Renowned author and University of Santo Tomas Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS) Director Prof. Emeritus Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Ph.D., was conferred the Gawad Dangal ng Lahi (Pride of the Race Award) at the 69th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature held on November 8, 2019 at the Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.

The Gawad Dangal ng Lahi, one of Philippine Literature’s most prestigious awards, recognizes significant contributions to the Philippine literary scene. Among the previous winners are Alfred “Krip” Yuson and Prof. Gemino H. Abad, Ph.D. 

Hidalgo, who also teaches at the UST Graduate School, served as the guest of honor and speaker. She is a multi-awarded fictionist, critic, and pioneer of creative nonfiction in the Philippines. She has published more than 40 books and has received three Palanca awards, including the Grand Prize for Novel in 1996 for her epistolary novel Recuerdo (Remember). Last year, her work titled “The Thing with Feathers: My Book of Memories” was named Best Book of Essays in English at the 37th National Book Awards.

In a short statement posted on the Facebook page of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies, Hidalgo called the award “an unexpected blessing” and expressed her “deep gratitude to the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for this honor.”

The Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature was established in 1950 to inspire and recognize Filipino writers, including poets, playwrights and screenwriters. This year, the Foundation honored 56 writers, 32 of whom are first-time awardees. UST Department of Literature Chair Assoc. Prof. John Jack Wigley, Ph.D., and CCWLS Assistant Director Asst. Prof. Ralph Semino Galán, Creative Writing Program Coordinator Asst. Prof. Joselito Delos Reyes, Ph.D., Thomasian poet J. Neil Garcia from AB Journalism’s Class of 1990, and UST Publishing House author Sarge Lacuesta were part of the roster of judges.