writings, projects and exhibitions of Clarissa Chikiamco

Friday, March 30, 2007

2006 Lifestyle Journalism Awards

Below is the 21 May 2006 article of Millet Mananquil, announcing the 2006 Lifestyle Journalism Awards Winners. Winning the Award was how I earned my column in the art section of Philippine Star :)

Finally, the Lifestyle Journalism Awards 2006 winners!
LIFE & STYLE By Millet M. Mananquil
The Philippine STAR 05/21/2006

Where have all the good writers gone? Gone to graveyards, everyone? Certainly not. Many good writers are still very much alive. They're just around, waiting to be discovered, nourished, and plucked from their blissful and quiet lives.

Gone to higher-paying jobs, everyone? Perhaps, but with their passion for writing and commitment to excellence in Philippine literature, these part-time writers will always go back to their first love.

To search for such talents, as well as discover fresh new ones, the Philippine STAR, in partnership with Stores Specialists Inc. and HSBC, launched the Lifestyle Journalism Awards 2006 last year, and presented 12 topics to choose from, each one inspired by the Philippine STAR Lifestyle Section's themes for each day – Arts & Culture, Business Life, Health & Family, Fashion & Beauty, Leisure, Young Star, YStyle, Shopping Guide, Modern Living, Pet Life, Travel Now and Sunday Lifestyle. For the latter, we allowed contestants to create their own topics.

The STAR chose Stores Specialists Inc. because this top retailing chain of globally renowned lifestyle brands is not only an arbiter of good taste, it is also a dedicated patron of the arts and culture.

The HSBC, the world's local bank, on the other hand, embarks on projects manifesting its commitment to help propagate and preserve the country's national heritage.

The response from readers was overwhelming. We received more than 6,000 entries nationwide, coming all the way from the Mountain Province to Mindanao.

After months of perusing each and every entry, we finally came up with more than a hundred semifinalists for the board of judges to choose from. Judges were Philippine literature stalwarts and Palanca Hall of Famers Butch Dalisay and Krip Yuson, STAR editor in chief Isaac Belmonte, STAR lifestyle editor Millet Mananquil, ANC broadcast journalist and Palanca Awardee Twink Macaraig, Summit Publishing president Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, columnist and Palanca Award winner Wilson Lee-Flores, SSI executive vice president Anton Huang, and HSBC vice president-public affairs Laine Santana.

Fifteen winners have been chosen, each one winning a glass trophy designed by sculptor Impy Pilapil, plus P50,000 (P25,000 in cash from HSBC and P25,000 in gift certificates from Debenhams, Britain's favorite store in the SSI chain), plus the opportunity to join the Lifestyle Section's rosters of writers.

Awarding rites will be hosted by Philippine STAR president Miguel Belmonte on June 6, with SSI EVP Anton Huang and HSBC president Warner Manning co-presenting the awards. STAR publisher and chairman of the board Max Soliven will lead the awarding ceremony.

Here they are:

Clarissa Chikiamco
, 22 is an art lover and provocateur. Her dream is to set up an independent art space. Chikiamco is a 2005 magna cum laude graduate of Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Major in Art Management, Minor in History degree. She co-founded Visual Pond, a non-profit organization committed to the visual arts. She is organizing and curating the End Frame Video Art Project, the first video art festival in the Philippines this September 2006. Her winning entry: "Have Our Artists Found the Filipino Soul?"

Francesca Mikaela Ayala
, 22, speaks five languages and has made the world her classroom. After high school at Poveda, she took up visual and communication arts at Franklin College in Switzerland. Ayala also took a film production workshop in Italy, a language and culture immersion program in Spain, and more discovery sojourns in places like Malta, Tunisia, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Cuba. Her winning entry: "Love in the Time of HIV".

Migs Villanueva
is a woman truly dedicated to the arts and letters. A multi-awarded writer (two Palanca Awards, two NVM Gonzales Fiction Awards among others) who has produced/designed written books, Villanueva was creative director of the University of the Philippines (UP) Press. An AB Psychology graduate of Ateneo, she is currently taking her MA Creative Writing at UP. She is a board member of The Saturday Group of Artists. Her winning entry: " Tubong Lugaw" (My Heroes in Business).

Maria Alicia Sarmiento
, 20, reaped honors and applause as a BFA Theater Arts student at Ateneo. Now Sarmiento is getting even higher grades as a BS Clothing Technology major at UP Diliman. Stage actress or clothing entrepeneur? This geek (read: young erudite) comes from a family of writers/lawyers, but who knows what she'll dream of next? Her winning entry: "This 'Whatever' Generation: Disembodied and Disconnected".

Cristina Jacinto
, 21, could be one of tomorrow's brightest and smartest broadcast journalists. This Povedan graduated magna cum laude in Broadcast Communication at UP Diliman. This consistent university scholar's extra-curricular activities include membership in DZUP Circle's Longga FRIENDS and publicity work for Lavender Diaries: Anthology of Women's Stories in Music. Jacinto has interned at ABS-CBN as well as her uncle RJ Jacinto's RJTV. Her winning entry: "Measured Beauty".

Lily Ann Padaen
is a lawyer (UP College of Law, Class 1990) whose ideal respite is to enjoy a cup of hot tarragon tea in Tagaytay or Baguio on a foggy day. Her spirit howls at the full moon and celebrates the rain. She secretly is learning how to belly dance. That is, only during weekends, for she is legal counsel of a foreign bank with a Philippine branch in Makati. A wiz, Padaen finished her pre-law AB Political Science in three years, taught law, took her MBA at Ateneo and is now taking her Ph.D in Creative Writing at UP. Her winning entry:"Beauty in the 21st Century."

Anna Canlas
, 18, is focused on achieving her dream: She hopes to pursue digital journalism at New York University, work as an anchor for the British Broadcasting Corporation or put up her own women's magazine, melding style with literary merit. Graduating grade school and high school valedictorian, Canlas is a Broadcast Communications freshman at UP Diliman. Her winning entry:"What Filipino Design Can Offer the World."

Mariane Umali
has a big heart. She works with a humanitarian NGO. Her other passion is food – reading and writing about it. "I view food as a part of culture which needs to be documented and promoted. When stressed, I cook. Food is my therapy… This fondness (for food) was brought by my parents who taught us to appreciate food to make family and friendship ties stronger. It does not matter if a dish was prepared in some far-flung area, hole-in-the-wall or five-star restaurant." Umali is a BS Developmental Communication graduate of UP Los Baños. Her winning entry: "The Enduring Joys of Kinalas and Loglog."

Annette Beley
has collected as many cookbooks as she has Agatha Christie novels down the years. "My two passions – writing and cooking – come together in such a positive way." Beley's love for writing began at UP where she took AB Journalism and "thoroughly enjoyed it because one of my professors was the inimitable Louie Beltran." Her love for cooking began when "my father sealed my fate when he showed me how to whip up a mean spaghetti meat sauce he learned to cook from an American-Italian classmate at the University of Pennsylvania." Her winning entry: "Beginner's Luck" (The Perfect Meal).

Cheryl Nolasco
is an economist by training (UST, AB Economics) but says: "My job description is blurry. I supply linens to hotels and motels, clothes to department stores. I am a part-time illustrator/designer for a small boutique, and a full-time wife and mother. Nolasco writes about the economics of being a fashionista in her winning entry: "A Peek Into My Sole." She adds: "I am married to Philip who has learned not to question my empty wallet and full closets."

Kevin Piamonte
is an associate professor in Humanities at UP Visayas. This British Council scholar at the University of Warwick, England also directs theater productions and writes fiction. He lives with his 97-year-old grandmother, Socorro Fuentes Pison, the sister of National Artist for Music, Jovita Fuentes. Piamonte has traveled extensively, but the journey he has enjoyed the most is a road trip in Luzon with his American-based sister, Kathy. He hopes that the trip has, in a way, Filipinized his sister. His winning entry: "Welcome to the Pinoy Home: The House of Spirits."

Lilia Ramos-de Leon
has published short stories, feature articles and book reviews in top national publications. She won the Free Press Literary Award for Short Story in 2003. A former attaché to the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, De Leon has also written books for the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines. She taught as professorial lecturer at De La Salle University and was board member of the International PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists), Philippine chapter. She graduated from the State University of Northern Virginia with an MA in English. Her winning entry: "All the Pets I Loved…"

Cecile Lopez Lilles
was grand prize winner in the STAR's "My Favorite Book" contest in 2004 with her piece "Mothers, Daughters and White Oleander." Her published works include "Fighting Forty (in My Fair Maladies, Essays and Poems on Ailments and Afflictions) and "Loose Vowels"(in When We Were Little Women) and essays in parenting mags. This entrepreneur and mother of six children never ceases studying. A BS Sociology graduate of Santa Clara University in California, she is currently a freshman in UP Creative Writing Master's Degree Program. Her winning essay: "The Sentimental Tourist."

Exie Abola
is a veteran at winning literary contests (1st Prize, Short Story in English; 1st Prize, Essay in English, Palanca Awards) and wrote the Best Short Story of the Year 2005 in the NVM Gonzales Awards. He teaches part-time at the Ateneo English Department and is studying towards a Master's Degree in English Studies: Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Abola created his own topic, and his winning entry is "My Wife, the Book Eater."

RJ Ledesma
's biodata is longer than his winning entry, but he has kindly summarized it for us: RJ has been living many parallel lives, which have converged in one universe. It's either that or he's schizophrenic. Still unsure if he has ADD, RJ used to hawk an orange softdrink in the late '80s, was a one-time college professor in Public Speaking and Economics at his alma mater, De La Salle University, worked as a brand manager for a multinational company and was a frenetic television host for Magandang Umaga Bayan Weekends. In a move that made him popular among MTRCB censors, RJ co-conceptualized and developed the late night comedy show Studio 23's The Men's Room which he currently hosts with Juddha Paolo. A product of the National Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City, RJ loves to write, but unfortunately obstacles like work have gotten in the way. Aside from working in the family property development firm, he is the editor in chief of Manual Magazine, a television and event host, a comic book geek, an eclectic book collector, an Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practitioner and erstwhile teacher, an ovo-lacto vegetarian and manservant to his girlfriend. Sleep is something he used to do. RJ lives in constant fear that he and his hair will soon part ways. Ledesma's winning topic: "You Smell Good Enough to Mate (Dating in the Time of Thirty and Above)."

Winning entries will soon be published in the STAR Lifestyle Section.

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