VN: What are your plans for all the winning works? Can we expect a Palanca Publications or a Palanca Productions in the future?
SPQ: The objective of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature is to be a repository for the country’s literary gems. Winning works are continuously made accessible to students, and all researchers and lovers of literature, through the Carlos Palanca Foundation library and recently, its official website,www.palancaawards.com.ph.
To date, the Foundation hosts a total of 2,052 winning works, which include 527 short stories, 366 collections of poetry, 208 essays, 344 one-act plays, 182 full-length plays, 60 teleplays, 54 screenplays, 148 stories for children, 34 futuristic fiction stories, 77 student essays, 36 novels, and 16 collections of poetry for children.
There are no current plans for a Palanca Foundation-owned productions or publications. The Foundation, however, always pursues avenues that help share these literary gems with the rest of our countrymen, for whom Filipino literature ultimately belongs. To date, four anthologies of award-winning poetry, short fiction and one-act plays have been published. We also have plans of live streaming the reading of our winning works through the Awards website.
VN: What is the Palanca Foundation all about?
SPQ: For 61 years, through the heirs of Don Carlos Palanca Sr. and the Carlos Palanca Foundation, the Palanca Awards has contributed in developing literature by providing incentives to writers to craft their most outstanding literary work, by becoming a treasury of the Philippines’ literary gems from our gifted writers, and by assisting its dissemination to the public.
VN: How do you partner with both the public and private sectors?
SPQ: The Palanca Foundation works closely with the colleges and universities from all over the country where we conduct workshops and hold dramatic readings of our winning entries. Schools have also required students to read Palanca winning works.
Our award-winning plays are often used as materials for the staging of plays by the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and other theater groups.
VN: What did you learn from your Palanca experience?
SPQ: Through the Palanca Awards, I realize that our country has been gifted with a great number of talented writers, with a lot more waiting to be discovered. We’re seeing more and more young and first-time winners getting recognized in the Awards. That tells me that indeed, the Philippine literature is very much alive.
VN: Do you offer scholarships, seminars, workshops, or readings for writers?
SPQ: Yes, we do. Adding dimension to living out the Palanca Awards mission are the scholarship and other related programs. The Foundation has been assisting deserving students in pursuing their dreams of a university education, particularly at the University of the Philippines.
The Foundation also seeks to foster the unbounded imagination and creative spirit of the Filipino through creative writing workshops and “tertulias.”
VN: What do you and your family get from exerting all the effort to keep Philippine literature alive?
SPQ: It is most fulfilling to have contributed in the development and enrichment of the country’s culture and of the Philippine literature.
VN: How would you see the Palanca awards 60 years from now?
SPQ: The Palanca treasury of literary gems will have grown deeper and will continue to be made accessible to our countrymen.