Friday, September 1, 2017
ILOILO City – For his Hiligaynon story “Ang Milagro sa Ermita”, about a seminarian who heard the voice of God at the Ermita Shrine Chapel in Dumangas, Iloilo, multi-awarded Ilonggo writer and Panay News columnist Peter Solis Nery won his 19th Palanca Award this year, and will be honored tonight at the Rigodon Ballroom of The Peninsula Manila in Makati City.
This year’s award marks Nery’s return to the Hiligaynon short story category, which he has previously won for “Lirio” in 1998; “Ang Pangayaw” (in 2000); “Ang Kapid” (2006); “Candido” (2007); “Donato Bugtot” (2011); and “Si Padre Olan kag ang Dios” (2013).
In the intervening years, Nery has also won in various other categories like Poetry for Children, Tulang Pambata, Full-length Play, One-act Play, Dulang Ganap ang Haba, and Dulang May Isang Yugto. The Ilonggo author writes in three languages: Hiligaynon, English, and Filipino.
In 2012, after winning five first prizes, Nery was elevated into the elite Palanca Awards Hall of Fame, the 22nd Filipino to be so honored in the longest-running literary award of the country which has been dubbed as “the Pulitzer Prize of the Philippines”, and remains the standard by which Filipino writers are measured.
“While I enjoy winning in other Palanca categories, I cherish awards and prizes in Hiligaynon the most,” Nery said.
“As a Hiligaynon language advocate,” he explains, “I want to be recognized and perceived as someone on top of my game as a language practitioner. I think that’s the way to truly popularize my Hiligaynon revolution for the new millennium.”
Nery initiated the Hiligaynon Revolution of 2014, which advocated, among many other things, the expansion of the Hiligaynon alphabet from 20 to 28 letters to include the letters c, f, j, ñ, q, v, x, and z./PN