2 Davao writers bag Palanca Awards

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/04 September) — Two Davao-based writers won the Second and Third Prizes in the short story Cebuano Category in the 2011 Contest of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the country’s most prestigious literary awards.

Errol A. Merquita, a graduate of AB Social Science from UP Mindanao, took the Second Prize for his entry titled “Isla Verde.”

This is Merquita’s first Palanca award. Last year, he won the Second Prize in the Bisaya Fiction Writing Contest sponsored by the Davao Writers Guild and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts for his entry titled “Kinsa ang Nagpatay sa Pari sa Calinan?”

Dr. Macario D. Tiu, the Research Director of the Philippine Women’s College of Davao, took the Third Prize for his entry titled “Black Pearl.” This is Tiu’s fourth Palanca award.

The awarding ceremonies were held at the Manila Peninsula on September 1.

In Bisag Unsa (August 31, 2011), his column in MindaNews, Tiu intimated that “Black Pearl” was inspired by a personal experience years ago in Samal Island, where he bought for P1000 a piece of black pearl which turned out to be a fake. A jeweller told him it was just a black onyx worth P20.

Tiu first entered the story in the Palanca Contest last year, but it failed to win a prize. He said he shortened the piece from 19 to 13 pages and made some revisions before submitting it again this year to the same contest. (MindaNews)