2015 Best Books Awards

BREAKTHROUGH - Elfren S. Cruz - The Philippine Star

Philippine National Artist and nationalist Amado Hernandez once wrote in  “poem on poetry,” translated by Epifanio San Juan Jr.: “The mind of a poet [or a writer] often performs miracles – a few coarse grained words, apprehended, become bullets and roses.”

In today’s digital world, it is said that the world of video – cable television, streaming, on line seminars – will take the place of books. Perhaps, communication will be more video dominated with each new technology. But it is still the printed word that has the power to stir the world.

When you listen to statesmen or radical extremists; preachers or proselytizers; leaders or demagogues – it is the ideas or thoughts written in some book that they quote.

It is the Bible, the Koran, the Analects that shape our values. It is the written works of John Maynard Keynes, Adam Smith, Karl Marx that influence economic policies. It is the poetry of Amado Hernandez, the novels of Jose Rizal and the undelivered speech of Ninoy Aquino that instill in each one of us what we call – love of country.

Books, stories, and poetry also serve as a “magic portal into that fair land whither worry and vexation can follow you no more. You have left all that is vulgar and all that is sordid behind you [ Arthur Conan Doyle].”

Last night, the National Book Development Board and the Manila Critics Circle held the 34th Annual National Book Awards ceremonies at the National Museum. This is a tradition that was initiated in 1981 by a group of literary reviewers who organized the Manila Critics Circle.

This group was joined by the National Book Development Board which covers the costs of the award ceremonies and adds to the critics’ expertise by inviting other critics, organizations and schools to join the judging.

The awards intend to give recognition to the most outstanding books  and authors in different writing categories. Several organizations and philanthropists have also contributed additional cash awards to awardees in specific award categories.

The awards for the best books published in 2014 are as follows:.

Literary Division

Juan C. Laya Prize for Fiction Category – Novel (English Language)

Dwellers, by Eliza Victoria, Visprint, Inc.

Fiction Category – Novel (Filipino Language)

Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon, by Edgar Calabia Samar, Adarna House, Inc.

Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for Fiction Category – Short Stories (English Language)

Wonderlust, by Nikki Alfar, Anvil Publishing Inc.

Artline Highlighters Prize for Nonfiction in English for Nonfiction Category (English Language)

Ramon Obusan, Philippine Folkdance and Me, by Kanami Namiki, Anvil Publishing, Inc.

Essays Category (English Language)

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami, by Rey Ventura, Ateneo de Manila University Press

Essays Category (Filipino Language)

iStatus Nation, by Joselito Delos Reyes, Visprint, Inc.

Anthology Category (English Language)

Agam: Filipino Narratives on Uncertainty and Climate Change, edited by Regina Abuyuan, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities

Anthology Category (Filipino Language)

Ang Labingtatlong Pasaway, by Jun Cruz Reyes, Visprint, Inc.

Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta Prize  for Literary Criticism/Literary History Category (English Language)

The Postcolonial Perverse vol. 1, by J. Neil C. Garcia, The University of the Philippines Press

Clodualdo del Mundo Prize for  Literary Criticism/Literary History Category (Filipino Language)

Talab: Mga Sanaysay sa Wika, Panitikan, at Pagtuturo, by Rebecca T. Añonuevo, Ateneo de Naga University Press

Philippine Literary Arts Council Prize for Poetry Category (English Language)

Hidden Codex: Fictive Scriptures, by Jose Marte A. Abueg, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House

Time’s Enchantment and Other Reflections, by Marne Kilates, Ateneo de Naga University Press

Poetry Category (Philippine Language except Hiligaynon/Kinaray-a)

Kundiman sa Gitna ng Karimlan, by E. San Juan, The University of the Philippines Press

Poetry Category (Hiligaynon/Kinaray-a Language)

Tikum Kadlum, by Federico Caballero and Alicia P. Magos, The University of the Philippines Press

Graphic Literature Category (English Language)

Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby, by Gerry Alanguilan (story) and Arnold Arre (illustration and color), Meganon Comics Publishing House

Graphic Literature Category (Filipino Language)

Tabi Po (Volume 1), by Mervin Malonzo, Visprint, Inc.

Graphic Literature Category (Wordless)

14 (Silent Comics) by Manix Abrera (writer and illustrator), Visprint, Inc.

Translation Category

Manila Synod of 1582: The Draft of Its Handbook for Confessors, translated by Paul A. Dumol, Ateneo de Manila University Press

Non-Literary Division

Food Category

Country Cooking, by Michaela Fenix, Anvil Publishing, Inc.

Elfren Sicangco Cruz Prize for Social Science Category

Rido: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao (expanded edition), by Wilfredo Magno Torres III (editor), Ateneo de Manila University Press

Victorio C. Valledor Prize for Professions Category

The Adventures of a PR Girl, by Bettina Rodriguez-Olmedo, Anvil Publishing, Inc.

Leisure Category

Buti Pa Ang Roma, May Bagong Papa, by Noreen Capili, Anvil Publishing, Inc.

Alfonso T. Ongpin Prize for Art Category

Journey of a Thousand Shuttles, The Philippine Weave, by Norma A. Respicio, National Commission for Culture and the Arts

Pilipinas Shell Prize for Science Category

Birds of Cebu and Bohol Philippines, by Nilo Arribas Jr., Bobby Kintanar, and Raul Benjamin Puentespina, University of San Carlos Press

John C. Kaw Prize for History Category

Sakdalistas’ Struggle for Philippine Independence, 1930-1945, by Motoe Terami-Wada, Ateneo de Manila University Press

Journalism Category

Vantage Point: The Sixth Estate and Other Discoveries, by Luis Teodoro, The University of the Philippines Press


Manila Synod of 1582: The Draft of Its Handbook for Confessors, design by Karl Fredrick M. Castro, Ateneo de Manila University Press

According to the International Publishers Association, the true global currency of the 21st century is the global exchange of knowledge which is measured by access to the internet and by published book content. We need to encourage more books to be written and published so that the Philippines can become a vibrant part of the global knowledge society.

Writing Class for Kids & Teens

Young Writers’ Hangout on December 12 (1-2:30pm) at the Prism Gallery Salcedo St., Legaspi Village Makati. For registration and fee details contact 0917-6240196/ [email protected].

For all those who have been inquiring, the book” Aquino Legacy: An Enduring Narrative” is available at Fully Booked stores.

Email: [email protected]












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