SEVENTEEN ARTLETS dominated this year’s Gawad Ustetika with 27 out of 35 awards, once again proving that the Faculty of Arts and Letters is home to the University of Santo Tomas’ (UST) best literary writers.
Winning big was Literature senior Raymond Gold Padao who received the Rector’s Literary Award—the highest literary award given in the contest—for his work Trinkets, Tools, and Toys that topped the Essay category.
The Rector’s Literary Award is given to a participant whose works “envision the Christian values and the Catholic vision of the University.”
Padao’s other entry, Sirang Orasan at Iba Pang Tula, also placed second in Tula category.
Literature senior George Deoso, meanwhile, went home with five awards, including two first places for his works The Interrogation and Mga Mumunting Dagundong under Fiction and Tula categories, respectively.
Deoso’s Rebelyon also placed second in Katha, while his The Voyeurs of Doom: Poems and Isang Liham Para Kay H both placed third in Poetry and Sanaysay, respectively.
“[Ang] importante is ‘yung magbasa nang magbasa para may masulat ka. And sa pagbabasa kasi, doon mo makukuha […] ‘yung craft, doon mo mahahasa ‘yon. Kaya kapag ‘di ka nagbabasa, mahihirapan ka talagang magsulat,” Deoso told the Flame.
UST Literary Society president Harvey Castillo brought home three awards with his Cataract Clouds and Turning Tables placing second in Essay. The Ugliest Drowned Man in the World and The Ghosts of Lotteries Lost both capped third honorable mentions in Fiction and Poetry, respectively.
Literature senior Noreen Christie Miano’s A Trail Runner and junior Leanne Claire Bellen’s A Wooden Consolation were awarded third place and first honorable mention, respectively, in the Essay category. Bellen also placed second in Fiction with her work titled Si Magayon.
Moreover, Patrick John Danque’s Ang Pinag-uusapan ng mga Filipino Pag Nakikita ng Ibang Filipino Abroad received third honorable mention in Sanaysay while Janelle Dino’s Hail Goretti, Full of Grace, and Doreen Evita Garcia’s Undocumented both bagged second honorable mentions in Fiction and Poetry, respectively.
The Flame’s literary editor Aaron Philip dela Cruz was awarded second honorable mention in the Essay category for his work Getting Used To.
Artlets, likewise, dominated Dulang May Isang Yugto/One Act Play category.
Bulong ng Hangin of Literature junior Lloyd Alcedric Opalec and Paper Cranes of Journalism senior Jann Kayla Mendoza landed second and third places, respectively.
Journalism senior Rani Mae Aberin and Communication Arts senior John Michael Peña bagged first and second honorable mentions, respectively, for their works Forever Young and Writer’s Block.
Opalec’s When Monsters Love also received first honorable mention in Fiction, while Mendoza’s Biyaheng Fairview sa UV Express finished second in Sanaysay.
Asian Studies senior Irish Ann Foja brought home the second place in Poetry with her work Gravity is Female; while Joshua Russel Iringan’s At Nakipanahan sa Gitna Natin: Mga Tula sa Panahong Gaya ng Amin and Julius Villavieja’s Patay Mali Siya… Patay Malisya: Isang Pahayagan finished third and first honorable mention in the same category, respectively.
Legal Management senior Marianne Joy Ligan, furthermore, was given first honorable mention in the Sanaysay category with her work Soria, Soria, Soria.
Ustetika founder Vim Nadera, Esquire editor-at-large Angelo Lacuesta, contemporary writers and professors Eros Atalia and Rebecca Añonuevo, historian Victor Torres, UST Publishing House director John Jack Wigley, and Palanca-winning poet Edgar Samar were among this year’s invited judges.
Carlos Palanca Awards hall of famer Jesus Peralta and the late historian Fr. Fidel Villaroel, O.P. were also honored with Ustetika’s Parangal Hagbong, an award given to outstanding Thomasian writers.
Gawad Ustetika is the Varsitarian’s annual literary derby, which recognizes the outstanding works of Thomasian writers.
The awarding ceremony was held March 9 at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. building. F ANGELIQUE ANNE F. TORRES