A story about a desaperacido discovered by a community during the Martial Era and a collection of journal entry accounts detailing the quiet but desperate life of a millennial are the grand prize winners of the Premyo Valledor Para Sa Nobelang Bikol. The contest aims to encourage Bikol writers to pursue novel writing in any Bikol language and have them published to be appreciated by an audience.
Niles Jordan Breis won for “Kalatraban Sa Alkawaraan” while Jerome Hipolito took the prize for “Dyurnal Intris”. Although the literary award intended to have only one grand prize winner, it was the decision of the judges to give the awards to two winners instead. Both Breis and Hipolito are prize-winning poets and it is their first time to pursue the novel in their works. Both grand prize winners took home a trophy plus Php50,000 in cash. Both their novels will also be published by the Ateneo de Naga University Press this year.
The award was held at the Ateneo de Naga on April 27 with the presence of the university’s officers, members of the local literary community, and the board of judges led by Mr. Vic Valledor, benefactor of the contest, an insurance industry trailblazer, business leader, philanthropist, and a true son of Bicol who traces his roots in Catanduanes.
Joining Mr. Valledor at the awards ceremony were Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, distinguished author and Chairperson of the National Book Development Board; Tito Valiente, accomplished film educator and critic; Marne Kilates, prized literary writer and 1998 Southeast Asia Write Award winner; and Frank V. Peñones Jr., poet, translator, visual artist and Southern Luzon representative for the National Committee of Literary Arts of NCCA. Kristian Sendon Cordero, Ateneo de Naga professor and Ateneo de Naga University Press deputy director, was at the helm of the successful literary contest.
Besides Breis and Hipolito, two other novels included in the shorlist are “Alunsina Kan Dagat” by Marvin Davila Aguino and “An Huring Panuga,” co-authored by Arthur Justine P. Alemania and Roxanne E. Berido.
After a successful maiden launch, organizers have already announced that the 2nd Premyo Valledor literary contest will be accepting entries until November 2019.