I have timed my yearly vacation to the Philippines every August and September since 2007 because of the annual Palanca awards night on September 1. I think that I have deeply intuited that I will be a perennial winner after 2006. Haha! And true to form, I have consecutive Palanca wins, sometimes multiple awards in a single year, since 2006, except for 2009. But even then, I was invited to the Palanca awards ceremony. So, for seven consecutive years now, I have been a permanent fixture at the Palanca night at the Peninsula Manila. With my induction to the Hall of Fame last year, I no longer need to win to be invited to the annual event. I have earned my perennial free pass. Haha! As for the other incentives, well, you know that aside from my family in Dumangas, I still have my fans and friends in Iloilo City and the whole Western Visayas. My vacation is also my time to meet my public, and often, I take the opportunity to meet new people, especially students who have only heard, or read, about me.
Is there any particular Peter Solis Nery event people should know about?
The most important event will be the 2013 Peter’s Prize for Literature Awards Night at the Al Dente Restaurant in the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center complex on September 7 for The Peter Solis Nery Foundation. The winners of our online contests for Very Short Story, and Love Poetry, will be awarded their prizes; and the people who have helped the Foundation on its first year will be treated to a banquet. At this event, we will also officially launch the two books published by the Foundation in 2012: “Stories in a Mellifluous Language,” a 12-story collection of my mostly award-winning short fiction; and “Kakunyag,” the 100 erotic sonnets in the original Hiligaynon. Unfortunately, the awards ceremony is a private event from 7pm to 10pm. But I’m pretty sure that Al Dente will welcome business if the public comes in after 10pm, and buy their own drinks and dinner. I know that I’ll be staying there for as long as there are people who would want to meet me, or fans who would like to buy autographed copies of my books. “Kakunyag” will be on sale for P800 a copy, and “Stories” at P1,200. Only 15 copies of each will be sold, so people can text me at 0918.285.1673 for reservations.
Have you scheduled any workshops during this trip?
In service to the Filipino people, I have been conducting lectures and workshops in writing, acting, filmmaking, and theatre during my annual vacation. This year, I have two invitations for lectures in literature and creative writing for schools in Iloilo City, and we are working out two theatre and performing arts workshops for the local high school, and college, in my home town of Dumangas. But what I’d really like to do is the “How to Write Award-winning Works” seminar-workshop with an optional soiree with writers for the paying public. Because I am not based in Iloilo, I still have a hard time finding co-sponsors. So anyway, if there are at least five takers, I’ll probably make a go of it for a registration fee of P1,000 per participant. I’m looking at Sunday, September 8; or Sunday, September 15 as possible dates. Interested parties can contact me at 0918.285.1673 for updates and inquiries.
Is there any special thing you want to do during this vacation?
Rest and relaxation, if that is possible at all. But knowing me, I’ll be up, around, and running most of the time. I don’t know. I just feel compelled to share, and serve, and give back to the community. But wait, I think that there is something that I really would consider very special to do in Iloilo. I’d like to meet Archbishop Angel Lagdameo. I don’t think that we have been personally introduced. But I’d really like to meet him, if only to give him a copy of my book “Stories in a Mellifluous Language,” where my Palanca gold-winning story “Si Padre Olan kag ang Dios” is included. As I have previously announced, Monsignor Angel has a very important cameo in that first prize-winning story.