I learned last Friday that I had placed third in the essay category in the annual Philippines Free Press Literary Awards. A thousand thanks to the magazine, which has been ever-supportive Filipino writers, young and in mid-career. And special thanks to its ace literary editor Angelo "Sarge" Lacuesta, a very fine writer himself, for believing in my work.
The judges in the essay and short fiction categories were Katrina Tuvera, Vince Groyon and Dean Alfar. Here is the citation for my essay, which was penned by Alfar:
"Observations on the human condition are par for course for the best written essays, but the third prize winner for this year goes beyond banal statements of truth. Instead, we are taken on a road trip across Europe, from Denmark to Spain, where the crosses that commemorate road fatalities resonate with what makes us Filipino, and where the heart's internal geography is not a matter of location. At the end of the narrative, in a reversal of epiphany, the author shares something she already knew, even before the journey began - and that observation, that terrible truth, slowly and painfully revealed, strikes deep and hard.
The winner of the 3rd Prize for Essay is "The Absence of Sound Is Not A
Vacuum" by Lakambini Sitoy."
The ceremony was held during the celebration of the 100th Year Anniversary of the magazine, on August 27 at the Captain's Bar, Mandarin Hotel Manila.
First place winner in the essay category was Wilfredo Pascual, and in second place was Larry Ypil.