FIFTEEN wordsmiths will be honored as top literary writers in Cebuano in the Post-World War II era to highlight the 50th-year celebration of Bathalan-ong Halad sa Dagang (Bathalad) Sugbo, the longest existing writers’ association in southern Philippines.
The awards, dubbed as Kaplag 15, will be conferred on the Bisdak creative writers during the annual convention of Bathalad Sugbo on Feb. 25.
Bathalad Sugbo was founded by Dr. Melquiadito M. Allego Jr. on Aug. 19, 1969 during a gathering in Talisay, then a municipality. The Cebu Provincial Government, during the time of then Cebu governor Gwen Garcia, awarded the Garbo sa Sugbo for Literature to Allego in 2012.
A series of activities will take place this year to celebrate the group’s golden jubilee.
Bathalad Sugbo and Palm Grass Cebu Heritage Hotel jointly sponsored the project Kaplag 15, the search for 15 deserving writers in Cebuano in the country.
The Kaplag 15 awardees are Allego, poet-diplomat Vicente Bandillo, Erlinda K. Alburo, Ernesto D. Lariosa, Lamberto G. Ceballos, lawyer Potenciano “Junne” Cañizares, Roger Pono, Marcelo Geocallo, lawyer Cesar P. Kilaton, Ricardo Baladjay, Ricardo Patalinjug, Gremer Chan Reyes, Edfer C. Rigodon, Don Pag-usara and Arturo G. Peñaserada.
Palm Grass Hotel will provide free bedroom accommodation for every awardee outside Cebu. It will also give discounted meals and snacks.
Three awardees come from Mindanao, one lives in Manila and two are based in the United States. The awardees are award-winning creative writers who have been continuously writing for more than 40 years.
Literary lectures by known writers will occupy the morning schedules. The trophies for the regular and special awardees will be conferred in the afternoon.
All members of Bathalad Sugbo are enjoined to attend the convention, which will be held at Palm Grass Hotel on Junquera St., Cebu City. Interested individuals are also welcome to witness the historic event in Cebuano Literature.