this picture. Notice the necklace. I ditched it minutes later and put on my glasses haha. Fashown.

Swankeh hehe.

On that table (partly seen in the picture) sits National Artist F. Sionil Jose. I was too shy to take a picture of him.

With Noelle, one of the Poetry judges

With Free Press Literary Editor Joel M. Toledo

Hi, Jaykie!

Red wine! But I fell more in love with the white wine they served, because it was sweet. Yes, I'm one of those who like sweet wines. I'm an abomination.

While drinking wine and having a dinner of meat-and-asparagus rolls, lumpia, kani sandwich, penne pasta, and sweet fruit tarts (my approximation of the dishes served that night), I was able to talk to Noelle, Joel, Khavn (so sorry I didn’t recognize you at once eek I’m still embarrassed), Michelangelo Samson (congrats on the win!), Andrea Teran (congrats!) and Jenette Vizcocho. (She asked me what my category was before the announcement, and when I said Poetry, she said, “Ayos, friends tayo.” HAHA!) Tin’s cousin, Gian Lao, approached me and said lovely things about my poetry. “This is about meeting THE Eliza Victoria.” That’s too much! But thank you!

We were also able to share a table with Twink Macaraig and her husband.

With fellow Free Press nominee and journalist, Twink Macaraig

And now for the nominated poem:

Continue reading

poetry nomination

My poem, “Variations on the Expulsion from Eden”, is a finalist in this year’s Free Press Awards. The Awards covers poetry and fiction that have appeared in the pages of the magazine from January to December 2010.

Here’s the list and announcement, posted by Lit Ed Joel Toledo:

FICTION:

1. Erscheinung – Michelangelo Samson

2. Panopticon of El Hogar – Russel Stanley Geronimo

3. After The Body Displaces Water – Daryll Jane Delgado

4. When You See A Dog – Jenette Vizcocho

5. Recuerdos de Patay – Caroline Hau

6. Sweet – Marguerite de Leon

7. Spawn – Popi Laudico

8. Desert Winds – Jean Gerald Anuddin

9. Numb – Jenette Vizcocho

10. A Study of Insects –  Irene Carolina Sarmiento

11. Works Cited – U. Eliserio

12. Fade to Red – Twink Macaraig

POETRY:

1. Variations on the Expulsion from Eden – Eliza Victoria

2. The Painted Prince – Frank Penones Jr.

3. Duwende – Myrna Peña-Reyes

4. Love is How We Come Undone -Amado Bajarias

5. How to Kill a Whale Shark – Timi Siytangco

6. Warrior’s Wife (After Li Po) – Ino Habana

7. Weight Without Gravity – Andrea Teran

8. The Widow, Upon Learning That Her Old Lover Had Returned to the Island of San Antonio – Merlie Alunan

9. Zeno’s Paradox – Luisa A. Igloria

10. Weight of the World – Michellan Sarile-Alagao

The 2011 Philippines Free Press Literary Awards covers Fiction and Poetry that have appeared in the pages of the magazine from January to December 2010. 

The Awards Night will be on July 12, 2011 (Tuesday)

6-10 p.m. 

Venue: Club Cafe, Makati Sports Club

formal invitations and detailed poster to follow

IMPORTANT NOTES:

*Finalists are advised to notify me if there are any mistakes in the typing of your names, especially in regard to the possible prize money if you do win and the respective bank account conflict. Anyone who has contacts with some of the finalists that are not on facebook can email me via ramblingsoul@yahoo.com so I can notify them as well.

In any case, all finalists will receive their respective  invitations. This FB post is just to fast-track the info dissemination.

*Finalists are advised to visit the magazine’s website, http://www.freepress.com.ph and read the guidelines, policies, and notes for the annual Literary Awards posted there carefully.

*Congratulations to all the finalists and winners who will only be notified that they’ve won and be informed of their respective six judges (three per category) during the Awards Night.

*Winners must be physically present during the awards night (all the finalists will be formally invited) to claim their prize money and their respective trophies, lest the monetary prize be forfeited (winners can claim the trophy anytime they want to at the Philippines Free Press office). This is as per the magazine’s policy.

the night i won at the philippines free press literary awards, and other stories

I’m still lacking sleep (and I’m still high from last night’s events haha) so forgive me if this turns out to be an incoherent post.

Summary: “Reunion” won first place at the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards, and our group (Editorial A) won first place in the company group presentation contest. So: in the early evening I wore a dress, hyperventilated as I accepted my trophy (I have a trophy! From Free Press! With my name and story title on it!), and later that night I donned a cheerleader outfit for “Pyramid” and a feathery hat for “Bad Romance”. There’s a story there, don’t worry. I don’t have pictures of the performance itself, but I’ll shamelessly (yes!) share them when I get them heh. And I have pictures!

I. Philippines Free Press Literary Awards/Zobel Dining/Makati Sports Club/6 pm

Went half-day at work and camwhored a bit as I prepared:

I love my earrings!

I also received the check from Basement Stories for “Incidental Light”, with a lovely note from Carol Kirkman. Thanks!

Jaykie and I arrived a little before 6 p.m. The dining hall was still quite empty. So we had white wine and took pictures.

The spec fic gang is here! Lookie candid shots.

Dean Alfar, Nikki Alfar, Kate Aton-Osias. (In the background: Andrew Drilon having a chat with Monique Francisco, who was also in PSF IV and also a finalist for the Short Story category that night.)

Alex Osias and Vincent Simbulan.

I also finally met Sasha Martinez (very bubbly and bakla – I like!) in person (we have no picture, boo). She was also a finalist for the same category. (She won last year for “The Catherine Theory”.)

The first category announced was Short Story. Nikki Alfar read the citations and the names of the winners. Third place went to Daryll Delgado for “In Remission”. Second place went to Mo for “Jimmie”. I looked at the list of finalists again and saw Amadis Ma. Guerrero’s name. Ha! I have no chance.

And then Nikki said and the first place goes to “Reunion” by Eliza Victoria, and I think I went slightly crazy. Looking back, I think there were signs: Ms Susan Locsin approaching me saying she’s glad I’m a finalist “but I really don’t know who the winners are”, Sarge Lacuesta putting exclamation points in his replies to me in the email (“You have to come!!”), and Dean Alfar giving stage directions, apparently to help me haha. Unfortunately I broke all of his rules, including the simplest “stay in the middle and bask in your glory until the judge says, ‘Thank you'”.

Here’s the citation:

For its ambitious narrative that reunites the fate of two brothers across the centuries and historic milestones, for showing that the creative imagination cannot be restrained by the boundaries of geography and time, for proving that the best attributes of humanity shine even in the darkest of historical periods, and for declaring without conceit that in the end, humanity is its own best excuse for being, the Philippines Free Press Grand Prize for Short Fiction is awarded to REUNION by Eliza Victoria.

The Eliza Sandwich! (tm, Dean Alfar)

The poetry awards went to Marjorie Evasco and Noelle Leslie Dela Cruz (there was no 3rd prize winner). Congrats!

Thanks to everyone who approached me that night and congratulated me. And to everyone who has congratulated me in person or online since then. You are all dears. And yes, I will continue to write. (Before we left, Ms Locsin said, “Don’t stop writing!” Oh, I won’t dare. :D ) The photo below’s from Mo. :)

II. Philippine Daily Inquirer/Rizal Ballroom/Makati Shangri-La/8 pm

It’s the 25th anniversary of the paper! I missed the President though. Oh well.

We’re sitting at the advertisers’ table. Hehe.

Jon Santos and Wille Nep were there, as the presidents and other personalities. :)

Research team!

More photos!

The InCHOIRer.

Photobooth!

So we did that *dance number or something*

(“Vhong” and “Anne”.)

(“Charice” and back-up dancers, followed by “Kris” and “Josh”.)

(“Lady Gaga” with back-up dancers.)

and we won the grand prize!

Photos from Ruthie, Princess, Cyril, Irene, and Almi. :D

There’s definitely more pictures from the event floating around, but that’s all for now!

double whammy

Today, my Inbox brings good tidings.

1) From Vanilla Press

Dear Eliza,

Once again, I want to thank you for your submission “Summer Evening”.  Carrie, Ben and I were all extremely impressed with your skill and mastery of character.

We made the difficult decision not to include your story in the November issue, purely because we had accepted several suspense/horror stories already and wanted to maintain some genre variety.  However, we do hope you will allow us to publish it in the upcoming Winter 2011 edition, which will go live in February.

So I sent them an e-mail saying that February 2011 is good for me. That’s not too far away. :)

2) From Sarge Lacuesta, literary editor of the Philippines Free Press –

Hi Eliza,

Congratulations! Your story “Reunion” has been selected as a finalist for the 2009 Philippines Free Press Award [redacted]

The programme will begin at 6 o’clock in the evening. I do look forward to seeing you there, and I thank you for your excellent contribution to the country’s oldest magazine, and to Philippine Literature.

*confetti*

Somebody find me a dress.

four eyes, etc

My right eye is a traitor. So in order to prevent its inevitable deterioration, doc says I have to wear glasses whenever I’m in front of a computer.

Fine. (Sigh.)

* * *

District 9 is absolutely brilliant. I will not say anything more. I deliberately avoided reading the summary or any blog entries or film reviews discussing this, so maybe you should too.

DISTRICT 9

* * *

Meanwhile, at the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards

When our names weren’t called, Dean Alfar turned to me and sang, Don’t cry out louuuuud. But I wasn’t crying. I didn’t even expect to be shortlisted!

But the night became so much fun because –

Okay, later. Look at this list first:

Judges (Poetry) Ricardo de Ungria chairman, Danton Remoto, Neil Garcia

Judges (Short Story) Charlson Ong chairman, Timothy Montes, Dr. Paraluman Giron

Finalists (Short Story) Sunboy by Dean Francis Alfar, Bad Heart by John Bengan, Outlaws, by Mary Jessel B. Duque, Big Yellow by Jean Claire Dy, The Death of Roy by Sharmaine Galve, Photo Sessions by Joy Anne Icayan, Catherine Theory by Sasha Martinez, Epic Life by Rhea Politado, Marita Pangan by Mechu Aquino Sarmiento, Wishes Do Come True by Mia Tijam, An Abduction by Mermaids by Eliza Victoria

Finalists (Poetry) Infinite Mondays by Mads Bajarias, Mebuyen by Mikael de Lara Co, Textbook Statistics by Arkaye Kierulf, Slowness by Marie La Vina, Instructions by Marie La Vina, Meals Without You by Arvin Mangohig, It Is 1980 by Natasha Gamalinda, Poet Looks at Satellite Picture of Home by Sid Gomez Hildawa, Poet Talks to an Old Movie by Sid Gomez Hildawa, The Little Things by Rafael Antonio C. San Diego

Winners (Fiction): 3rd Place: Catherine Theory/Bad Heart (tie), 2nd Place: Marita Pangan, 1st Place: Epic Life

Winners (Poetry): 3rd Place: Mebuyen, 2nd Place: (one of Hildawa’s poem, sorry I can’t remember), 1st Place: Textbook Statistics

Congrats to the winners!

* * *

As I was saying: the night became so much fun because I was finally able to attach a face and a voice to the names in my email Inbox, and my Plurk/Twitter pages.

I am still reeling: Before the program began, crazy crazy talk with Dean and Nikki Alfar, Alex, Kate, and Vin Simbulan, and EK. Always a pleasure.

When Sarge Lacuesta read the names of the finalists in Fiction, some people behind me cheered and applauded. I knew there were people behind me but I also knew that I do not know them. Why are they cheering? Who are these people?

Then a voice asking Dean, “Kilala mo?” and Dean saying, “Ito, ito.”

I turned and there was Mikael de Lara Co, who said he loved my poems (the ones that won the Palanca). When he said his name I couldn’t stop myself, I felt the need to clutch his arms and blurt out: I LOVE YOUR POEMS OMGZ. Yes. Like a crazy fangirl. Ew.

Mookie Katigbak, Sarge’s lovely wife, even actually said they are “big fans”. Or maybe she meant, some people she knew are “big fans”. Fuck it, I heard big fans and my brain didn’t even want to accept it.

Mookie: It is a big win. It is such a big win. We were saying Who is this? Who is this? And you look so young!

When she asked my age and I said 22, EK turned to me and said, “No way you’re 22.”

Very 22, sister. So sorry.

I finally met Sarge and Carl. Yay!

Philbert was also there, but I didn’t get the chance to talk to him. Anyway, he probably wouldn’t remember me.

Crazy Sharmaine kept saying Palanca Award! Palanca Award! Like she couldn’t believe it. Well, I couldn’t believe it, so there.

When I approached Charlson Ong and introduced myself, he said, Maganda ‘yung istorya mo.

Love it.

Can’t wait to see these guys again at the Palanca awarding ceremonies, eeh.

* * *

So I didn’t win, but I win Best Title, sabi nga ng mga Alfars, hahaha.

* * *

Special thanks to EK for the pictures (photos are over here) and the company. Enjoyed the chika. <3

* * *

When I got home, Nina and Tere, the girls from the flat, stepped out of the elevator, saw me, and said they have been looking for me, and oh, do you drink?

All in all, lovely night. (It’s one in the morning and I am typing this intoxicated.)

you have got to be kidding me

So today I received an email from Free Press Lit Ed Sarge Lacuesta. The Subject line reads “when you’re on a roll…congratulations from the Philippines Free Press”. I smiled because I thought he has heard about the Palanca win and was just kind enough to send me an email and congratulate me.

Well, yes, he did send me an email to congratulate me, but for a different reason. The letter begins

Dear Eliza,

Greetings! I am proud and honored to inform you that you are a finalist at this year’s Philippines Free Press Literary Awards for your story entitled “An Abduction by Mermaids.”

Holy. Crap.

* * *
“An Abduction by Mermaids” is a short story I wrote back in 2008 (or late 2007,I’m not sure anymore, I have to find my drafts) (I used to date my drafts, hee), which appeared in the Free Press on April 26, 2008. No online copies, but I might post the full manuscript here one of these days. ;)

* * *

Now, let’s see. I need: a dress, some nice shoes, a date. Or, a companion with a camera. It’s the camera that counts.

I’m excited to finally meet Mr. Lacuesta in person. And the other finalists of course. Wonder if I know any of them.
* * *
I really need a camera.