By Prince Golez
Jonell Gregorio’s “Tumult: Literature Borne of a Pandemic” bested 20 other entries to the 2021 Peter’s Prize for Excellence in Writing (Covid Literature) of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation.
The writing contest organized by United States-based Nery, a Carlos Palanca Awards Hall of Fame awardee, that commenced in January 2021 sought original fiction across genres about coronavirus disease and the health crisis it created last year.
“Lubi-Lubi: Ang Labindalawang Buwan ng Delubyo at Pandemya” by Kian Sanchez came in second place while Maria Kristelle Jimenez’s “Anatomiya ng Pandemya” placed third.
In his Facebook post Wednesday, Gregorio, a university instructor in Aklan province, expressed his gratitude to the people who have most greatly inspired him.
“To the jurors for seeing the merits more than the flaws of my work. To Lili, my mother, for the wellspring of inspiration that led me to several milestones in my writing attempts. To Candido Iban and the beauty of Liloan. To my beloved people of Ginictan, Altavas whose resilience during the pandemic I derived courage and inspiration from. To my family, for the silence that kept my sanity intact. And to my Jim Canon, for my sense of purpose as a furdaddy,” he wrote.
For his part, Nery said he ran the online writing contest following the realization that “the modern Filipino language is worth a look in the next Peter’s Prize competition.”
“People… took up my challenge to produce literature while the countries were in lockdown. I want to reward those people by giving them a chance at the prize even if they are English-writing Filipinos in other parts of the world,” he also said.
Submissions were judged by a pool of experienced writers, academics, and other literature consumers.
The top three winners will receive cash prizes and a digital award certificate.