A new literary prize has been launched by the Ateneo de Naga University Press in cooperation with the National Book Development Board (NBDB), the Institute of Bikol History and Culture and the Ateneo de Naga Center for Arts and Culture last 14 August 2018 at the Richie Fernando Hall, Ateneo de Naga University. Attended by writers, administrators, librarians, students and writers, the launching ceremony was graced by NBDB Chair Neni Sta. Romana Cruz and the writer’s prize donor, Victorio C. Valledor, a native of Catanduanes.
The donor who has been very supportive to the NBDB projects shares that he did not hesitate when he was asked by Kristian Sendon Cordero, deputy director of ADNU Press, to sponsor a writer’s prize in Bikol considering that Bikol has a rich literary tradition. Mr. Valledor in his speech during the launching shared to the audience that as a Bikolano, he has never for a minute forgot that he comes from the Bikol in particular in the island of Catanduanes. He wished that thru the writer’s prize, the Bikolano writer will continue to reflect, criticize and embrace the many narratives about the region.
“A brief profile about the donor which is available in the internet shows that Mr. Valledor is a man of intelligence and virtues…it is our hope that many Bikol writers will respond to the challenge set by this competition,” according to Dr. Noel Volante, Ateneo CCA Director who formally introduced Mr. Valledor to the audience.
Victorio Cabangon Valledor joins the insurance industry since 1967. Starting as a clerk with a small local insurance company, he rose to become the President and CEO of Citytrust Insurance Brokers Phils., the Philippine affiliate of Citicorp Insurance Brokers in 1987. In 1994, Vic, in partnership with Citicorp Nelson Hurst Insurance Brokers, formed a joint venture company in the Philippines known as NHV Insurance Brokers, Phils., Inc. Since then NHV’s name evolved to what is now known as Lockton Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers, Phils., Inc. Today, Lockton Phils. is ranked as one of the top ten insurance brokers in the country. It is also one of the most profitable. Mr. Valledor is a graduate of the Harvard Business School OPM Program. Mr. Valledor is also involved in charity work especially in his home province, Catanduanes, where through the Scholarship Foundation he founded in honor of his maternal grandfather, over one hundred scholars have so far completed their technical and vocational education and are now all gainfully employed. He continues to provide scholarships to at least 25 poor but deserving students from his province every year. He is also a member of the prestigious Makati Business Club and Manila Jaycees Senate, among others. He is the immediate past president of the Association of Insurance Brokers of the Philippines and currently sits in its Board as one of its directors.
Fr. Wilmer Tria, the university press director thinks of the said award as a good occasion to rekindle the revolutionary spirit among our writers. “In a time when the public discourse has gone so low, and has been polarized by so many fake news and ad hominem attacks prevailing in our monitors and television screens, we are being called to return to books, to return to writing and critical reading so that we may continue to forge and discern the best things we can offer for our regions, for the nation and for the world”, said Fr. Tria. The deadline of submission of entries is on 30 November 2018. A shortlist will be announced in February 2019 and the awarding is set on 27 April 2019 in time for the celebration of the National Literature Month. The winning writer will receive the amount of P 50, 000.00 and a publishing grant from the Ateneo de Naga University Press.
Photos courtesy of Ateneo de Naga University Press and Jasper Infante