Rousing in the young a sense of roots

Rousing in the young a sense of roots

We congratulate the winners and participants in the 11th Prof. Honor Blanco Cabie Pinili Centennial Awards for Literature (English Essay Division), launched in cooperation with the local government of Pinili, Ilocos Norte.

The town, a basically agricultural economy that has been assigned the garlic product in the government’s One Town One Product program, turned 100 years old on January 1, 1920, but the awarding of prizes had been postponed because of the unexpected lockdown following the coronavirus 2019 pandemic.

This week, after the flag-raising ceremony led by Pinili Mayor Rommel Labasan, and attended by all the LGU officials, including the staff of the town’s Department of Tourism as well as the Cabie Pinili coordinator, former SB member Evangeline Pascua, the awards were finally given.

The winners were supposed to get their cash prizes in the summer of 2020 during the town’s scheduled 10-day centennial fiesta celebration, canceled because of the pandemic, at the covered town’s amphitheater.

Two high school campus journalists are among four winners in the Essay Writing competition which was open to high school students from three institutions in the town in Ilocos Norte’s 2nd district.

Those who received their cash awards, handed out by Mayor Labasan, were Christian Britany Barroga, (Pinili National High School), 1st; Jolina Espiritu, Sacritan Integrated School), 2nd; Shanel Jay Aguinaldo, (PNHS), 3rd. Mark Angelo Perez, (Pinili Institute), consolation prize, was not able to attend the ceremonies because he was in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, according to the Secretariat although his cash prize was claimed by the Secretariat coordinator on his behalf.

Barroga, editor in chief of his school’s newsletter The Dawn, wrote on “Scars of Yesterday: Pinili’s Celebration of Grandeur for Today and Tomorrow;” Espiritu’s was “Pinili Infused with Love, Dedication and History: Soaring High;” while Aguinaldo’s was “A Tale of Metamorphosis.” Perez’s essay was titled “Pinili: Soaring High Into The Post Centennial Rollover.”

The winners are all in Grade 12 of their respective schools, according to the coordinator of the contest.

The contest, limited to English essay, was in collaboration with the Pinili LGU, with the theme around which the informal essays revolved, was “Pinili 2020: Panangipateg ken Panangitandudo ti (sic) Naindaklan a Gapuanan, Puersa iti Masakbayan (Giving Value and Keeping Alive Standout Deeds, Driving Force for the Future).”

The board of judges was composed of Dr. Paul Blanco Zafaralla, former chairman of the Humanities Department of the UP in Los Baños (chairman); Mr. Jimbo Owen Gulle, city editor of the Manila Standard; and Dr. Carmelita B. Bagayas, principal of the Paoay North Institute.

Named after award-winning journalist and essayist Honor Blanco Cabie, who teaches journalism and literature in Metro Manila, the Cabie PINILI Literary Award for Literature in Iluko or English was founded in 2008 aimed at “encouraging Ilocano writers to chronicle in the various genres the wealth of their culture.”

We understand this was the first time the Cabie PINILI was opened to high school students. In the previous years this contest, in fiction and poetry, was opened to Ilocano professional writers at home and abroad.

We give our hand to the sponsors for sponsoring such competition to arouse in the young generation properly a sense of their roots – knowing not many in today’s digital age would have space and time for the history of their respective communities.

We feel encouraging the young to go back to their roots will enable them to appreciate and better live the culture that identifies them in their province, in their region, and in their nation and will give them a sense of pride to people beyond their borders.

Pinili became Ilocos Norte’s 17th municipality on Jan 1, 1920, by virtue of an Executive Order earlier signed in Malacanang by then Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison.


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