The Philippines’ National Book Awards Longlist Is Out

In News by Dennis Abrams

A wide array of poetry and prose, in English, Filipino and other languages, goes into competition for The Philippines’ prizes.
Charles Bonoan Tuvilla's 'Sa Ilalim ng Pilik,' a collection of poetry in Filipino, is among the longlisted works.

Charles Bonoan Tuvilla’s ‘Sa Ilalim ng Pilik’ (LIRA, Ink), a collection of poetry in Filipino, is among the longlisted works.

By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2

More Regional Languages in Upcoming Years

philippines-natl-book-devel-board-logo-linedNow in the competition’s 35th year, The Philippines’ National Book Development Board (NBDB) and Manila Critics Circle (MCC) have announced the longlist for The Philippines’ National Book Awards.

Awards are to be presented in a wide range of categories.

As reported in The Manila Times, categories in the literary division are fiction (both novels and short stories); non-fiction prose; essays; anthology; literary criticism and/or literary history; poetry, graphic literature; and translation.

The non-literary division includes awards in the arts; professions; social sciences; history; journalism; leisure; food; and science.

As in previous years, along with English and Filipino (the country’s two official langauges), a third language is included for nominated titles in the Literary Division. Books published in Bisaya, Binisaya, and Cebuano within the last three calendar years (2013-2015) are on the longlist for this year’s awards.

Regional languages to be featured in upcoming years are set to include Waray in 2017;  Maranao in 2018; and Maguindanaon in 2019.

The winner of each category is to receive a cash prize of P15,000 (US$316). It’s to be awarded to the author or book designer.

Among the books nominated:

Best Novel in English

Best Novel in Filipinolila-ang-kulay-ng-pamamaalam-722x1024-lined

Best Book of Short Fiction in English

  • Our Darkest Hours: A Collection of Short Fiction, by Jose Miguel Arguelles, Visprint Inc.
  • Recuerdos de Patay and Other Stories, by Caroline S. Hau, The University of the Philippines Press

Best Book of Short Fiction in Filipino

Best Book of Nonfiction Prose in English

  • Arsenio H. Lacson of Manila, by Amador F. Brioso, Jr., Anvil Publishing, Inc.
  • Endless Journey: A Memoir, by Jose T. Almonte and Marites Dañguilan Vitug, Cleverheads Publishing
  • The Maestro of Philippine Basketball, by Tessa M. Jazminez – lead editor, Media Wise Communications, Inc./ Muse books
  • The Writer, the Lover and the Diplomat: Life with Carlos P. Romulo, by Beth Day Romulo and David F. Hyatt, Anvil Publishing, Inc.
  • To Remember to Remember: Reflections on the Literary Memoirs of Filipino Women, by Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House

Best Book of Nonfiction Prose in Filipino
ang-autobiografia-ng-ibang-lady-gaga-lined

  • Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga, ni Jack Alvarez, Visprint, Inc.
  • He’s Dating the Transgender, ni Arthur Sta. Ana, Anvil Publishing, Inc.

Best Essays in English

Best Essays in Filipino

  • Titser Pangkalawakan at iba pang angas sa social network underworld, ni Joselito D. Delos Reyes, Visprint, Inc.

Best Anthology in English

  • Fast Food Fiction Delivery: Short Short Stories to Go, edited by Noelle Q. de Jesus and Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, Anvil Publishing Inc.
  • Habagatanon: Conversations with Six Davao Writers, edited by Ricardo M. de Ungria, The University of the Philippines Press
  • Histories in Memories: Remembering the July 16, 1990 Earthquake, An Anthology, edited by Anna Christie V. Torres, Cordillera Studies Center
  • Many Journeys, Many Voices: A Tribute to Filipina Overseas Workers, by Edna Zapanta Manlapaz, Czarina Saloma and Yael A. Buencamino, Anvil Publishing Inc.

Best Anthology in a Filipino Language
35-kuwentong-klasiko-lined

  • 35 Kuwentong Klasiko, ni Katrina Gutierrez (editor), Adarna House, Inc.
  • Canuplin at Iba Pang Mga Akda ng Isang Manggagawang Pangkultura, ni Manny Pambid, The University of the Philippines Press
  • Kritikal na Espasyo ng Kulturang Popular, ni Rolando B. Tolentino at Gary C. Devilles (mga editor), Ateneo de Manila University Press
  • Lupang Hinirang Lupang Tinubuan: Mga Sanaysay Sa Kritika, Kasaysayan, at Politikang Pangkultura, ni E. San Juan, Jr., De La Salle University Publishing House
  • Gualberto Cea Manlagñit: Mga Piling Obra, ni Maria Celestina Manlagñit-Tam (editor), Ateneo de Naga University Press

Best Book of Poetry in English

  • Imago: Poems, by Joseph O. Legaspi, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House
  • Lifeboat, by Kristine Ong Muslim, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House
  • Lyrical Objects, by Marne Kilates, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House
  • Maybe Something, by Isabela Banzon, The University of the Philippines Press
  • The Reddest Herring, by Francisco Guevarra, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House
  • Best Book of Poetry in Filipino
  • Agua, ni Enrique S. Villasis, LIRA, Inc. (Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo)
  • Lilok ng Lilo: Mga Tula, ni Lamberto E. Antonio, Ateneo de Manila University Press
  • Mula Tarima Hanggang at iba pang mga Tula at Awit, ni Ericson Acosta, The University of the Philippines Press
  • Sa Ilalim ng Pilik, ni Charles Bonoan Tuvilla, LIRA, Inc. (Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo)

Best Literary Criticism in English

  • Deconstruction After All: Reflections and Conversations, by Christopher Norris, edited by David Jonathan Y. Bayot, De La Salle University Publishing House
  • past-mountain-draming-linedNew Essays, by Gémino H. Abad, The University of the Philippines Press
  • Poetry is: José Garcia Villa’s Philosophy of Poetry, by Robert L. King (editor), Ateneo de Manila University Press
  • The Collected Stories of Jose Garcia Villa, by Jonathan Chua (editor), Ateneo de Manila University Press
  • The Resil Mojares Reader, by Hope Sabanpan-Yu (editor), University of San Carlos Press

Best Book of Graphic Literature in English

  • Halina Filipina: A Graphic Novel, by Arnold Arre, Chambershell Publishing Inc.
  • Kare-Kare Komiks: Short Comics, by Andrew Drilon, Anino Comics, an imprint of Adarna House, Inc.

Best Book of Graphic Literature in Filipino

  • Kikomachine Komix Blg. 11: Mga Kirot ng Kapalaran, ni Manix Abrera, Visprint, Inc.
  • News Hardcore! Hukbong Sandatahan ng Kahaggardan!, ni Manix Abrera, Visprint, Inc.
  • Si Janus Silang at Ang Tiyanak Ng Tabon (ni Edgar Calabia Samar), hango ni Carljoe Javier at guhit ni Natasha Ringor, Anino Comics, Adarna House, Inc.
  • Sixty Six, ni Russell Molina at Ian Sta. Maria, Anino Comics, Adarna House, Inc.

Best Book of Graphic Literature (Wordless)

  • Light, by Rob Cham, Anino Comics, an imprint of Adarna House, Inc.

Best Translated Book

  • Ang Rebolusyong Filipino ni Apolinario Mabini, salin ni Michael M. Coroza, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
  • Derikaryong Pada: Sugidanon (Epics) Of Panay Book 3, by Federico “Tuohan” Caballero, Romulo “Amang Baoy” Caballero (chanters), and Alicia P. Magos (chief researcher and senior translator), The University of the Philippines Press
  • Heartland, translated by Marne L. Kilates, Ateneo de Naga University Press
  • Pitong Gulod pa ang Layo at iba pang Kuwento, salin ni Edgardo B. Maranan, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
  • Sa Atong Dila: Introduction To Visayan Literature, by Merlie M. Alunan, The University of the Philippines Press

To read the longlist in its entirety, click here.


The Philippines publishing industry is one of seven featured in The Markets: Global Publishing Summit (18 October 2016) from Publishing Perspectives and the Frankfurt Book Fair. In our Markets white paper, you can read our series of interviews and information in relation to the daylong conference. .
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This year’s seven markets are:

  1. Brazil
  2. Flanders & The Netherlands (Guest of Honor)
  3. Philippines
  4. Poland
  5. Spain
  6. United Arab Emirates
  7. United Kingdom

The Markets’ programming highlights each of these seven publishing territories from three perspectives: analysis, vision, and industry players. The day is devised to provide attendees not only with information and insights into the most important features of each industry market, but also with extensive networking opportunities during the event.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.