UMPIL announces 2020 Gawad Balagtas awardees, Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez

The following is a press release from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL).

The Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) or Writers Union of the Philippines is happy to announce the recipients of the 2020 Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas and the Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez.

The Gawad Balagtas is a lifetime achievement award for a Filipino writer while Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez is a lifetime achievement award for Filipino teachers of literature and creative writing.

The 2020 Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas awardees are:

The 2020 Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez awardee is Lourdes H. Vidal.

This year, the awarding ceremonies were originally scheduled for April 25 as the highlight of the annual national congress of UMPIL that is being held every last Saturday of the National Literature Month in April. The congress is postponed indefinitely because of the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The schedule and the venue of the awarding will be announced later.

UMPIL launched the Gawad Balagtas in 1988. The award consists of a citation and a
sculpted hardwood trophy by world-renowned Filipino artist Manuel Baldemor.

The executive board of UMPIL is composed of Michael Coroza as chair, Susan Lara as vice chair, John Iremil Teodoro as secretary general, Louie Jon Sanchez as treasurer, Aldrin Pentero as auditor; Romulo Baquiran Jr, Karina Bolasco, Celina Cristobal, Marne Kilates, Joey Tabula, and John Enrico Torralba as members; and John Bengan, Dulce Maria Deriada, Grace Chong, Joaquin Sy, and Ariel Tabag as sectoral representatives. –