I had planned to give prizes only to the first to third placers, but the generally high caliber of most of the blogs submitted put me in a bind. I had to recognize honorable mentions, too, I felt. Fortunately, the gods heard my prayer. Elmar Ingles of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts approached me at the CCP one evening and handed me a thick package. Books, he said--use them as additional prizes for your blog contest.
And that's how I can now afford to reward not only my top 3 choices but also nine other honorable mentions, each of whom will likewise get a gift. (Details of major prizes here and here.)
A note on my choices: I had two basic criteria for this contest--quality of insight and clarity of expression, whether in English or Filipino. I just wanted to know what went on in one's head while watching a VL play, and how he or she would now describe it, present it, frame it, argue with or concur with it in the form of a blog entry.
Whether I agreed with one's point or not was not a consideration. Many bloggers who made it to the list, in fact, offered opinions divergent from mine; in the end, how well-thought out and and how well-expressed an opinion was were the only things I looked at. Of course, throw in a dash of humor, a fleck of wit and attitude to one's basic articulation and the deal was sealed for me.
I invite you to read through all the blog entries submitted here--winner and non-winner alike--and take heart in the thought that we do have an engaged, alert, intelligent audience out there. And many of them young, too. Know hope.
1. Writ.Hop: New Writers Speak Up, edited by Ricardo De Ungria and Erlinda Alburo: “A collection of essays presented by critics and young writers in two national conferences held under the auspices of the NCCA,” this volume includes pieces by Timothy Montes, Wendell Capili, Lilledeshan Bose, Lakambini Sitoy, Francis Macansantos, Luna Sicat, Rebecca Anonuevo, Alvin Yapan, Michael Obenieta, Rolando Tolentino et al.
2. Vibora!, by F. Sionil Jose: “This brief but thoughtful novel challenges the reader to make judgment--at his own moral peril,” from the National Artist for Literature and the Philippines' most widely translated author.
Proletartist: (Prize: Preview Art book, Sinta! anthology, Virgin Labfest anthology, Bilog CD)
MossGreenTrunks: (Prize: pair of Havaianas, Sinta! anthology, Virgin Labfest anthology, Bilog CD)
Wandering Commuter: (Prize: Zen Zest gift pack, Sinta! anthology, Bilog CD, The Rene O. Villanueva Children's Reader)
1. Buena Bernal (Prize: Bilog CD)
2. Erasmusa (Prize: Bilog CD)
3. Eros (Prize: The Rene O. Villanueva Children's Reader)
4. John Ryan Pecabar: (Prize: Writ.Hop)
5. Rhodge (Prize: Writ.Hop)
6. Abaniko (Prize: Writ.Hop)
7. FabulousJV (Prize: F. Sionil Jose's Vibora!)
8. Acrylique (Prize: F. Sionil Jose's Vibora!)
9. Rollie dela Cruz (Prize: F. Sionil Jose's Vibora!)
How to get your prizes
Please drop by the Inquirer office (Yague corner Mascardo Sts., Pasong Tamo, Makati City) so I can personally give you your prize. But before you do that, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's agree on the time and date. See you.
Thank you to everyone who joined in whatever way--by sending entries, donating prizes, spreading the word, leaving comments, or by plain keeping this blog company with your (much-appreciated) lurking. Maraming, maraming salamat. Sa uulitin!