Higaonon novelist from Bukidnon bags 2011 Writers’ Prize

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/24 January) – A Higaonon novelist from Bukidnon is one of the winners in the 2011 Writers’ Prize, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts announced.

Telesforo Sungkit Jr. of Malitbog town and barangay Dalwangan, Malaybalay City, won in the Cebuano language novel category for his “Agalon sa mga Balod” (Lord of the Waves).

The 31-year old Sungkit told MindaNews the novel is a story of a young Higaonon, Vincenzo Makaindan and his discovery of his supernatural ability to command the waves and other bodies of water.

He inherited powers from his ancestor Buuy Pigsugdan, who belonged to the original people of Mindanaw.

Agalon is a sequel to “Mga Gapnod sa Kamad-an” (Driftwoods on Dryland), which won for him the same award in 2007.

In 2009, Sungkit launched during the Kaamulan the “Batbat Hi Udan” (The Story of Udan), the first epic novel on Bukidnon.

Janis Claire Salvacion of the National Maritime Polytechnic of Cablawan, Tacloban City won in the Waray language poetry category for her “Lalay Han Tagdangkan.”

Alice Tan Gonzales of the Humanities Division of the University of the – Visayas in Miag-ao, Iloilo won in the Panay language short story category for “Alimango kag iban pa nga Sugilanon.”

Abdon Balde Jr. bagged the prize for the Bicolano language essay competition for “Sa Runa Kan Ibalong Paghaman sa Epikong Bikolano.”

The NCCA Writers’ Prize is a biennial award given to five writers, one for each of the following categories: poetry (Waray, novel (Cebuano), essay (Bicolano), short story (Panay) and drama (Filipino).

The NCCA, whose mission is to “encourage the continuing development of a pluralistic culture by the people themselves,” intends the award as an opportunity to have a direct hand in the development of Filipino literature. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)