Honoring 2012’s best books

BREAKTHROUGH - Elfren S. Cruz - The Philippine Star

A week after the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, two groups of booklovers took time out to continue their tradition of honoring the most outstanding Filipino authors and books of the year. In her address to the audience, the chair of the National Book Development Board, Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, said:

“Even as we grieve and continue to hear heartbreaking news about our fellow Filipinos, we feel the greater and more urgent need to gather this evening to celebrate the writers, the translators, the publishers, the book designers who continue to honor the Filipino mind and soul through their excellent art, reaffirming yet again that the creative spirit prevails and allows us to see beyond life’s challenges and adversities.

This year, once again, one emerges from the process of selection for the outstanding books published in the country in 2012, awed at Filipino talent, artistry and originality. The National Book Development Board is honored to have this continuing partnership with the Manila Critics Circle headed by Dr. Isagani Cruz. One cannot underestimate the significance of this tradition, now on its 32nd year, to recognize outstanding books in the country and to promote their popular readership.

I love Nick Joaquin’s reason for writing, ‘to remember and to sing….’ Through the National Book Awards, the National Book Development Board and the Manila Critics Circle pay high tribute to the most deserving —and largely unheralded — writers, translators, editors, book designers, illustrators, and publishers who strive to create books that inspire and give pleasure to the readers of the country and hopefully, our Asian neighbors and the rest of the world. May we all continue to sing and to remember.”

 Mrs. Socorro Ramos that evening, expressed willingness to display these award winners in National Book Store branches the same way they display New York Times bestsellers.

The following are the winners of the 32nd National Book Awards for books published in 2012::

JUAN C. LAYA PRIZE FOR BEST NOVEL IN A PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE: Sa Kasunod ng 909, by Edgar Calabia Samar, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. JUAN C. LAYA PRIZE FOR BEST NOVEL IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Margosatubig: The Story of Salagunting, by Ramon L. Muzones, translated by Ma. Cecilia Locsin-Nava, Ateneo de Manila University Press. CIRILO F. BAUTISTA PRIZE FOR BEST BOOK OF SHORT FICTION IN ENGLISH: After the Body Displaces Water, by Daryll Delgado, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.

BEST BOOK OF NONFICTION PROSE IN ENGLISH: Hour Before Dawn: The Fall and Uncertain Rise of the Philippine Supreme Court, by Marites Dañguilan Vitug, Cleverheads Publishing. BEST BOOK OF NONFICTION PROSE IN FILIPINO: Mga Angst ng Isang Di-mahapayang Gatang, by Resty Mendoza Ceña, Visprint, Inc. BEST BOOK OF NONFICTION PROSE IN KAPAMPANGAN: Gálè at Gósu: Para Karing Mal A Patulunan, by Crispin Nacpil Cadiang, Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University.

BEST ANTHOLOGY IN ENGLISH: Hoard of Thunder: Philippine Short Stories in English, 1990 to 2008, 2 volumes, edited by Gémino H. Abad, University of the Philippines Press.

PHILIPPINE LITERARY ARTS COUNCIL PRIZE FOR BEST BOOK OF POETRY IN ENGLISH: Pictures as Poems & Other (Re)Visions, by Marne Kilates, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. BEST BOOK OF POETRY IN FILIPINO: Isa Lang ang Pangalan: Mga Tula, by Rebecca T. Añonuevo, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. BEST BOOK OF POETRY IN KAPAMPANGAN: Kawatásan: Obrang Poeta Laureado, by Joel Pabustan Mallari, Center for Kapampangan Studies of Holy Angel University.

ISAGANI R. CRUZ PRIZE FOR BEST BOOK OF LITERARY CRITICISM OR LITERARY HISTORY IN A PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE: Halos Isang Buhay: Ang Manananggal sa Pagsusulat ng Nobela, by Edgar Calabia Samar, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL IN ENGLISH: Trese 5: Midnight Tribunal, by Ferdinand Benedict G. Tan and Jonathan A. Baldisimo, Visprint. BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL IN FILIPINO: Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila 1, by Carlo Vergara, Visprint.

ALFONSO T. ONGPIN PRIZE FOR BEST BOOK ON ART: Sacrificial Bodies: The Oblation and the Political Aesthetics of Masculine Representations in Philippine Visual Cultures, by Reuben Ramas Cañete, University of the Philippines Press. Walking through Philippine Theater 3 Volumes, by Basilio Esteban S. Villaruz, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. BEST BOOK ON THE PROFESSIONS: The Political Supreme Court, by Pacifico A. Agabin, University of the Philippines Press.

ELFREN S. CRUZ PRIZE FOR BEST BOOK IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: Perspectives on Philippine Languages: Five Centuries of European Scholarship, by Marlies S. Salazar, Ateneo de Manila University Press.

BEST BOOK IN SCIENCE: Shades of Majesty: 88 Philippine Native Trees, by Pastor Malabrigo Jr. and James LaFrankie Jr., Wide Angle Media and Project Brio Media House. BEST BOOK OF LEISURE: Savor the Word: Ten Years of the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award, edited by Michaela Fenix, Maya Besa Roxas, and Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, Anvil Publishing. BEST DESIGN: The Magic Circle, designed by Ani V. Habúlan and Ibarra Crisostomo, Anvil Publishing.

PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR: University of Santo Tomas Publishing House

PREMYONG KOMISYON SA WIKANG FILIPINO PARA SA SALIN AT SALIKSIK SA WIKA: Ibaloy: Dictionary, Phonology, Grammar, Morphophonemics, compiled by Lee Ballard, UP Cordillera Studies Center and Diteng.

President Noynoy Aquino conveyed the following message to the winners:

“To the awardees: May you render dreams of our people aware of the complexities of our reality; may you encourage them to bring to life a more vibrant world where our aspirations as individuals and as a people thrive. Continue to hone your unique voice to cultivate a deeper understanding of the human condition, as we write the narrative of our nation.

Let your words stimulate your readers’ minds and nourish their spirits, that, in today’s milieu of increasing uncertainty, your craft may guide people in their journey of self-actualization.

It was through words that Dr. Jose Rizal awakened a country from the slumber of apathy, as wordsmiths yourselves, may you wield with responsibility the power you hold to build an empowered and informed citizenry. Together, let us craft the legacy of a thriving, revitalized Philippines.”

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