Two student-writers bag top KWF award

January 29, 2016 7:33 am 

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, Jan. 28 (PNA) – Government's language authority Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) honored the winners of its nationwide Gawad Julian Cruz Balmaseda competition for the best thesis and dissertation in Filipino, the country's national language.

On Thursday (Jan. 28), KWF presented its plaque of recognition and PhpP100,000 prize to each of the competition's winners — Roman Sarmiento Jr. and Dr. Gilbert Macarandang.

KWF believes the recognition will help encourage more people to produce work in Filipino and other Philippine languages.

"I hope such will fire the youth's love for our languages," historian, former tourism chief and 1964 Miss International Gemma Cruz Araneta said at the awarding ceremony in Metro Manila.

She urged the public to increasingly read work written in languages spoken in the country.

People must continue researching and learning about such languages, she said.

Sarmiento won for his thesis 'Ang Mga Kalamidad noong Panahon ng Hapon sa Pilipinas: 1942-1945.'

His thesis focuses on hazards that struck during Japan's occupation of the Philippines.

"Tropical cyclones, earthquakes and other contingencies at the time worsened our people's suffering," he noted on the awarding's side.

Macarandang bagged the award for his dissertation 'Pagpopook ng Kapangyarihang Politikal: Prosesong Elektoral sa Probinsiya.'

He said the dissertation tackles how the Philippines conducted its elections from mid- to late 1800s when the country was still a Spanish colony.

"Some election-related practices still prevail today," he said, citing as an example fielding of incumbents' kin to possibly replace them.

As the competition's winners, Sarmiento and Macarandang have the opportunity to have their winning work published under KWF's Aklat ng Bayan program.

According to KWF, Dr. Tereso Tullao as well as Michael Charleston Chua and John Iremil Teodoro served as the competition's judges.

In 2014, KWF decided conducting the annual Gawad Julian Cruz Balmaseda competition to help promote writing and publication of original work using Filipino and other Philippine languages.

KWF named the competition after the late Julian Cruz Balmaseda who was among the leading writers and Filipino language scholars of his time.

Balmaseda also served as director of Surian ng Wikang Pambansa, KWF's forerunner.

He was born on Jan. 28, 1895 and died on Sept. 18, 1947. (PNA)



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