Palanca Awards

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Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature
Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature
Awarded forExcellence in literary works
First awarded1950

The Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, popularly known as the Palanca Awards, are a set of literary awards for Philippine writers. Usually referred to as the "Pulitzer Prize of the Philippines," it is the country's highest literary honor in terms of prestige. It was named after Carlos Palanca Sr., the Chinese Filipino businessman and philanthropist.[1]

The literary competition began with a long-term vision straddling two complementary tracks: to provide incentives for Filipino writers to craft the best literary pieces, and to be a treasury to the country's literary gems. Winning works are entered in the competition either as previously published pieces or in manuscript form.[2] The Palanca Awards, organized by the Carlos Palanca Foundation, is one of the Philippines' longest-running awards programs.[3] Among its winners include several National Artists for Literature, including Nick Joaquin, Edith L. Tiempo, Gemino H. Abad, Cirilo F. Bautista, F. Sionil Jose, NVM Gonzales, Bienvenido Lumbera, Amado V. Hernandez, and Virgilio Almario.


The Palanca Awards was established in 1950 to inspire and recognize Philippine writers, including poets, playwrights and screenwriters, and writers for children.[4] It started giving out prizes in the Short Story (English) and Maikling Kwento (Filipino) in 1951. In the 1960s, the Palanca Awards Committee started to fund the publication of Palanca Award-winning plays, and production funds were committed in 1975.[5]

Since 1954, the awards night has been held on September 1, to commemorate the birthday of Carlos Palanca Sr. (although there have been changes of dates in the intervening years). Venues that have hosted the celebratory dinner include the Philippine Columbian Clubhouse, New Selecta, Hilton Hotel, Hyatt Regency Hotel, La Tondeña Building, Philippine International Convention Center, Dusit Hotel, the Peninsula Manila, and Marquis Events Place.[6]


There are currently 22 categories in the Palanca Awards.[7] In the early decades, writers could submit multiple submissions per category, often resulting to multiple wins [plus designated honorable mentions or special prizes]. Starting on the 60th awards year, for which the call for submissions opened on 1 March 2010, contestants can submit only one entry each in the following categories:

English Division

  • Novel [category added in 1980]
  • Short Story [inaugural category, 1951]
  • Short Story for Children [category added in 1989]
  • Essay [category added in 1979]
  • Poetry [category added in 1964]
  • Poetry Written for Children [category added in 2009]
  • One-Act Play [category added in 1954]
  • Full-Length Play [category added in 1976]

Filipino Division

  • Nobela [category added in 1980]
  • Maikling Kuwento (Short Story in Filipino) [inaugural category, 1951]
  • Maikling Kuwentong Pambata (Short Story for Children in Filipino) [category added in 1989]
  • Sanaysay (Essay in Filipino) [category added in 1979]
  • Tula (Poetry in Filipino) [category added in 1964]
  • Tulang Isinulat Para sa mga Bata (Poetry for Children in Filipino) [category added in 2009]
  • Dulang May Isang Yugto (One-Act Play in Filipino) [category added in 1954]
  • Dulang Ganap ang Haba (Full-Length Play in Filipino) [category added in 1976]
  • Dulang Pampelikula (Screenplay in Filipino) [category added in 1994]

Regional Languages Division

  • Short Story in Cebuano [category added in 1998]
  • Short Story in Hiligaynon [category added in 1998]
  • Short Story in Iluko [category added in 1998]

Kabataan Division (open only to those below 18 years of age)

  • Kabataan Essay [category added in 1999]
  • Kabataan Sanaysay [category added in 1999]

Discontinued Categories

  • Future Fiction in English [category added in 2000, discontinued in 2007][8]
  • Future Fiction in Filipino [category added in 2000, discontinued in 2007]
  • Dulang Pantelebisyon (Teleplay) [category added in 1990, discontinued in 2007]

Palanca Hall of Fame[edit]

The Palanca Hall of Fame honors was established in 1995 and is presented to a Palanca awardee who already won five first prizes in the regular categories.

  • 2019
Lamberto Antonio[9]
  • 2014
Alice Tan Gonzales[10]
Rodolfo Vera[11]
  • 2012
Peter Solis Nery[12]
  • 2008
Reuel Molina Aguila[13]
Eugene Y. Evasco[14]
  • 2007
Nicolas B. Pichay[15]
  • 2006
Rodolfo Lana Jr.[16]
  • 2005
Luis P. Gatmaitan, M.D.
Manuel Buising
  • 2004
Isagani R. Cruz[17]
  • 2003
Reynaldo A. Duque
Leoncio P. Deriada
Alfred A. Yuson
  • 2000
Roberto T. Añonuevo
Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.
Edgardo B. Maranan
  • 1999
Elsa Martinez Coscolluela
  • 1996
Ma. Luisa Aguilar Igloria
  • 1995
Cirilo Bautista
Gregorio C. Brillantes
Ruth Elynia S. Mabanglo
Buenaventura S. Medina Jr.
Jesus T. Peralta
Rolando Tinio
Rene Villanueva

See also[edit]


  1. ^[bare URL]
  2. ^ Aguilar, Dheza Marie (September 15, 2007). "Ang Ika-57 Gawad Carlos Palanca". Manila Standard. Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2007., from Internet Archives
  3. ^ "Palanca Awards announces deadline for submission of entries P". April 27, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
  4. ^ "Deadline for Palanca awards entries set April 30". Sun.Star Manila. April 27, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
  5. ^ Fernandez, Doreen (1996). Palabas: essays on Philippine theater history. Ateneo de Manila Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 971-550-188-5. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
  6. ^[bare URL]
  7. ^ "2022 Press Release".
  8. ^ ""Palanca Awards"". May 5, 2014.
  9. ^ "Decorated writer for the masses inducted into Palanca Hall of Fame". SunStar. November 28, 2019.
  10. ^ "UPV prof inducted to Palanca Hall of Fame". September 3, 2014.
  11. ^ "Literary artists installed at Palanca Awards Hall of Fame". The Philippine STAR.
  12. ^[bare URL]
  13. ^ "A teacher's romance with literature". Tawid News Magazine. November 28, 2009.
  14. ^ "The winners of the 64th Palanca Awards". September 2, 2014.
  15. ^ "New Palanca Hall of Famer Nicolas Pichay | Philippines Today".
  16. ^ "Jun Lana | Apple TV (PH)".
  17. ^ "Isagani R. Cruz".
  18. ^ "Likhaan Online - Recognizing the importance of literature in the development of the nation".

External links[edit]