Emmanuel ”Emman” Lacaba, great late poet, dramatist and a student journalist, scriptwriter who joined the protest movement in his student days and later lost his life as an armed revolutionary and was an editor of The Guidon, the official student publication of the Ateneo de Manila University, one of the founding campus publications of the Guild. He is considered as one of the top 100 Filipino for Literature. Lacaba fought against the dictatorship during the Martial Law and died as a martyr at the age of 27 at Asuncion, Davao del Norte. He was also the brother of renowned Filipino writer Jose ‘Pete’ Lacaba.
Lacaba has often been compared to the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, a fact he himself alluded to in one of his poems, “Open Letters to Filipino Artists”, where he told of his being called “the brown Rimbaud.” Like Rimbaud, Lacaba started writing poetry at the tender age of 14, and still like him, lost his life before he reached his 40th year.
If there is something Emman Lacaba is most noted for, it is for having been a writer-activist.
At the Ateneo, he fought for the Filipinization of the university administration, which was then largely American led, and the use of Filipino as medium of instruction. He was also instrumental in arousing and organizing his fellow Ateneans in various socio-political issues, through his stint at the Guidon and as a student leader.
In his early days as an activist, his poetry began to show signs of the road he was to take for the rest of his life, with his increasingly frequent use of the image of Icarus, a Greek mythological character who burned his wings, fell to the sea, and died because he flew too close to the sun – an often-used symbol for those who perish in the pursuit of noble causes.
As part of his advocacy to promote cultural revolution and Filipinization in Ateneo, he joined Panday Sining, the cultural arm of the militant Kabataang Makabayan, and participated in the First Quarter Storm.
Before he graduated from college, he won a major literary award for Punch and Judas, a short novel depicting the transformation of an intellectual, Felipe “Philip” Angeles, from Bohemian to activist.
After college, he taught Rizal’s Life and Works at UP and got involved in the labor movement. He also became a member of the militant writers’ group Panulat para sa Kaunlaran ng Sambayanan (PAKSA). He later on became active on the stage, writing and acting in plays. He also assisted in film productions, and among his compiled writings are a number of unfinished film storylines. He wrote the “Awit ni Kuala” sung Lolita Rodriguez for the theme song of the Lino Brocka- directed movie Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, which is essentially a critique of the hypocrisy of society.
In 1975 he set out for Mindanao to join the armed revolutionary movement, to become a “people’s warrior”, as he later called himself in a poem.
Such was his passion for writing that he wrote even while leading the life of a revolutionary guerilla. It was in the hills, in fact, that he wrote one of the poems he is best remembered for, “Open Letters to Filipino Artists”, where he described the guerilla warrior as thus:
Lacaba is best known for his posthumously published books, Salvaged Prose and Salvaged Poems.
Contest Rules and Category:
- The contest is open to all curent members of student publications within Luzon (membership to CEGP is not a requisite), except to current officers of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines in any formation and even for the secretariats.
- The contest has two divisions: English and Filipino
- Translation of an entry submitted in English shall not be qualified for the Filipino division, and vice versa.
- The contest has three categories: short story, maikling kuwento | essay, sanysay | poetry, tula.
- Entries must be socially relevant.
- Entries shall be original and solely written by the contestant. Only one (1) entry per category shall be
allowed per contestant.
- Contestant shall only submit entries published within the present academic year 2011-2012 in their
respective school publications, or previously unpublished works.
- Entries shall be type-written, 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced on a letter-sized (8 ½ x 11) bond paper, with 1-inch margins on all sides. Page numbers shall be placed on the bottom-center of each page.
- All entries shall consist of three (3) copies each, enclosed and sealed in a brown letter-sized envelope.
A CD copy of the entries shall also be enclosed.
- Only the title of the entry, category and division shall be written or computerized on the upper left
portion of the envelope. Any indication of the author’s identity in/on the entry shall render the entry
- All entries shall be personally submitted on the first day of Lunduyan 2012.
- All entries shall remain with the CEGP Secretariat in the whole duration of the event, until the awarding.
- If the entry is already on the hand of the GEL officer, no one from the Lunduyan 2012 delegates is allowed to be in touch of the entry. This will be subject for disqualification.
Rules per Category
- For the short story category, each entry shall be composed of more than 15 page long but not less than 10 page.
- For the poetry category, each entry shall consist of a compilation of at least three (3) but not more than
five (5) poems. Dagli in not allowed to be an official entry for this category.
- For the essay category, each entry shall be at least five (5) but not more than 15 pages long.
Judging and Criteria
- The Board of Judges shall consist of persons appointed by the CEGP National Office.
- The Board of Judges shall have the discretion to withhold awarding if it does not deem any entry
meritorious of any award for any particular category.
- The Board of Judges has the right to disqualify the entry piece proven by plagiarism or if proven that the piece is not the original work of the entry holder.
- The decision of the majority of the Board of Judges shall be final and irrevocable.
- Top three entries shall be declared the winners for each division and category.
- Winners shall be announced and awarded on the last night of Lunduyan 2011.
For inquiries, please contact Jian Carlo R. Gomez, head of GEL Awards, 0926.2622.040.