Sunday, December 7, 2008

The National Book Awards

(Source: Souvenir Program for the 27th NBA)

Every year since 1982, the Circle has given the National Book Awards to the best books written, designed and published in the Philippines. In addition, the Circle also gives Special Awards to outstanding publishers or publishing projects and Citations for outstanding achievement in special categories. In 1995 and 1996, the awarding ceremonies were telecast over PTV-4. No book written or edited by a member is eligible to win a National Book Award; instead, the Circle gives Members’ Awards to its members who publish books. Trophies for past awards have been designed and donated by Eduardo Castrillo (1981-83), Agnes Arellano (1984-87), Cesare and Jean Marie Syjuco (1989-91), Edgar Doctor (1992), Gino Gonzalez (1993-95), National Artist Napoleon Abueva (1996-99), and Tito Sanchez (2006). This year, the trophies are by young sculptor Glenn Cagandahan.

Early in 2008, the Manila Critics Circle entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Book Development Board (NBDB) to institutionalize the National Book Awards to better honor Philippine publishers and authors.

The move ensures that the yearly awards will continue to recognize the creative works of our talented authors and publishers for many years to come. Beginning with this year’s National Book Awards, both the NBDB and MCC hope to organize more prestigious yearly tributes to those who dedicate their lives to producing quality books that Filipinos could all be proud of.

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