Freeman Lifestyle ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: , sectionmatch: 1

Young Antiqueño Wins Palanca at First Try

CEBU, Philippines — Leonard Francis M. Alcoran is one of the winners in the Regional Language Division of the 67th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. The 21-year-old bags his first Palanca Award for the Hiligaynon short story "Ang Itlog nga Wala Nagabalibad" at the recently concluded 67th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

This Palanca first-timer’s win is far from beginner’s luck. Rather, it’s a product of hard work, determination, and the willingness to learn. Alcoran bagged the third prize in the Hiligaynon short story category for his work, “Ang Itlog nga Wala Nagabalibad.”

The story is about an old shaman woman who uses an egg to find her missing grandson – only to find out that he has long been dead. “It’s a story of one’s quest for acceptance – how, at some point in life, you have to acknowledge the fact that you’re inferior to yourself,” Alcoran explains. Such profound wisdom from a young man who admits it has only been a year since he started writing fiction seriously.

Alcoran, a Political Science student of West Visayas State University, submitted his winning work to a local writing workshop in Antique. But when he failed to meet the deadline, he continued to work on the story for other existing write shops.

That was when he came across the writing workshop of 13-time Palanca winner Dr. Leoncio Deriada at the University of the Philippines Visayas, and the 2017 San Agustin Writers’ Workshop, in both which Alcoran earned a spot.

“Dr. Deriada encouraged me to pass my work to the Palanca, and so I did,” Alcoran narrates. The bold move catapulted his journey to the Palanca awards.

Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Alcoran, along with his twin brother, Leynard, grew up listening to the stories by her grandmother and the elders in their community. “Hearing their stories about the olden times, and the customs in our village somehow enhanced my imagination,” Alcoran explained. The value he placed on these stories further spurred him to develop and put them into writing, “to preserve the stories, to pass them down to the next generation.”

Then yet unknown to Alcoran, his habits as a child would prepare him to become a storyteller.“I love reading books. I read stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, R.L. Stine. But growing up, I think I read more poetry than fiction, like the works of Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath, and Edith Tiempo,” he said.

He remembers joining poetry contests occasionally as a young student. But if there was one person who actually influenced him to write, it was his twin brother who also enters his works to write shops. “My twin was also the very first person to read my work,” Alcoran reveals.

Anyone who wants to join the Palanca, or any writing stint for that matter, must be brave enough to show his work to others.  Alcoran’s advice: “A defeated attitude will bring yourself down, so just go – write creatively and enter your stories to writing competitions.”

He says he’ll continue writing stories, and joining workshops. He believes these are the only ways to learn and improve his craft. (FREEMAN)

Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:
  • Follow Us: