Bicol writers vie for regional literary prize

Premio Tomas Arejola
Image via Wikipedia Bicol
The 8th edition of the Premyo Tomas Arejola sa Literaturang Bikolnon (PTALB) will showcase anew the best literary works of Bicolanos in the Bikol language this 2016.

PTALB chair Carlos Arejola, a prolific and renowned writer himself, has deemed the occasion as an opportune time for Bicolano writers to promote the Bicol culture through literary works and writings.

“I hope that the PTALB, a private initiative, will continue to contribute in the blossoming of Bikol literature, with wider adherence for Bikol writing, and ultimately, engender a deeper appreciation of our history, culture, and heritage,” Arejola added.

New and unpublished works in the following genres are eligible for the competition: Osipon (fiction), Saysay (essay), Halipot na Pasali na Pan-entablado (one-act play), Rawitdawit (poetry), and Osipon na Pan-aki (story for children). Entries must show literary merit, social significance, and tackling issues relevant to Bikol realities.

Osipon and Saysay entries must be at least 10 pages in length but should not exceed 15 pages. Informal, personal essays about the Bicolano way of life are preferred. Halipot na Pasali na Pan-entablado must be at least 15 pages or of sufficient length to approximate a performing time of at least thirty minutes.

Rawitdawit entries on the other hand must consist of at least seven poems but not more than ten poems and Osipon na Pan-aki entries must be at least 7 pages but must not exceed 10 pages. Entries with a plot and narrative suitable for an illustrated storybook of at least 30 pages are also preferred.

Winners in the five (5) categories will be honored at the “Limang Pinakamababansay na Obrang Panliteratura sa Taon 2016”, a ceremony commemorating the Pambansang Buwan ng Panitikang Filipino in April 2016. The winners will each receive a Diploma of Merit, the Premyo Tomas Arejola Medallion and P5,000. 
The grand prize winner will receive an additional cash prize of P7,000.00 and will be named Parasurat kan Taon (Writer of the Year).

“We are enjoining everyone to be a part of the region’s premiere literary prize- the PTALB, and be included in the roster of the best writers in Bicol. This is our chance to let everyone know how rich and grandiose our heritage is. This is a celebration of a culture that is uniquely ours!,' he said.

Interested writers may send their entries at with the following email subject format: PremyoArejola_<insert genre>_<insert author’s name> (Example: Premyo Arejola_rawitdawit_Juan de la Cruz). For inquiries, please contact the PTALB Secretariat at the Pintakasi kan Literaturang Bikolnon Facebook Page. Deadline of submission of entries is March 25, 2016. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)