BOOKS TO READ: These Are the Winners of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature

Palanca Awards 2

Photo: Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature

The Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, which staged its 70th edition after a two-year hiatus, recently held its annual ceremony to honor the winning writers, poets, and playwrights. A total of 59 writers, 28 of which are first-time awardees, were chosen as this year’s recipients.

The total number of writing categories awarded was 22, as the Novel and Nobela categories were open this year, with the surprise addition of a Special Prize for each. All winning entries were evaluated by an elite roster of literary luminaries handpicked for their respective expertise.

It was Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson who stood as the Guest of Honor and Speaker at this year’s awarding ceremony. A professor emeritus of the U.P. Film Institute and former Dean of the U.P. Diliman College of Mass Communication, he has shaped many young minds in the fields of film, media, literature, and theater. Dr. Tiongson is also a founding member and former chair of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, among other organizations he helped establish. He has published various studies on Philippine film and theater and harnessed the power of the written word to create the films, books, articles, reviews, and interviews that earned him various accolades throughout his career.

Named after businessman and philanthropist Don Carlos Palanca Sr., the Palanca Awards continuously seeks to cultivate Philippine Literature by providing incentives for writers and serving as a treasury of these literary gems. It is considered the gold standard in writing excellence, highly coveted by Filipino writers, young and old, here and abroad alike.

Following is the list of winners of the 70th Palanca Awards:

Kabataan Division

Kabataan Sanaysay

1st Prize: Glorious Zavannah Exylin C. Alesna for Pamimintana

2nd Prize: Hansly Kendrich C. Saw for Ang Larong Naipanalo Ko

3rd Prize: John Clarence D. Espedido for Mga Bantas ang Nagsilbi kong Guro

Kabataan Essay

1st Prize: Glorious Zahara Exylin C. Alesna for Home is a Bowl of Warm Soup

2nd Prize: Jenine A. Santos for Covid-19 is My Alter Ego

3rd Prize: Gavin Micah T. Herrera for The Social Pandemic

Filipino Division

Maikling Kuwento

1st Prize: Charmaine M. Lasar for Ang Value ng X Kapag Choppy si Mam

2nd Prize: Abegail E. Pariente for Barangay Alitaptap

3rd Prize: Alec Joshua B. Paradeza for Kung sa Bawat Pagtawag ay Pagtawid sa Dagat

Palanca Awards

Photo: Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature

Maikling Kuwentong Pambata

1st Prize: Mark Norman S. Boquiren for Si VeRaptor1 Laban kay Trolakuz

2nd Prize: Wilfredo Farrales Sarangaya for Balong Batsit, ang Bidang Bulilit at Bayaning Bulinggit

3rd Prize: Benedick N. Damaso for Mirasol para kay Lola Sol


1st Prize: Venice Kayla Dacanay Delica for Kung Magkapalad Ka’t Mangmang

2nd Prize: Jhon Lester P. Sandigan for Tatlong Pancit Canton

3rd Prize Nathaniel R. Alcantara for Isang Dekadang Kontrata sa Piling ng mga Mikrobyo


1st Prize: Ralph Lorenz G. Fonte, M.D. for Uyayi ng mga Patay na Buwan

2nd Prize: Enrique S. Villasis for Pintula

3rd Prize: Sonny C. Sendon for Mga Anino sa Guho at iba pang mga tula

Tula Para sa mga Bata

1st Prize: Christian R. Vallez for Tula, Tula, Paano ka Ginawa?

2nd Prize: Rebecca T. Anonuevo for Ale Bangbang

3rd Prize: Ninia H. dela Cruz for Mga Pahina sa Alaala ng Nanay

Dulang may Isang Yugto

1st Prize: Andrew Bonifacio L. Clete for Punks Not Dead

2nd Prize: Layeta P. Bucoy for Dance of the Foolies

3rd Prize: Ryan Machado for Huling Haraya nina Ischia at Emeteria

Dulang Ganap ang Haba

1st Prize: Joshua Lim So for Mga Silid ng Unos: Tomo Uno

2nd Prize: Rodolfo C. Vera for Anak Datu

3rd Prize: Steven Prince C. Fernandez for Badung

Dulang Pampelikula

1st Prize: Avelino Mark C. Balmes, Jr. for Amoy Pulbos

2nd Prize: Noreen Besmar Capili for DOS

3rd Prize: Ehdison M. Dimen for Ang Pananalangin sa Getsemani

Regional Division

Short Story – Cebuano

1st Prize: Noel P. Tuazon for Barang

2nd Prize: Manu Avenido for Ikigai

3rd Prize: Januar E. Yap for John Wayne ug ang Goldfish kong Inahan

Short Story – Hiligaynon

1st Prize: Peter Solis Nery for Ang Macatol Kag Ang “Queen of Relief”

2nd Prize: Early Sol A. Gadong for Malipayon nga Katapusan

3rd Prize: Ritchie D. Pagunsan for Esperanza

Short Story – Ilokano

1st Prize: Oswald Ancheta Valente for Ti Kimat Ken Ti Silag

2nd Prize: Remedios S. Tabelisma-Aguillon for Ti Ubing

3rd Prize: Rodolfo D. Agatep Jr. for Karton

English Division

Short Story

1st Prize: Ian Rosales Casocot for Ceferina in Apartment 2G
2nd Prize: Exie Abola for Ardor
3rd Prize: Hammed Bolotaolo for The Money Changer

Short Story for Children

1st Prize: NO WINNER
2nd Prize: Elyrah L. Salanga-Torralba for Cloud Keeper
3rd Prize: Heather Ann Ferrer Pulido for My Grandma who lives in Half a House


1st Prize: Alfonso Tomas P. Araullo for Letter from Tawi-Tawi

2nd Prize: Michaela Sarah De Leon for Filipino Millennial Monomyth

3rd Prize: Alexandra Francesca A. Bichara for The Helmsman’s Daughter


1st Prize: Ramil Digal Gulle Bol-anon for Prodigal

2nd Prize: Soleil David for A Few Dawns from now, A Sunfish

3rd Prize: Lawrence Anthony R. Bernabe for The Blueline

Poetry Written for Children

1st Prize: Elyrah L. Salanga-Torralba for An Empty Chair in the Corner

2nd Prize: Peter Solis Nery for Picnic, Symphony and other concepts a 4th Grader needs to know

3rd Prize: NO WINNER

One-Act Play

1st Prize: Ronald S. Covar for The Cave Dwellers

2nd Prize: Bonifacio P. Ilagan for Salvaged Eman

3rd Prize: Maria Kristine B. Roxas-Miller for Agencia Feliz

Full-Length Play

1st Prize: Layeta P. Bucoy for Orgullo Compound

2nd Prize: Jay Mariano Crisostomo IV for Black Bordello

3rd Prize: Dustin Edward D. Celestino for The Lost Filipino Patriots of America


Grand Prize: Raymundo T. Pandan, Jr. for Bittersweetland

Special Prize: Alvin Dela Serna Lopez for 1762


Grand Prize (Pangunahing Gantimpala): Khavn for ANTIMARCOS

Special Prize (Natatanging Gantimpala): Edgar Calabia Samar for Teorya ng Unang Panahon

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