Literary Division – Non-Literary Division – Design
FICTION (NOVELS & SHORT STORIES)
Charlson Ong was born July 6, 1960 in Manila. He has published four collections of short fiction – Men of the East and Other Stories, Woman of Amkaw and Other Stories, Conversion and Other Fictions, and Of That Other Country We Now Speak and Other Stories as well as four novels – An Embarrassment of Riches; Banyaga: A Song of War; Blue Angel/White Shadow and White Lady/Black Christ.
He has won several awards for his fiction including the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, the Asiaweek Magazine short story prize, the Philippines Free Press Award, the Philippines Graphic Award, Philippines National Centennial Celebration Award for the Novel, the Philippine National Book Award, the Gawad Balagtas (Lifetime achievement award from the Writers’ Union of the Philippines), the Jose Rizal Award (from the Chinese-Filipino community) and the Southeast Asia (SEA) Write Award from Thai royalty.
He has also won a FILIPINO ACADEMY FOR MOTION PICTURE (FAMAS) Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Tanabata’s Wife, (a film based on Sinai Hamada’s short story) which he wrote and co-directed.
He teaches creative writing at the University of the Philippines (U.P.) and is an Associate of the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing (UP ICW). He is the current (since 2016) President of the Philippine Chapter of the International PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists.)
Romulo P. Baquiran, Jr. teaches literature and creative writing at the College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman, Quezon City. He has published several books of poems and essays – Mga Tula ng Paglusong (Poems of Entering the Water, 1992), Onyx (2003), and Kung Nanaisin (If You Like, 2009); Sagad sa Buto (Into the Marrow, 2011) and Hiwatig (Meaning, 2015). He is also a drama translator rendering into the Philippine national language the works of William Shakespeare, Bertolt Brecht, Kalidasa, and Eugene O’Neill. He also taught Tagalog language and Philippine Culture as a Visiting Professor at the Osaka University in 2014-2017. He is one of the editors of Tuttle Publishing Company’s Concise Tagalog-Englsh/English-Tagalog Dictionary (2017).
Jose Wendell Capili graduated from UST, UP Diliman, University of Tokyo, University of Cambridge, and The Australian National University, where he earned his Ph.D. He is Professor 12 and Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs, University of the Philippines. He received Palanca, Cultural Center of the Philippines, National Book Awards for Literature, and fellowships in Australia, Europe, North America, and East and Southeast Asia. He is one of the seven Achievement Awardees for 2020 of the Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP). He is a Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.
Merlie M. Alunan writes fiction and poetry in both English and Cebuano. Her poetry is collected in five volumes, namely, Hearthstone, Sacred Tree (Anvil, 1993), Amina among the Angels, Manila, (UP Press, 1997), Selected Poems (UP Press, 2004), Tales of the Spider Woman (USTPublishing House, 2010), Pagdakop sa Bulalakaw ug uban pang mga Balak (AdMU Press, 2013), Running with Ghosts (AdNU Press, 2017). She taught literature at the University of the Philippines Tacloban College where she retired in 2008 as Professor Emeritus. She is the editor of two anthologies on Visayan Literature: Sa Atong Dila Introduction to Visayan Literature (2015) and Tinalunay: Hinugpong nga Panurat nga Waray (2017), both published by the UP Press, and winners of the National Book Award, 2016 and 2018 respectively.
Juan Ekis (aka X Vallez) won Palanca Awards for his plays and poetry, and was Broadway World PH’s Best Director of A Play of the Decade in 2018. He was a fellow of the 58th UP National Writers Workshop. His works were staged in different years at the Virgin Labfest, won at the Short and Sweet festivals, and showcased in various venues and festivals here and abroad. He co-wrote the Libretto to Ryan Cayabyab’s Lorenzo: A Rock Musical with Paul Dumol and Joem Antonio. He also co-wrote the Libretto to Verne dela Peña’s Putri Anak with En Villasis, produced by the UP College of Music. X also worked in the film industry for a decade as assistant director to National Artist Marilou Diaz-Abaya. He currently teaches film, theatre, poetry, and data storytelling at the University of Asia and the Pacific while finishing his PhD in Creative Writing in Filipino at the University of the Philippines.
LITERARY CRITICISM & LITERARY HISTORY
Ferdinand M. Lopez is a retired Associate Professor in Literature and Cultural Studies at the Royal, Pontifical and Catholic University of Santo Tomas. She is at present a Ph.D. student at the Women and Gender Studies Institute of the University of Toronto. She was awarded the Connaught Fellowship in the Humanities in 2018; the Jack Hallam Excellence Award by the School for Sexual Diversity Studies of the University of Toronto in 2019; and the University of Toronto Graduate Award for Scholarly Achievement in the Area of Gender-based Violence in 2020. In May 2022, she was given the Ontario Government Scholarship for Academic Excellence in the Social Sciences and the Humanities.
Marra PL. Lanot is a poet, essayist, and freelance journalist, who writes in Filipino, English, and Spanish. She has authored several books of poems and essays, and has represented the Philippines in various international literature and women’s festivals. Her poems and essays have been translated and published in Spanish, Japanese, German, Hindi, Dutch, Bahasa Melayu, and Chinese.
Carl Joe Javier is the CEO of PumaPodcast, an award-winning podcasting and non-music audio production team in the Philippines. Over a two decade career, he has written or contributed to work in broadsheets, magazines, online publications, TV, film, comics, and as of the last couple of years, podcasts. Among his previous postings are: Creative Director for a social enterprise, Deputy Director for Marketing for a University Press, Creative Writing professor, co-founder of an independent publishing house, co-owner of a book store dedicated to Filipino literature and arts, Managing Editor of award-winning comic book imprint Anino Comics, and bartender. He was nominated for the National Book Award twice for his comics work, as co-editor of Abangan: The Best Philippine Comics 2014 and as writer of the manga adaptation of Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon.
Marne Kilates is an award-winning poet, freelance writer, editor, and translator. He has published six books of poetry and translated works by leading Filipino poets such as National Artists Rio Alma, Bienvenido Lumbera, and Lazaro Francisco. He has won the Philippines’ Palanca Memorial Awards, the National Book Awards, and the SEA Write Award given by the Thai royalty. His works may be accessed at his website, Marneskripts, at http://marnek2.wixsite.com/marneskripts.
NBDB PERMANENT JUDGE (ENGLISH LANGUAGE)
Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz is a freelance journalist, editor, educator, book reviewer and author of several books. She is director of Where the Write Things Are, a writing center that holds regular writing workshops for writers of all ages and features published authors and illustrators as guest facilitators. She was former chair of the National Book Development Board.
NBDB PERMANENT JUDGE (FILIPINO LANGUAGE)
Jun Cruz Reyes is a sui-generis writer, he was formerly known as the “enfant terrible” of Philippine Letters and is now considered as one of the finest and most accomplished writers in Philippine literature. According to critics, Jun Cruz Reyes changed and raised the standards of writing in the Philippines by introducing and popularizing “wikang kanto” (language of the street corner/informal language) to Philippine Literature at a time when almost everyone was mightily espousing the dicta of High-Formalism, shunning dissenters and emerging voices in the process. He won his first Palanca in 1973 with his first short story Isang Lumang Kuwento (An Old Tale), his first novel Tutubi, Tutubi Huwag kang Pahuhuli sa Mamang Salbahe (Dragonfly, Dragonfly, Do Not Let the Bad Guy Catch You) was given the Grand Prize for the Novel Category (Co-Winner) of the Palanca Awards in 1983.
His First Book, a collection of his award winning short-stories, Utos ng Hari at Iba Pang Kuwento (The King’s Behest and Other Stories) won the National Book Award for Fiction (1983). He would receive the same Award with Tutubi, Tutubi… (Dragonfly, Dragonfly…) and Etsa-Puwera, in 1987 and 2001 respectively. His Novel Etsa-Puwera, considered by many as one of the finest novels written by a Filipino, earned the Philippine Centennial Literary Prize, Novel Category, in 1998. The Manila City Government in an awarding ceremonies presided by Mayor Alfredo Lim, gave him a plaque of recognition calling him: Patnubay ng Lahi (Beacon of the Nation). The Bulacan Provincial Government, in a similar gesture of appreciation, recognized him as Dangal ng Lipi (Pride of the Race). Last 2014, the Royal Family of Thailand conferred Jun Cruz Reyes the prestigious SEA Write Award.
Ma. Elizabeth “Mariles” L. Gustilo is senior director of arts and culture at Ayala Foundation. She is concurrently senior director of the Ayala Museum, which includes both the museum and the Filipinas Heritage Library.
Since she joined the Ayala Museum in 2012, it has undergone renewed dynamism through astute programming to engage audiences.
In 2015, she led the Ayala Museum in its collaboration with Asia Society Museum in New York to mount the successful exhibition Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms.
In 2017, under her charge, the Ayala Museum became the first Philippine museum to participate in the prestigious Venice Biennale as a Collateral Event with the exhibition Fernando Zóbel. Contrapuntos.
From 2019 to 2021, she spearheaded the museum renovation and transformation into an omnichannel museum while maintaining a dynamic presence online in response to the pandemic reaching a wider audience, both here and abroad.
In 2021, she was a member of the international selection committee for the Philippine entry to the 59th Venice Art Biennale.
Antonio Gabriel La Viña is a leader, teacher, thinker, human rights, environmental, and climate justice lawyer, and social entrepreneur. He is at present Associate Director for climate policy and international relations of Manila Observatory and a professor of law, philosophy, and governance in several universities in the Philippines. Dean Tony is currently the Chair of the Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy Department of the Philippine Judicial Academy and a columnist/regular contributor to Manila Standard, Rappler, and MindaNews. He is the lead convenor and Chair of the Movement Against Disinformation and a member of the Board of Directors/Trustees of Rappler Inc. and Pinoy Media Center He is the former Dean of the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government, co-founder of Ashoka Philippines and the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, and a former environmental undersecretary of the Philippines.
Maria F. Mangahas is Professor of Anthropology at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She completed her doctorate in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in 2001. She was President of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao Inc. (Anthropological Association of the Philippines) in 2014-2017, and is currently Editor of its official journal, Aghamtao. She has written on traditional fishing culture and the community economy (in Batanes), and on impoverishment and sharing, as well as the place-making born out of the interaction and circulation of people – ‘indigenous’ and migrants (in Samal Island, Davao Gulf). She has also investigated the phenomenon of digitized ‘scandals’ and the culture of media piracy in the Philippines, and specifically the circulation of pirated DVDs in response to current events. A more recent research undertaking has been to search through the ‘grey literature’ in Philippine Anthropology to address the gap on a maritime perspective in the history of anthropology in the Philippines.
Ma. Bernadette Abrera is a Professor of History at the Department of History in the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is currently the Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, UP Diliman (2017-present) and previously served as Chair of the Department of History (2012-2017). Her research field is on cultural history, with a focus on indigenous Philippine society and culture, the belief system and religion. She has published on the precolonial concept of the soul and the animist belief system, the practice of seclusion of women, folklore and traditional popular culture and the intangible cultural heritage of Philippine boatbuilding.
Marites Dañguilan Vitug, a leading Filipino investigative journalist and author, is editor-at-large for Rappler. She was editor of Newsbreak magazine, a trailblazer in Philippine investigative journalism.
Her books include Rock Solid: How the Philippines Won its Maritime Case against China; Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court (which exposed critical weaknesses in the country’s highest court); Power from the Forest: The Politics of Logging; Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao (with Glenda M. Gloria); and, with Criselda Yabes, Jalan Jalan: A Journey through EAGA. She is also among the contributors of a 2021 book, Maritime Issues and Regional Order in the Indo-Pacific, published by Palgrave/Macmillan and a 1998 book, The Politics of Environment in Southeast Asia, published by Routledge.
She was the host of a series of podcasts, “The Great Asian Pushback,” which featured personalities who shared their stories of defiance and hope in countries where democracy is under threat, produced by the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.
Marites sits on the advisory board of “Analyzing War,” a US-based journal.
Marites has a degree in A.B. Broadcast Communication from the University of the Philippines and a diploma in world politics from the London School of Economics. She was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University and a recipient of fellowships from the International House—the Asia Leadership Fellow Program, the Australian National University, University of Kyoto and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. She has won the National Book Award and various awards for reporting on Philippine justice, security, and political affairs, including the Courage in Journalism Award from the US-based International Women’s Media Foundation.
HUMOR, SPORTS, & LIFESTYLE
Joanna Manalastas Calasanz has built her career by working her way up from editorial assistant at the predecessor to Summit Media’s content marketing arm, to managing editor at Marie Claire Philippines, and finally to editor-in-chief at the lifestyle website Spot.ph, where she led a team in their up-to-the-minute coverage of Manila’s food, current events, entertainment, and arts scene. Along the way she edited several titles under Summit Books, including two volumes of The Best of Chico and Delamar’s The Morning Rush Top 10, Lourd de Veyra’s Little Book of Speeches, and History with Lourd: Tsismis Noon, Kasaysayan Ngayon.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism at the University of the Philippines in Diliman and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in International Journalism from Cardiff University.
Michaela Fenix Makabenta writes under the name Michaela Fenix and Micky Fenix. She has compiled over two decades of research and writings on local Filipino cooking in her book Country Cooking: Philippine Regional Cuisines. It won the National Book Award Food Category in 2014. She was editor of the Food section of Today Independent Daily News, was editor-in-chief of Food Magazine, and was “Country Cooking” columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. She edited and wrote Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine. Her latest published work is Table for Ten: Asean Shared Food Traditions with Bryan Koh and Datu Shariff Pendatun.
Eric R. Punzalan obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut and is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at De La Salle University-Manila. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Manila Journal of Science, past president of the Chemical Society of the Philippines, Inc., and currently, a member of the Technical Committee for Environmental Sciences of the Commission on Higher Education.
NBDB PERMANENT JUDGE
Analyn Salvador-Amores is professor of Anthropology and Director of the Museo Kordilyera at the University of the Philippines Baguio. She earned her masters and doctorate in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Oxford University, UK. Her research interests include non-Western aesthetics, material culture, ethnographic museums and colonial photography in the Philippine Cordillera. She is also the project leader of the Cordillera Textiles Project (CORDITEX), an interdisciplinary research team conducting research in weaving communities in Northern Luzon.
Included in her work is the two time award-winning book: Tapping Ink, Tattooing Identities: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Kalinga Society published by the University of Philippines Press in 2013 (National Book Development Award, 2013 and National Academy of Science and Technology, 2016). She also curated the exhibition at Museo Kordilyera entitled, The Warp and Weft of Cordillera Textiles. With the mission of popularizing traditional hand-loom weaving in the Cordillera, UP Baguio through the CORDITEX published the Agabel Tayo! (Let’s Weave), a series of children’s storybooks on master weavers in the Cordillera, and a learning tool kit on Cordillera weaving (2019, 2020).
As a public service professor, she continues to engage indigenous communities in her work and promotes indigenous knowledge in different platforms. She actively carries out anthropological fieldwork among the indigenous communities in Northern Luzon, and has published extensively on this subject.
Ma. Yodel M. Pe has worked as a practicing Graphic Designer for over 20 years, both for established design agencies, and in her own practice. She has worked across a variety of media, from print through to digital, and has been employed by a roster of clients encompassing the beverage, publishing, catering, leisure, retail, cultural and fashion industries. On a personal level, she is particularly keen to broaden perspectives on graphic design and increase appreciation for it, as an art in its own right. To that end, she has worked as an educator, as well as exhibiting her own projects, with a particular focus on the art of bookbinding, thus providing a more direct medium for her ideas.
MANILA CRITICS CIRCLE
Si Virgilio S. Almario ay kilala bilang Ama ng Modernong Panitikang Pambata sa Filipinas. Siya rin ay isang iginagalang na makata, kritiko, guro, at awtor ng mahigit 30 aklat pambata. Noong 2003, idineklara siyang Pambansang Alagad ng Sining para sa Panitikan.
Dean Francis Alfar is an author and advocate of speculative fiction. His books include the novel Salamanca; short fiction collections The Kite of Stars and Other Stories, How to Traverse Terra Incognita, A Field Guide to the Roads of Manila and Other Stories, and Stars in Jars; and the children’s book How Rosang Taba Won A Race. As an editor and anthologist, he is the founder of the Philippine Speculative Fiction annuals, and the editor of anthologies including Fantasy: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults, Horror: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults, Science Fiction: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults, Maximum Volume: Best New Philippine Fiction 1 & 2, and Ang Manggagaway at iba pang Kathang-Agham at Pantasya mula sa Gitnang Europa at Pilipinas, among others.
Dean’s short stories have been anthologized internationally, in books such as The Big Book of Modern Fantasy, The Time Traveler’s Almanac, and The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, as well as in various magazines and online publications. His literary awards include 10 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature — including the Grand Prize for Novel for Salamanca — as well as National Book Awards, the Philippines Free Press Literary Award, and the Gintong Aklat Award. He has a new collection of short fiction as well as several anthologies in the pipeline.
Dean is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Kestrel, a digital design & development company, and Logik, a social media marketing agency. As a creative, he has developed stories, campaigns, and collaterals as Globe Telecom, Metrobank, Citibank, Toyota, SM Group of Companies, 7-Eleven, Jollibee Foods Corporation, and San Miguel Foods Corporation, among many others.
Alma Anonas-Carpio is a freelance journalist, editor and writer. She is the author of three books: Kitchen Diary (a cookbook), Maligno Unbound (a collection of short urban fantasy fiction), and How to Tame Your Tikbalang Without Even Trying (an erotic novel).
Ruel S. De Vera is chair of the Manila Critics Circle. He is Arts and Books Editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He is the author and editor of 16 books. He holds a master’s degree in Journalism from the Ateneo de Manila University where he teaches at its Department of Communication. He served as governor on the board of the National Book Development Board as a private sector representative. His writing has received the Catholic Mass Media Award, the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature and the Philippines Free Press Literary Award.
Michael M. Coroza is a Full Professor and the current Chair of the Department of Filipino, School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University. He handles graduate and undergraduate classes in Filipino Literature, Creative Writing, and Literary Translation. He has held in this institution since 2012 the Rev. Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ Endowed Professorial Chair in History and the Humanities. In 2016, it awarded him the Rev. Fr. Henry Lee Irwin, SJ, Memorial Teacher Award for the Humanities. A multi-awarded poet, essayist, short story writer for children, and literary translator, he received the Southeast Asia Write (SEAWRITE) Award from the Royalty of Thailand in 2007. In 2019, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF, or the Filipino Language Commission) recognized him as “Kampeon ng Wika” (Language Champion) in the fields of literature and translation. Concurrently he heads the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL, or Writers Union of the Philippines) and the National Committee on Language and Translation (NCLT) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Shirley O. Lua, Ph.D. is an associate professor of literature at De La Salle University (DLSU). She sits on the board of the Manila Critics Circle; and the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the film critics group that confers the annual Gawad Urian on the best Philippine movies. She wrote the texts in 44 Cineastas Filipinos, a coffee-table book on Filipino filmmakers. She co-edited Direk: Essays on Filipino Filmmakers (with Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr., DLSU Publishing House and Sussex Academic Press, 2018), which garnered the 2020 Gintong Aklat Award for Best Book in the Arts and the Humanities. She is former director of DLSU Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center (2011-2017).