ARTLETS ONCE again proved that the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) is home to the University’s best literary writers after bagging 17 out of 30 awards in the recently concluded 31st Gawad Ustetika.
Winning big was Literature junior George Deoso who walked away with two first place awards for Poems in Praise of the Matriarch and Ang Watak-Watak na Salinlahi ni Godot: Mga Tula under the Poem and Tula categories, respectively.
Deoso’s One Night in the Life of Ivan Dihagiba also placed third in the Fiction category while his entry Patayin sa Sindak si Juan dela Cruz under Sanaysay category received an honorable mention citation.
“I’m still out of words as of the moment because those awards came to me as a shock. It’s an extremely surreal experience, especially to me who thinks I, myself, have not an inch of skill on writing poetry,” said Deoso.
The Literature junior said that there is no secret in writing—that one can excel in this craft only if he has the diligence in reading and writing and the will to take risks.
Artlets likewise dominated the Dulang May Isang Yugto/One Act Play categories with Communication Arts students Reena Medina’s Deadline, Miko Jan Portes’ Layo, John Michael Peña’s Curfew, and Journalism major Rani Mae Aberin’s Binhi, landing in the first, second, third place, and honorable mention, respectively.
Portes also received an honorable mention citation for his entry Isa, Dalawa, Tatlo under Maikling Kwentong Pambata category.
Meanwhile, the Ang Lalaki sa Banyo of Miguel Herrera of History outshone the other winners in the Katha category by garnering the first prize.
Joining Deoso were honorable mention recipients Literature majors Nikko Miguel Garcia’s Flowering Shade and Other Poems and John Michael Espino’s Choreography #1, Why is it hard to forget you, Adam’s Sonnet, Trajectory, Around the World in Six Words, An Arbitrary Picture in poetry.
John Evan Orias, a Journalism alumnus, collected two trophies for his works titled Aswang and Panty—second place in Fiction and third place in Sanaysay, respectively.
Literature students reigned in the literary contest with Johannah Mari Felicilda’s The Woman and Kimberly Mae Crisologo’s It’s not just a game! emerging as the second placers in Fiction and Essay categories, respectively. Ma. Beatrice Pancho placed second in Sanaysay for her work titled Ang Paggiba sa Palaruan ng Pool.
Novelist Paulino Lim Jr. also received the Parangal Hagabong, the lifetime achievement award given to Thomasian writers who contributed significantly to the growth of the Philippine literary scene.
The judges for this year’s Ustetika were Ustetika founder Vim Nadera, Esquire editor-at-large Sarge Lacuesta, Palanca-winning poet and former Varsitarian associate editor Carlomar Daona, fictionist Jun Cruz Reyes, historian Victor Torres, and UST Publishing House director John Jack Wigley.
Gawad Ustetika is the Varsitarian’s annual literary derby which recognizes the outstanding works of Thomasian writers in 10 categories. F KRYSTAL GAYLE R. DIGAY