Two Abrenians win in 1st De Francia Awards for Literature

>> Tuesday, May 2, 2017

By Alah Soledad M. Sungduan

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union -- Two literary writers from the province of Abra emerged as winners in the first De Francia Awards for Literature (DEAL), a worldwide writing contest for “Pinoy-based” short stories in English launched last year.
Bangued, Abra‘s pride Dr. Maria Teresa Beñas, a professor, journalist, translator, columnist, multi-awarded civic volunteer, and Provincial Manager of Philippine Information Agency- Abra won 3rd prize with her story "The Chase".
"The Chase" is about a young couple who, against all odds, ran after time to work together to disproved the world that they can make their married life a success. The wife suffered the loss of her love life, but worked hard to continue giving a good future for her children.
An UMPIL and GUMIL Filipinas awardee, translator, editor, trilingual writer, novelist, Hermilinda L. Bulong with pen name Linda Lingbaoan of Penarrubia, Abra who now resides in Metro Manila, won the 5th Prize with her story "The Cycle."
“The Cycle” revolves on the story of a married woman who dreamt and persisted of going to America just like her grandmother and aunt despite the disagreement of her husband.
Meanwhile, Crispin D. Dannug Jr. of Burgos, Isabela, a former DOLE Asst. Regional Director, news correspondent, columnist, literary editor, writer, and poet, won the 4th Prize with his story, "Soon". His story talks about a lonely widowed grandmother wanting her grandson not to leave for the US because all her children are going away.
The DEAL winners were recognized during the awarding ceremonies at the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) in Poro Point, San Fernando City, La Union, on the night of April 22, 2017 coinciding with the 9th Timpuyog Dagiti Mannurat iti Iluko iti Filipinas and TMI Global eventt.
Beñas, who was unable to attend the event due to a conference in Davao City expressed her deep appreciation through tele-interview to the organizers of the contest for the recognition received by her daughter Marinel Beñas on her behalf.
“Thank you DEAL for the opportunity you gave us to express ourselves through literature. Thank you Lord for the gift of art you gave us. I am so happy to win in this 1st Global Pinoy Literary Competition,” Beñas said.
TMI president and awards committee chairman Franklin P. Macugay said the literary award is another door of opportunity where writers could hone their talents to portray the culture and tradition and costumes of the Ilocano where they originated.
He also expressed his gratitude to the founder of DEAL for entrusting and partnering with TMI Filipinas.
DEAL 2017 winners received a certificate of recognition and cash money of P4,000 for 3rd place, P3,000 for  4th, and P2,000 for 5th. Their winning works including that of the other finalists will be anthologized in the book “Mirrors and Reflections”
Chairman of the board of judges Dr. Aurelio Solver Agcaoili, a Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, author, poet, critic, and founder of the International Nakem Conference said they followed a rubric that sets a grid for all ranks. No entry fulfilled the requirements of grid in both first and second places.”
Dr. Sonja Chan, professorial lecturer at UP Baguio, visiting professor at Saint Louis University and University of the Cordilleras and distinguished toastmaster, linguist, writer; with Dr. Noemi Rosal, a professor at UP Diliman and a critic, writer also served as judges in the contest.
DEAL founder Dr Clarito Garcia De Francia, a two time Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards awardee in literary and former Baguio professor now based in Santa Maria, California, U.S.A on the other hand said effective writing is one measure deployed in the final evaluation.
“When a work needs minimal editing, that would be either in first or second rank. There are respective grammatical lapses and situational weaknesses that brought down the quality of the top 3 finalist, hence the decision not to declare first and second places,” he added.
The short story writing contest was presented in partnership with De Francia’s wife Rosemarie Calisen-De Francia of The De Francia Realty Group, and Mt. Carmel Day Care Center owned by Rockwell and Jesusa Ocab of Los Angeles, California; NP Elvira Dela Pena of Marian Hospital, Santa Maria, California; and the TMIF (Timpuyog Dagiti Mannurat Nga Ilocano Iti Filipinas) led by its president Franklin P. Macugay.
DEAL’s three main objectives are to keep up challenging writers in capturing, documenting and writing about Filipino life in the local, national and global settings, preferably portraying Filipino values, culture and heritage; to produce, inspire and hone students, teachers, amateurs and professionals in the academe, social and mass media, Humanities and the Arts; and finally, to impart to the global community about Filipinos’ talents, skills, experiences, failures, challenges, as well as, excellence in thinking, spirit, and wit.  
Right after the awarding ceremony is the announcement for the 2nd year of the literary contest. “We would like to continue encouraging and inspiring the creation of “Pinoy-based” short stories in English,” De Francia said through Facebook message.
The contest period started on April 24 and ends on February 28, 2018, 12 midnight,  Philippine time. For details, email or    -30-


Anonymous May 4, 2017 at 3:59 AM  

Congratulations to the winners..

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