Ateneo Press named Publisher of the Year

27 winners proclaimed at 39e National Book Price

POSTPONED for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Book Awards ceremony has returned for its 39e year, holding its awards ceremony online on July 30. The National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Manila Critics Circle (MCC) recognized 27 winners in 25 categories.

There were 110 finalists in this year’s edition, all of which were published in 2019 and 2020. Two winners were each named in the Best Drama Book and Best English Poetry Book categories. The Ateneo de Manila University Press was named Publisher of the Year with a total of eight winning titles.

Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, NBDB chief executive Charisse Aquino-Tugade noted improvements in book publishing over the past two years.

In her opening address, Ms. Aquino-Tugade noted “there has been an unprecedented increase in ISBN applications, over 30 million pesos and national incentives received by creators, the establishment of book corners (which are safe and inclusive reading spaces across the country), numbering 52 in 2021 and 40 more this year, dozens of Filipino titles brought to the world stage through international book fairs, and the ongoing literary output from independent publishers and creators.

“While some people might say the awards are really only secondary to what’s really important – which is the book – I believe, like many of you, that the prestige and attention they bring to creative work represent something bigger,” said Ms. Aquino-Tugade. “They encourage a wider readership and shine a spotlight on otherwise overlooked voices, which then encourages sales and helps our booksellers and publishers, which in turn encourages wider authorship.”

The Book Nook project, which began in 2021, aims to distribute books by Filipino authors (including titles written in local languages) to reading centers located in indigenous and remote areas, from Ifugao to Tawi- Tawi. The nooks are located in public spaces, such as public parks and markets, where designated storytellers also teach children to read. A hundred corners aim to be developed by 2023.

“By increasing book access points across the country through our programs such as the Book Corner, and expanding the market for publishers through our participation in international fairs, NBDB is poised to capitalize on the power of our numbers – our archipelago of stories, from the islands of Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, and our global diaspora that knows no borders,” CBDC President Dante Francis Ang II said in his message.

This year’s Manila Circle of Critics jury included: National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario, Ruel S. De Vera, Dean Francis Alfar, Alma Anonas-Carpio, Michael M. Coroza, and Shirley O. Lua.

The permanent judges of the literary division are Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz for English and Jun Cruz Reyes for Filipino. The category judges for the Literary Division are: Charlson Ong for Fiction, Romulo P. Bacquiran, Jr. for Nonfiction Prose, Jose Wendell Capili for Essay, Merlie M. Alunan for Anthology, Christian Vallez (Juan Ekis) for drama, Ferdinand M. Lopez for literary criticism and literary history, Marra Lanot for poetry, Carl Joe Javier for graphic literature and Marne Kilates for translation.

Analyn Salvador Amores served as a permanent judge of the non-literary division. The category judges for the non-literary division are: Mom. Elizabeth “Mariles” L. Gustilo for art, Antonio Gabriel La Viña for professions, Maria F. Mangahas for social sciences, Ma. Bernadette Abrera for history, Marites Dañguilan Vitug for journalism, Joanna Manalastas Calasanz for l humor, sports and lifestyle, Michaela Fenix ​​Makabenta for food, Ma. Yodel M. Pe for design and Eric R. Punzalan for science.

Winning authors receive a certificate, cash prize and trophy, while winning publishers receive a winner’s certificate.

Below is the full list of winners:

best novel in english Tiempo Muerto: a novel by Caroline S. Hau (Ateneo University Press)

Best Novel in Filipino Lumbay Topography: Imus Novel 6 by R. M. Topacio-Aplaon (University of the Philippines Press)

Best Short Fiction Book in English Traveling and Other Fictions: The Collected Stories of José Dalisay by Jose Dalisay, Jr. (Anvil Publishing Inc.)

Best Short Fiction Book in Filipino The Next Great Tagalog Novel in Iba Pang Kuwento by Allan N. Derain (University of the Philippines Press)

Best English Prose Non-Fiction Book Biyaheng Pinoy: A Travelogue from Mindanao by Edilberto N. Alegre (Ateneo University Press)

Best Prose Non-Fiction Book in Filipino Sweeper by Emmanuel T. Barrameda (Balangay Productions)

best essay book in english The Philippines is not a small country by Gideon Lasco (Ateneo de Manila University Press)

Best Anthology in English Mindanao Harvest 4 edited by Jaime An Lim, Christine F. Godinez-Ortega, Ricardo M. De Ungria (Far Eastern University Publications)

best drama book Salvador/Javier to Iba Pang Dula by Lito Casaje (University of the Philippines Press) and Two women as ghosts of history: Lakambini and Indigo Child by Rody Vera (Ateneo de Manila University Press)

Best Book of Literary Criticism in English Manila Feel by Gary C. Devilles (Ateneo de Manila University Press)

Best Literary History Book in English Songs from Indigenous Soils: More Conversations with Eight Mindanao Writers edited by Ricardo M. De Ungria (Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan Press)

Best Book of Literary Criticism in Filipino Faustino Aguilar: Kapangyarihan, Kamalayan, Kasaysayan by Epifanio San Juan Jr. (UST Publishing House)

best poetry book in english When the Bridges Have Fallen, the Mountains Too Far: New Poems by Gemino H. Abad (University of the Philippines Press) and We’ll write love poems again by Dinah Roma (UST publishing house)

Best Poetry Book in Filipino Ruta: Mga Bago to Piling Tula by Benilda S. Santos (Ateneo de Naga University Press)

Best Graphic Literature Tarantadong Kalbo Volume 1 by Kevin Eric Raymundo (Comiket)

Best translated book The world is always beautiful by Lazaro Francisco, translated by Mona Highley (Ateneo de Manila University Press)

best art book Filipino cinema, 1897-2020 by Gaspar A. Vibal and Dennis S. Villegas; edited by Teddy O. Co (Vibal Group)

best book on trades Cool Minds, Brave Hearts: The People of the Central Bank of the Philippines by Roel R. Landingin (Bangko Sentral of the Philippines)

Best Social Science Book Rethinking Filipino Millennials: Alternative Perspectives on a Misunderstood Generation edited by Jayeel Cornelio
(UST Publishing House)

best history book Dressing the Colony: Nineteenth-Century Filipino Dress Culture, 1820-1896 by Stephanie Coo (Ateneo University Press)

best journalism book Press freedom under siege: a report that challenged the Marcos dictatorship by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo (University of the Philippines Press)

Best Humor, Sports & Lifestyle Book Walking in Manila by Lorelei DC from Viana (Far Eastern University)

best food book Lasa ng Republika Dila and Bandila: Ang Paghahanap in Pambansang Panlasa ng Filipinas by Ige Ramos (Anvil Publishing)

best science book The Zanjeras of Ilocos: Cooperative Irrigation Societies of the Philippines by Jose A. Rivera (Ateneo University Press)

Best Book Design A watercolor journey by Claude Tayag and design by Miguel Mari (Holy Angel University)

Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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