A Harvest of Palanca Prizes

The Josephine tradition of excellence in the arts continues with the national recognition of creative writers encouraged and supported by the college. Alfonso Benedicto Dacanay is the most recent addition to the growing list of Palanca laureates from St. Joseph ’s College, Q.C. Dacanay won first prize in the one-act-play in English category in 2005. The year before, Honorio de Dios got the top prize for short story in Filipino and in the 2003 awards, Agustin Sugatan Jr. bagged third prize for the screenplay. All three studied Mass Communication at the SJC College of Arts and Sciences.

Reaping honors in the country’s most prestigious literary awards was Ramon Felipe A. Sarmiento, Chair for Liberal Arts, who got the third prize for the screenplay in 1994. In 1999, he was the first prize winner for the same category.

In 2000, Roy Iglesias of the “Mano Po” series of prize-winning films and a faculty member for more than two decades won the first prize also for the screenplay.

Aside from their Palanca badges, the prize winners from St. Joseph ’s College are active in other fields allied to the arts. Dacanay is a free-lance film reviewer who occasionally publishes his stories in reputable national magazines. His play “Eyeball” is the current favorite in college productions in Manila and his Palanca winning play will have a run in Dubai. De Dios works in an NGO and publishes his works as well. Sugatan is an independent filmmaker. Sarmiento has been a recipient of other literary awards including the Centennial Literary Prize (second place, screenplay). The piece was published in a book that won the National Book Award in 2003. Roy Iglesias is one of the most well-known and multi-awarded scriptwriters in film and television.