SAN FERNANDO CITY, April 13 (PIA) – “Literature nurtures history; it is the heart that keeps the historical landscape pulsating with life and remembrance. It is akin to the very first drop of rain during a dry season, giving the greens beneath the dry soil a chance to grow and flourish. Literature is the rain, history is the soil and the green vegetation is the culture.”
These words were an excerpt from “An Afflatus and the Symphony of Words in a Period without Rain”, the winning entry of James Dennis Tandoc chosen and awarded as the regional winner for the Feature Writing Contest of the Philippine Information Agency- Region I and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Speechless after being awarded, Tandoc from Dagupan City also bagged the second and third prizes for the provincial level with his two other feature stories namely “Slicing Through Time: The Tale of Panday” and “Pag-ahon sa Putik ng Modernisasyon at ang Humihinang Bentahe ng Kalabaw.”
Aside from a certificate of recognition, Tandoc also received cash prizes for winning both in the provincial and regional levels.
Meanwhile, John Micheal Paderon’s story entitled “The Ilocano Hero: In Spirit and Truth” that gave tribute to his grandfather Teofilo Yldefonso received the second prize.
The third place winner was Lean Maverick Alcantara with his entry “Nasaan Ka, Itim na Cinderella” which presented the vivid description of women and girls joining religious procession in barefoot to re-enact the “weeping women of Jerusalem” namely Maria Magdalena, Sta. Veronica, Maria Cleofe, Sta. Marta, Maria Jacobe, and Maria Salome, a nearly-vanishing Good Friday practice in Agoo, La Union.
“It is you and all of those with passion for culture who can help promote the preservation and appreciation of arts, culture, and heritage to reach more people,” Dr. Edwin Antonio, head for the National Commission for Northern Cultural Communities, said.
Lauding PIA Region I’s efforts, Antonio added, “We must continue conducting cultural activities to reach a far wider audience and encourage them to preserve and revive vanishing rich cultural heritage for the future generation”.
“With the assistance of NCCA, we intend to collate all of these submitted feature stories along with the dozen of culture-related feature stories of our Information Officers from the four provinces and publish them into a book as our contribution in the documentation of both our existing and nearly vanishing culture,” Director Jennilyne Role of PIA -1, said.
From Bolinao, Pangasinan, Ana Lyn Soriano’s “Pak Ganern... Kultura at Kinabukasan” won her P4,000 as cash prize for landing first prize in the provincial level.
For La Union, provincial winners include Lean Maverick Alcantara from Agoo (“Saving Brother Leon), 1st place; Julius Cezar Barnachea from Bauang (“Sukang Iloko: Reviving in a Jar the Ilokano Culture”) and John Micheal Paderon from San Fernando City (“In Search of Lam-ang”) for the second and third places receiving P3,000 and P2,000 cash prizes, respectively.
For Ilocos Sur, Dr. Jaime Raras from Candon City (“Bugguong”) bagged the first place; Danilo Antalan, also from Candon City (“Ang Pagdadamayang Ilokano”) and Engr. Norma Esguerra (“The Ilocos technical Culture through Indigenous Sablot” ), from Vigan City, bagged second and third places.
In Ilocos Norte, lone contestant Ralph Christian Currimao from Bacarra received P4,000 cash incentive as first prize for his feature story “Ilocandia: A Tapestry of Heritage.”
The awarding of winners was held during the culminating program of the NCCA-PIA Luzon Cultural Promotions project on April 12 at the Dacanay Hall, this city.
Other PIA-initiated activities for the said campaign included campus fora, workshops, cultural exhibits, among others, all with an end goal of promoting Ilocos Region’s culture and arts. (JNPD/JDS/PIA-1, La Union)