MANILA, Philippines – Books written by Rappler’s editor at large Marites Dañguilan Vitug and regular Thought Leaders writer Joselito D. de los Reyes won in their respective categories in the 38th National Book Awards (NBA), which honor books published in 2018.
The winners were announced by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) through its official Facebook page Monday night, November 4.
Vitug’s Rock Solid: How the Philippines Won Its Maritime Case against China (published by Bughaw, an Ateneo de Manila University Press Imprint) was declared Best Book in Journalism.
De los Reyes’s Finding Teo: Tula/Talambuhay (published by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House) was declared Best Book of Nonfiction Prose in Filipino.
In 2016, the Philippines overwhelmingly won a historic case versus China over the disputed parts of the South China Sea. Rock Solid is the first book to tell the story of the victory, from the point of view of the Philippines.
Relying mainly on original documents submitted to the tribunal and made public for the first time, Vitug’s book tells of the hurdles that a small country like the Philippines had to overcome in suing the regional power that was China.
De Los Reyes’s biography of Filipino poet Teo T. Antonio is considered a radical project because, in the Philippines, literary writers rarely become the subject of such genre – politicians, actors, athletes, and other types of celebrities do.
In Finding Teo, the author’s love for both poet and poetry is evident. He introduces Antonio, one of the most important writers of his time, to a wider and younger generation of audience with the popular language and approach that have also made De Los Reyes a widely-followed personality on social media.
The National Book Awards are organized by the NBDB with the Manila Critics Circle. The annual awards, according to the NBDB website, are “annual tributes to excellent books written, designed, and published in the Philippines.
The awards have two divisions: the Literary Division, composed of 13 categories; and the Non-literary Division, which has 7 categories.