WRITERS from University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao won prizes in the prestigious Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in ceremonies held on September 1 in Makati City.
UP Mindanao alumnus and assistant professor John Bengan (Department of Humanities) won First Prize in the English Division-Short Story for "Disguise," a story about a city official who drives a taxi at night as a means to watch over the city.
The story was premiered in a spoken-word reading by the author in the recent "Kumbira-A Panel Discussion on Mindanawon Writing" held in Notre Dame University-Cotabato City.
This is Prof. Bengan's second time to win First Prize in the English Division Short Story, having won for the first time in 2013 with "Armor."
Prof. Bengan's award strengthens the English (Creative Writing) program of UP Mindanao which already includes two-time Palanca awardee Prof. Jhoanna Lynn Cruz, who has won prizes in the English-Full-Length Play and English-Essay.
Errol Merquita, a UP Mindanao Social Science alumnus, won two prizes in separate categories in the Cebuano Division.
Merquita won Second Prize in the Cebuano Division-Tula Para Sa Mga Bata for his "Tagulilong: Ang Mga Nawawala."
In addition, Merquita also won 3rd Prize in the Cebuano-Short Story for "Aninipot" (Firefly).
Merquita has previously won in the Palanca Awards Filipino Division. He won First Prize in the Filipino Division-Tula Para Sa Mga Bata in 2015 for the poem “Ang Iisang Paa ng Tsinelas” and 2nd Prize in the Filipino Division-Short Story in 2011 for "Isla Verde."