This article is available in Spanish.
MANILA, Philippines — Two women snagged wins in the 2022 Premio Antonio M. Abad, a Spanish-language writing contest. Elizabeth Medina won in the Hispanic-Philippine Literature section for “La Girondelle,” while Daisy Lopez received the Chavacano Literature Award for “Hermoso palabra.”
“This gothic tale of nineteenth-century ambience seeks to exalt the grandeur of what once was, of the decadence that ensues, and of the obligatory and simple empathy to give peace, love and an end to the wandering voices of the past …” said the jury in Spanish of Medina’s work. The judging panel was chaired by Beatriz Alvarez Tardio of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, a specialist in Philippine literature. Authors Lourdes Reyes y Montinola and Zoe Jimenez Corretjer; novelist Jordi Verdaguer; and Filipino writer Isaac Donoso also formed the panel.
Meanwhile, the jury, which was chaired by writer and translator Jerome Herrera and formed by writer Lourdes Reyes y Montinola; professor Juan Valverde Gefaell; and Isaac Donoso, said that Lopez made an “exceptional literary recovery” of the Ermita variant of the Chavacano language. “As a true cultural heritage treasured by very few people, this brief but extraordinary collection of poems returns to use for artistic expression — after decades extinct — a mythical language, but with the timeliness of the present, reflecting on the unknowns of how to become, and disappear, and rising in anger against those who prevent the recovery of dreams, and the voice of childhood,” they said in Spanish.
The winning works were published as books, and the winners each received a diploma and 20 copies of the resulting work.
The Premio Antonio M. Abad is one of the few Spanish-language writing contests focused on Philippine literature. The award was created with the objective of “honoring, disseminating and promoting the Hispanic linguistic tradition of the Philippines in order to foster Filipino literary creation in both Spanish and Chavacano at the national level.” It was also established to celebrate Antonio M. Abad, a renowned Filipino writer in Spanish. It is run by the Far Eastern University in Manila and the Editorial Hispano Árabe de Barcelona in partnership with Revista Filipina.
Along with the announcement of this year’s winners, the organizers have also released the contest rules of the fourth edition of the Premio Antonio M. Abad. Participants must submit their entries by May 30.
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