Foundation • Peter Solis Nery
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The Peter Solis Nery Foundation for Hiligaynon Literature and the Arts, Inc.

Peter Solis Nery established The Peter Solis Nery Foundation for Hiligaynon Literature and the Arts in September 2012, right after his induction into the Palanca Awards Hall of Fame. The foundation, which aims to promote, preserve, and propagate Hiligaynon literature, and Filipino art and culture, through research, publications, productions, education, and cultural dissemination, was incorporated by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission on November 5, 2012.


Foundation Name

The Peter Solis Nery Foundation for Hiligaynon Literature and the Arts, Inc., also known as Peter Solis Nery Foundation; or alternately, Nery Foundation for the Arts; or simply, Nery Foundation.


Mission

To promote, preserve, and propagate Hiligaynon literature, and Filipino art and culture, through research, publications, productions, education, and dissemination.


Vision

To be a compact but functional and consistent institution actively pursuing its stated mission, and carrying out other implied or related endeavors and activities emanating from it.


Sources of Funds

Initial funding for the foundation will be provided by founders Peter Solis Nery and Thomas Randolph Graydon. Additional funding will come from donations, contributions, grants, endowments, gifts from private individuals and groups, as well as from sectoral and civic organizations, and government and non-government funding both local and international. Furthermore, the foundation may raise funds by undertaking income-generating projects and activities that are complimentary or supplementary in the pursuit of its mission.

Application of Funds

The funds of the foundation shall be used to finance, support, and carry out activities, events, projects, and programs pertinent to the pursuit of its mission such as, but not limited to: workshops, lectures, symposia, exhibits, arts festivals, theatre, dance, film, fashion, music, photography, animation, books, digital imaging, visual arts, performance, literary and cultural competitions, and online presence; and all other implied and related costs and expenses emanating from the pursuit of these endeavors and activities.


Prospective Beneficiaries of Grants and Endowments

Young Ilonggo artists and Hiligaynon writers, and their audience and readership, in particular; and the Filipino people, including other nationals of Filipino descent and affinity, in general, are the prospective beneficiaries of grants and endowments from the foundation. In addition, artistic and cultural projects, programs, activities, and endeavors by founder and artist Peter Solis Nery that are consistent with the foundation’s stated mission shall be given funding priority. Furthermore, the foundation may choose to elect other meritorious beneficiaries of grants and endowments through a simple vote and resolution.   


Process for Application of Funds

To apply for the use of funds, a member of the board shall make a motion to initiate or support a project, and by a simple majority vote after careful deliberation in a meeting, or internet or telephone conference, or other modern way of communication, the board, by a simple resolution, shall be able to authorize the release of funds for the intended purpose. In the event of an application for use of funds by individual or group entities external to the foundation, a grant or project proposal needs to be submitted, and discussed by the board, which shall, by a simple majority vote after careful deliberation in a meeting, or internet or telephone conference, be able to authorize the release of funds for the intended purpose with a simple resolution.


Effectiveness

This Plan of Operation is adopted by the foundation on October 24, 2012, and is effective on November 1, 2012. For all intents and purposes, it shall continue its effectiveness until otherwise amended, or superseded by a simple majority vote decision that remains faithful to the stated mission of the foundation.






The PSN Foundation Logo

Excerpts from “The Icon in Magenta,” the June 13, 2014 Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column of Peter Solis Nery in Iloilo Metropolitan Times.


What color is the logo?


Magenta. An action color, magenta stands to mean creative, engaging, and inspirational. I know that I have a magenta aura because I am free-spirited, creative, and fun loving. I prefer an alternative lifestyle, I am clearly an artist, and I am always getting a reaction from people whether I work for it or not. I thought that my Foundation’s color should reflect those qualities and my vision. Also, I know that in-your-face magenta appears odd, eccentric, and sometimes down right scary to some people—especially if they don’t understand that bold magenta also stands for compassion, kindness, and devotion to please others. Well, I am really not worried about what other people think, only what I can accomplish. I’m clearly magenta in spirit, and so I cannot go with any other color for my logo.


What's the shape of the logo?


Right now, the logo has two images: a nontrivial right-handed torus knot, and an outline of my face from a picture when I started the Foundation. The torus knot, also known as a trefoil knot after the three-leaf clover plant, has my three names—PETER, SOLIS, and NERY, on the bands, along with 13 stars. Thirteen, of course, in numerology means great blessings from God. Sure, it can mean destruction or revolution in the Tarot, but it is always some chaos with hope, excitement, and desperation for God’s promise to be fulfilled. Uh, and now many people are pictured in The Last Supper portrait? As a Karmic number, 13 is the number of upheaval so that new grounds can be broken. That sounds very much like the indomitable Peter Solis Nery, and his Foundation, doesn’t it? The stars, in my dream interpretation book, signify brilliancy, achievement, and lofty ideals—again, a trifecta of the Peter Solis Nery personality!


What's the importance of the face icon?

For now, perhaps none whatsoever, but in the days to come, when I am old and weary, or perhaps dead, and people wonder about my guts to attempt and save the Hiligaynon language and literature from extinction and corruption, at least they will have a beautiful face icon to remember me by. Then, they will finally see that I am not just a beautiful soul in the inside, but rather a pleasingly handsome dude on the outside, too. Forget about what you have heard about my vanity. It is for the benefit of the future generation that I stamp my face on every good thing that I do. People always want a face to match the name, or to see abstract ideas concretized; I’m giving you the face of “inspiration,” so why are you complaining? 


Do you really need two images?

Again, perhaps I don’t, but I’m paying for my logo, so what’s your problem? It’s my Foundation, it’s my money that I’m spending, it’s my logo! When the time is ripe, I can decide to drop one of the icons, or use one exclusively for a specific purpose. Have you thought of that? I am telling you, I do not do things blindly, or impulsively. When we are all dead and gone, those we leave behind will thank me for my foresight. And the logo, the icons, I can assure you, they will stand the test of time.


What do you intend to achieve with the logo?

Other than immortality? Haha! First of all, I think that the design and execution are very pretty; and I would like to be remembered for bringing into our world beautiful things. If I can popularize these icons and make people smile, or spark a play of their imagination, the logo will have achieved its purpose. But it is not lost on me that people are commercially branding everything nowadays. I want to sell Peter Solis Nery as an icon in magenta, a paragon of inspiration and daring. I know that I’m not a brand for everyone, but I want to be there for those who need me.



© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: June 13, 2014




The PSN Foundation and the Press

On July 8, 2013, with his characteristic sassy writing that made him erstwhile "Prince of Iloilo-based Newspapers" from 2000 to 2006, Peter Solis Nery returned as a columnist for Iloilo Metropolitan Times. His interview format column, untitled until January 2014, is called Brash, Brazen & Brilliant. In it, he discusses his rollercoaster life and, often, the travails of his Foundation as can be seen in these excerpts and full text column pieces. 


What is The Peter Solis Nery Foundation?

It’s a promise delivered. It’s my way of giving back to the community. The official name of the foundation is The Peter Solis Nery Foundation for Hiligaynon Literature and the Arts, Inc. Its purpose is to promote, preserve and propagate Hiligaynon literature, and Filipino art and culture, through research, publications, productions, education and dissemination in such various forms and means as, but not limited to: workshops, lectures, symposia, theatre, dance, film, fashion, music, photography, animation, digital imaging, visual arts, performance, literary and cultural competitions, and online presence. It was founded on September 6, 2012 and was incorporated by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission on November 5, 2012.

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: July 21, 2013


Don’t you need to have at least a million pesos to start a foundation?

Yes, a million pesos in the bank is a SEC requirement. Needless to say, I bankrolled the foundation. Well, actually, Randy Graydon and I provided the initial funds. Now, Randy Graydon is a name you also have to remember since it will be a recurring name in this very extended interview. But mostly, it was my money. You see, although the foundation was my lifelong dream, I didn’t see it becoming a reality sooner than 2015, when I thought that I would have the money to give away just like that. But my induction to the Palanca Hall of Fame in 2012 was such a personal milestone for me that I wanted it marked by some big charity. So, I withdrew all my savings, borrowed some money from Randy, and put it in the bank for the foundation. But because I want to have a bigger control in the foundation, I paid off whatever I borrowed from Randy. In the end, from the initial fund of P1,000,003, all P999,999 of it came from me, and the P4 came from the four other incorporators who gave one peso each.


What has the Peter Solis Nery Foundation done so far?

Since most of our program is about delivery of services and creating linkages, we deemed it necessary to buy a transportation vehicle. I didn’t want the foundation to look cheap. I mean, I wanted us to have a positive image and to attract attention and support so we purchased a slightly used high-end van. I thought that with a pretty van, with the name of the foundation tastefully scrawled over it, we didn’t need to pay media outlets to advertise the foundation. That was our first big expense. Then, we published two landmark books in Hiligaynon literature: my 100 sonnets in Hiligaynon, called “Kakunyag,” and my Hiligaynon short story collection called “Stories in a Mellifluous Language.” Of course, they have to be my books! And why not? Am I not among the towering figures in Hiligaynon literature? Wasn’t it my money that started the foundation? Who better understands the mission and vision and programs of the foundation? Those who can’t take that can just go halukbuliko! The foundation has also released funds as thesis grants to two college students who wrote their graduation thesis on Hiligaynon literature, and who else, but me! Two more are candidates for this new school year. Then, there is the Peter’s Prize for Hiligaynon Literature.


Can you tell more about the Peter’s Prize?

Every decent successful man or woman should give a prize, especially if they can afford it. The prize should inspire others to aim for greatness, and improve the human condition. The Peter Solis Nery Prize wants to be one of those coveted and uplifting prizes like the Nobel, or the Pulitzer, or the Palanca. I want to be the official sponsor of the word “inspire,” and the phrase “aspire for greatness” wherever I go, so I do not discount the possibility of awarding a Peter’s Peace Prize in the future. But for now, Peter’s Prize is limited to excellence in Hiligaynon writing. And for 2013, we have opened two categories: Very Short Story, and Love Poetry. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it is only available online at this time. I mean, it is good that it is available online because I am able to reach Ilonggos and Hiligaynon writers around the world. When we have more reasons to visit schools and villages, as when we deliver other services of the foundation, we hope to campaign more for these contests among people who have no internet access. More categories will be added next year, that’s for sure. Remember, we are just getting started!


Do you envision Peter’s Prize to be like the Palanca Awards?

You can say that because, in a sense, I want Peter’s Prize to be a long-running and respectable literary contest like the Palanca. You must understand that I owe so much of my writing confidence to the Palanca Awards that I cannot steal the thunder from it. I am a Palanca Hall of Famer, pordiosporsanto! For the moment, I’d be happy for Peter’s Prize to be dubbed as the breeding ground of future Palanca winners. I mean, right now, Palanca has a Hiligaynon short story contest category, but they require something like 3,000-5,000 words. I only require 500 words or less for my short story contest. The Palanca’s first prize in the category gets P15,000 and a medal, a Peter’s Prize winner wins at least P5,500 and a U.S.-minted medal. I’m thinking that if people can master their storytelling craft in 500 words, they can just move on to be more ambitious and aim for the Palanca. Tilawsilae!

Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: July 28, 2013


Why did your Foundation create the Very Short Story contest?

I love short stories. If a novel is like an ocean of ideas, the short story is like a tiny pebble that causes ripples of thoughts in my mind. It may not be as long as the novel, but it still has the power to tickle the mind. I usually write my own stories 15, up to maybe 20, pages long, but that is such a drag. I would sometimes spend weeks writing an 18-page story. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to tell a short story in just one page? One page: that’s about 500 words, or less, in double space. How can you make a full story, not just a joke, in less than 500 words? Now, that is the challenge, and the bigger challenge, still, is to tell it in the Hiligaynon language. Thus, The Peter’s Prize for Very Short Story Contest.


Does the Very Short Story contest carry a cash prize?

We often say that our words don’t count, or are not worth anything. But imagine being paid a peso for your every word that is counted! So, I said, for 2013, write and tell a story, in 500 words or less, in Hiligaynon, on any theme, using any style, and submit them every month for the Very Short Story writing contest by posting them on the wall of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation on Facebook, or by sending them to 500tinaga@gmail.com. The deadline was every 25th day of the month. A monthly winner was announced usually on the 30th or 31st. The prize is one peso for every word of the story. Two runner-up stories were also chosen, and were made eligible for the next month’s contest. In September 2013, the winning stories of each month will compete for the championship, where the grand prize winner will receive a to-die-for medal, and a cash prize equivalent to the story’s word count multiplied by 10 pesos for each word. Also, there’s a chance for publication: all submitted entries will be collected and edited for publication by the end of the year. Unfortunately, for 2013, the contest is only open online, and Facebook submission (by posting on the wall of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation) is preferred. But things could change after 2013.


How so?

Well, running a monthly contest is rather tedious. Especially that I am almost a one-man team. My experience since January has not been easy. I personally campaigned online for entries, and I also had to scout for judges. I shortlisted the entries myself, sent them out to the judges, and waited for the results. Sure, I enjoyed it, but the process was rather wearying for me. I figured that after September, we should campaign for entries in the 2014 edition among schools. And since I anticipate a bigger participation among the young, I decided that next year, I should have stories in various genres like Very Short Horror, Very Short Humorous, or Very Short Modern tales, et cetera. I’m also thinking of conducting the 2014 contests quarterly instead of monthly.


Why after September?

Because that coincides with my annual visit to the Philippines, and as previously mentioned, The Peter Solis Nery Foundation was founded on September 6. Actually, I’m arriving in Iloilo on August 23 to start my vacation, but we will have the awarding ceremonies around our first Foundation day, if not on September 6 itself. After that, I will personally launch our school campaign by visiting several colleges, universities, and high schools in the city and province of Iloilo. I have decided that our 2014 quarterly writing contests will start in October, have a December 31 deadline, and a first winner announced on January 6, which is my birthday. Then, the next deadline would be March 31, and we will name another winner on April 6. And so on, until the next grand prize awarding ceremony on September 6, 2014. In addition to the campaign for participation, I will personally oversee the publication of the 2013 submitted entries in October through December for an anthology book, which will be launched on January 6, my birthday, and the traditional date for the feast of The Three Kings. It will be “my birthday gift” to the world. 


So there will be four Peter Prizes next year compared to the two this year?

At least four. I mean, who knows what I’ll think of in the next few days. And for as long as I have the money to run the contests and award the prizes, who is going to stop me carry out the Foundation’s mission-vision of promoting, preserving, and propagating Hiligaynon Literature? For 2013, it’s just the Very Short Story and the Love Poetry contests. For 2014, I can see, at the very least, contests for horror story, love story, humorous story, modern fairy tale, erotic story, children’s poetry, and love poetry.   

Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: August 2, 2013


Why did your Foundation sponsor a Love Poetry contest?

I believe that everyone has at least one love poem within them, so I want to reward those who can go beyond that, and actually write seven love poems. I’m sure most writers/poets/lovers can write more than seven love poems if they apply themselves to the task, but I only want to reward their seven best poems. I don’t have enough prize money to give to those who can write more, so seven is my ideal number. I always thought that romantic love and longing is a great theme. Everyone has an experience, or at least, knows something about it. I leave the other topics like war and peace, politics and justice, to other poetry contests. I just want to celebrate love. And I want to luxuriate in the beauty of the Hiligaynon language in communicating the idea of love in the language of poetry. A sprinkling of Kinaray-a, or Cebuano, or Tagalog, or English, artistically applied here and there, I can appreciate, but it was still a Hiligaynon poetry contest, so I said, please keep it at least 75% Hiligaynon.


What are the mechanics of the contest?

I’m not sure if one word can make a poem, but I think that two lines can. Or three, as in the case of the Japanese haiku. Then, there are five-line or six-line poems, and they are fine. But I like poems that are about 12 or 15 lines long. (The sonnets have 14 lines!) I can appreciate poems that are 21 lines long, but longer than that, I think that people should just write a novel already. My challenge was, if you think that you can write seven Hiligaynon poems, each no more than 21 lines, you must send them by private message to the Facebook account of PETER SOLIS NERY (profile photo has the author in pink suit), or to 500tinaga@gmail.com before midnight of July 31, 2013. So yes, the contest has ended and we are now in the process of judging the entries. The winners will be announced by the end of the month, and will be awarded during the awards ceremony around our Foundation day, if not on September 6 itself. The prizes are P7,000 cash and a to-die-for-medal for first prize, P5,000 for second, and P3,000 for third. Only the first prize winner will get the medal because I don’t want the Peter’s Prize medallions to be easy pickings.


Will the poems also be published like the very short stories?

Yes, I will personally edit all submitted entries to the Love Poetry and Very Short Story contests starting October, and hopefully we can launch the anthology on my 45th birthday on January 6, 2014. Needless to say, The Peter Solis Nery Foundation will be financing the publication of the book that is why I tell my critics who say that the cash prize is not much to just back off. Where in the world can you find a Foundation that operates like mine? I am vowed to inspire people to write, to gather and evaluate their work, and to perfect and present them to the public. That’s the 3P’s of my Foundation: promote, preserve, and propagate Hiligaynon literature, and I am doing it almost single-handedly. Of course, I would appreciate it if people would help me financially in the future, but for now, with help or no help, I will just pursue my personal mission with the faith and determination of a rich lunatic.


Will you sponsor a 2014 edition of the Love Poetry contest?

I definitely will. In addition, I’m thinking of sponsoring a Children’s Poetry contest, too. My fifth gold medal at the Palanca Awards that elevated me to the Hall of Fame in 2012 was for Poetry for Children in English. I think that I will surely honor that win by advocating for children’s literature in Hiligaynon. I wish that I could sponsor more contests. But the cash prizes alone for one poetry contest (at P7,000, first prize; P5,000, second; and P3,000, third) totals P15,000. Plus the operating expenses: campaign materials, certificates and U.S.-minted medals, awards ceremony luncheon/dinner, and incidentals. It can run up to P30,000 per contest. And don’t forget that we don’t stop there because the Foundation follows through up until the publication of an anthology of submitted works. I just don’t have all the money in the world to bankroll all these expenses. But I have faith in my vision and in what I do, and I know that I am making a huge difference. So my critics can just eat my dust. Haklulangsilautotko!

Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: August 9, 2013


What are the reasons behind the creation of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation? What are your plans for the Foundation?

I feel so blessed as a peer-recognized writer and a published author from a very young age. In my forties now, I want to give back to the community, and especially to the cause of the dying Hiligaynon literature so I established a Foundation dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and propagation of Hiligaynon literature, and Ilonggo arts and culture. I know that there are people richer and more powerful than I, like the politicians and showbiz superstars, who could probably better fund a Foundation like mine, but since they didn’t do it, I did. Right now, the focus of the Foundation is on the literary writing contests that I sponsor, and the publication of Hiligaynon works, but especially those submitted to these contests.

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: August 16, 2013


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. 

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: August 30, 2013


What are your biggest purchases during this trip?

You mean other than the P80,000 dental work? Haha! There’s the P10,000 eyewear, if you are really interested. But the biggest expense is the awards night of The 2013 Peter Solis Nery Prize for Literature, but that one is footed by the Foundation. Sure, it’s still my money, but I have already considered that “lost money” to me when I started the Foundation last year. 

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: September 6, 2013


What did you enjoy most during this vacation?

I was thrilled to be at the Palanca Awards again because it was my first year to return as a Hall of Famer. But I didn’t get to wear my yellow Hall of Fame ribbon because I am also a winner this year. I didn’t mind because the red ribbon for winners matched my shirt more; the yellow ribbon would have clashed with the beautiful red embroidery of my shirt! As far as excitement is concerned, I was more excited for the Peter’s Prize for Hiligaynon Literature Awards Night. I think that it was prettily pulled off, and I am very proud of its success. But of course, the stress and the tension of having to arrange everything about it took out much of my enjoyment. Then, there were my two interviews with Charm Gabileo at RMN Radio. The first was about my Palanca win on August 24, and the second was with the 2013 Peter’s Prize winners on the state of Hiligaynon literature and my Foundation’s role in it on September 8. Plus the week-long lecture series that I gave, I think that the most enjoyable part of my vacation is actually spending time with people, and sharing with them my ideas and resources.

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: September 13, 2013


What did you enjoy most during this visit?

Just being with people. There was a certain thrill coming back to the Palanca awards night this year after my induction to the Hall of Fame last year, but I had a grander night at the Peter’s Prize awards night in Iloilo City. The Peter Solis Nery Foundation literary awards night was only attended by fifty, but it was the fifty that mattered to the literature and culture of Western Visayas. Almost everybody who is important in the literary scene of Iloilo was there. I also enjoyed the Sunday that I spent with my family in an inland resort somewhere in Iloilo. The delightful surprise was the students and teachers during my week of touring lectures. I spoke on creative writing and the humanities at WVSU, ISCOF-Dumangas, SIPC-Miag-ao, and ISCOF-Tiwi. I also conducted a two-day theatre production workshop at the Dumangas National High School.

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: September 27, 2013


What’s the biggest project at the back of your mind right now?

The anthology of poems and stories from the 2013 Peter’s Prize competition. I promised a book or two to come out of the contest, and I intend to make good on that promise. I’ll start working on the manuscript in October, and that’s in a few days. Meanwhile, there are a few other things that I need to take care of. I haven’t even unpacked all my luggage! I haven’t even looked at my hospital work schedule for October.

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: October 4, 2013


What is your Foundation’s next project?

The Peter Solis Nery Foundation has announced its first two categories for the 2014 Peter’s Prize for Excellence in Hiligaynon Literature. They are: Mga Binalaybay Pangbata [Poetry for Children], and Mga Sugilanon Pangbata [Stories for Children]. The contests started on October 15, 2013, with a first deadline of December 15, 2013. However, because of super typhoon Yolanda, we are extending the deadline to January 15, 2014. We started the contest early because I wanted the holiday mood to inspire the writing, even if it’s not a criterion for winning. Think about children, and stories, and poems about Halloween, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, Thanksgiving, Bonifacio Day, Christmas, Rizal Day, New Year’s, Three Kings, and for those who can imagine, Valentine’s Day! I guess that Yolanda’s lingering devastation would have changed that mood by now, but I have faith in the imagination of our writers.


What are the requirements of the contests?

For the Children’s Poetry category, each entry must consist of SEVEN [7] Hiligaynon poems. Each poem must not be longer than 15 lines; if mixed with other languages, it must have at least an 80% Hiligaynon vocabulary. The subject and theme is open and free, but the material should be suitable for children ages 6-9 [or Grades 1 - 3]. For the Children’s Story category, each entry must consist of THREE [3] very short Hiligaynon stories. Each story must not be longer than 500 words; if mixed with other languages, it must have at least an 80% Hiligaynon vocabulary. The subject and theme is open and free, but the material should be suitable for children 12 years old and below [or elementary school level].


How can people enter the contest?

Peter’s Prize is an easy contest to join because it has done away with the cumbersome requirements of having the work notarized, submitting in both soft and hard copies, using pen names, and filing affidavits of ownership/creation. It is so simple that people can do it online. Just send your entries with your name, email address, and other contact information as a private message to the Facebook account of Peter Solis Nery [with the pink suit profile photo], or the Facebook account of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation; or email them to 500tinaga@gmail.com. [Facebook submission is preferred, and has a quick acknowledgment receipt mechanism.] Entrants can ‘like’ The Peter Solis Nery Foundation page on Facebook so they can see receipt confirmations, and other contest updates.


What is the prize?

Cash prizes will be awarded to winners of each category: P5,000 for first prize winners; P3,000 for second; and P2,000 for third. But everyone should aim for the first prize because in addition to the much-coveted Peter’s Prize medallion, the top winners are also commissioned to be Hiligaynon literature ambassadors, who, like their counterpart poet laureates in the US, will be tasked to enjoy their crown for a year and do some community service by reading their works, and promoting literature with lectures/talks in schools, town halls, radio and TV stations, the internet, and other media platforms. Peter’s Prize is also a shortcut to being a published writer because all entries are eligible, subject to final selection and editing by Peter Solis Nery, for inclusion in anthologies prepared by the Foundation for the purpose of preserving and promoting new works of Hiligaynon writers, whether they are experts, established, professionals, students, or newbies.


Does Peter’s Prize 2014 have categories for high school or college students?

Presently, Peter’s Prize does not distinguish between amateurs, professionals, or high school and college student writers. I just think that if you want to be recognized as a writer, you should hold your ground against so-called established or professional writers. Peter’s Prize judges the entries by their literary merits, and not by the contestant’s age, or profession. I really think that this is the best way for student writers to get validation as ‘real’ writers. But new and inexperienced writers can still hope and pray for their own category because for 2014, Peter’s Prize will endeavor to sponsor as many as six writing categories. Other categories, with their rules and deadlines, will be announced later.

Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: November 29, 2013


THE SAINTLY PATRON OF HILIGAYNON


What’s next after the 2014 Peter’s Prize contests conclude this January?

Correction: Peter’s Prize for 2014 has just begun. Haha! Surely, we have finished the two categories for children’s stories, and children’s poetry, this January, but my Foundation plans to open more categories before the year is over. We awarded two prizes last year for love poetry, and the 500-words-or-less story, but I want to expand to at least five or six categories this year. I love Peter’s Prize! I see this as my real cultural and literary legacy. I always thought that if I provided the venue, the writers would come. And they did! I am just so happy how our little contest is enriching Hiligaynon literature by inspiring and collecting all these literary outputs.


What’s the actual literary haul of the contests this January?

For children’s poetry, we received seven collections of seven poems each. That’s a total of 49 poems there. For children’s stories, we received nine collections of three stories each, for a total of 27 new Hiligaynon stories for children. Writers-wise, twelve authors participated, and four of them submitted in both the children’s stories and poetry categories. Of the twelve, four are new to the Peter’s Prize contests, and the eight others joined our contests last year. I take pride in the fact that we had quite a number of returning entrants. It only means that these writers believe in our cause, and in our credibility. Of course, I am also very happy for the fact that we have new participants because that only means that we are gaining ground and support. Now, if you are like me, who is intensely passionate about our Hiligaynon language and literature, you can see that this literary loot is totally priceless.


So you plan to create more contests this year?

That is absolutely correct. The 2014 Peter’s Prize awards ceremony will be sometime in September, around our Foundation Day, but I hope to announce the winners of the children’s literature contests early in February because I take pride in our fast contest turn over: We give you 100 days to write and enter in the contest, and we make our judgment in two weeks’ time, maybe three weeks maximum. The February announcement should be fine, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Around that time, I will also officially announce and disclose the guidelines for a new category: The Saddest Love Story Ever Told.


How did you come up with that category?

Admit it. It’s a great idea, right? Everybody loves a love story. But because I am the region’s erstwhile Prinsipe sang Ngoyngoy [Prince of Sob], I really want to see if Hiligaynon writers can out-write me in the genre. I know that I can write stories that can make people cry, but I’m really excited to see if there is anyone out there who can be my serious heir, if not outright competition. I’m still deciding on the word count requirement at this time, but it’s definitely going to be longer than our very short story contest last year, which had a limit of 500 words. However, it is still going to be shorter than the average magazine or anthology submission requirement of ten to 25 pages. I think that it should be 2,500 to 4,000 words, but let’s see what I decide on when I announce the final guidelines next month. My opinion is, if people can write wonderful stories of 20 or 25 pages in glorious Hiligaynon, they don’t need me, or my prize. They need a publisher! Haha. I am pretty clear in my mission right now: To inspire people to write, and to evaluate greatness of writers in their short works. And when I find them, to nurture these writers to become what they want to be.


Aside from these contests, how else do you plan to help Hiligaynon writers?

I’ve always helped writers with mentorship. I give writer’s advice to people who seek me out in interviews, lectures, and now, mostly online, with me being based in the United States. I have one regret not being in the Philippines as a writer: I am not directly involved in the literary and cultural dialogues and processes that happen in workshops and writers’ conferences. But, I deal. I make myself useful online. People have only to connect with me through The Peter Solis Nery Foundation page on Facebook to learn more about the writing craft and possibilities, especially in Hiligaynon. Of course, I am generous with advice and tips on how to win writing competitions. What can I say? I am becoming the patron saint, or, at least, the saintly patron, of Hiligaynon literature. 

Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: January 24, 2014


THE SADDEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD


What’s new with The Peter’s Prize of your Foundation?

Peter’s Prize 2014 is very much alive, thank you. Last week, we announced the winners of our children’s literature contest. Early Sol Gadong, last year’s Peter Prize grand winner for The Very Short Story Contest, came back to win first prize again in the Stories for Children Contest. She will receive P5,000 in cash, a certificate of merit, and a medallion at the awards night we are planning for early September. Eden Tejam Enoy from Iloilo City won second prize, and will receive P3,000 and a certificate; and Shur Mangilaya from Ibajay, Aklan, won third prize, and will receive P2,000 and a certificate. The board of judges was composed of: Agnes Españo, writer and creative writing teacher at Iloilo National High School – Special Program for the Arts; Celia Parcon, UPV communication arts professor who also teaches writing and literature; and Edgar Siscar, writer and founder of Pahina Hiligaynon, an Ilonggo hub on Facebook. Unfortunately, no winners were chosen in the Poetry for Children Contest.


What happened?

We received a total of seven entries, each containing seven poems, in the Poetry for Children contest. I did the first reading, and I thought, “Whoa! There isn’t enough ‘joy’ in these poems. Reading the poems, I can readily feel the angst and broodiness of writers in their early twenties disguised, and apparently not very successfully, in children’s voices.” In most poems, there’s too much teaching and preaching. So, early on, I didn’t think that I wanted to award my medallion to any of the works, but I proceeded to short list the four collections with the most promise anyway because I didn’t want to be accused of dictating the literature of the region. I submitted the short list to a board of judges composed of: Jesus Insilada, 2013 Peter’s Prize winner for The Love Poetry Contest; poet and teacher Melecio Turao; and Palanca winner Christian Tordecillas. All are returning judges from the previous Peter’s Prize contests. The judges all seemed to agree with me that no collections were deemed worthy of the prize, so I pressed them for recommendations for at least honorable mention. In the end, I decided to award honorable mentions to: Michael de la Peña, who was also last year’s second prize winner for The Love Poetry Contest; and Gil Montinola. Each will receive P1,000 in cash and a certificate.


What’s next in Peter’s Prize 2014?

As previously announced, Peter’s Prize 2014 is opening a new category called Ang Pinakamasubo nga Sugilanon sang Paghigugma nga Nasaysay [The Saddest Love Story Ever Told]. The requirements are: 1] It must be a sad love story. I don’t know if you can write a sad love story with a happy ending, but remember that the name of the contest is The Saddest Love Story Ever Told. It doesn’t matter if it is a love story of a cat and a dog, or a man and another man, or a woman and a horse. The judges of Peter’s Prize are rather progressive thinkers who want to push Hiligaynon literature forward. 2] It must be at least 2,500 but not more than 4,000 words. I’m rigid about the word count requirement, and as the first reader of all entries, I will just disqualify those entries that do not conform to the rules. 3] It must have at least an 80% Hiligaynon vocabulary, if mixed with other languages and dialects. 4] It must be submitted in the format: a] Title of the story, b] Author’s real name, c] Author’s email address, and d] the complete Story. 5] It must be sent to either: a] my personal Facebook account: Peter Solis Nery, with the pink suit in the profile photo, as a private message; b] the Facebook page of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation, as a message, not as a public-seen post; or c] as an email to: 500tinaga@gmail.com. Facebook submission is preferred, and has a quick acknowledgment mechanism.


What’s the deadline? What’s the prize?

The Saddest Love Story Ever Told contest actually started on Facebook on Valentine’s Day, February 14. Deadline is set on April 30, 2014, midnight, Philippine standard time. P5,000 in cash for the first prize; P3,000 for the second prize; and P2,000 for the third prize. For increased chances of winning, contestants can send as many entries as they want. All winners will be awarded certificates of merit. In addition, the first prize winner will be awarded a beautifully crafted, specially made, 3-inch diameter Peter’s Prize medallion during the awards night in early September, and he/she will be commissioned as a literary ambassador of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation for a fiscal year starting November 2014. As in all the other Peter’s Prize categories, all literary pieces entered to the contest are guaranteed publication, subject to editing, under the Peter’s Prize Best of Hiligaynon Literature book series that will be launched at this year’s awards night. Diinkapa?

Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: February 14, 2014


THE SADDEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD – Redux


How did you decide on the category?

I always believed that people, both readers and writers, love love stories, so I thought that love stories would be easier for the judges to read, and for the contestants to write. But I don’t want to be cheap and easy about it [because there is nothing cheap and easy in Peter’s Prize, now poised as a most prestigious Hiligaynon literary contest], so to complicate, I wanted to challenge people to write tragedies. I know from experience that writing comedy is very, very difficult, but most people know a sob story or two.


Are you excited about the contest?

You bet I am. I am always excited about the Peter’s Prize contests, especially because I am the first reader of the entries. It gives me so much of a natural high to see new works, and especially from new voices, in Hiligaynon literature. Of course, I get nervous, too, when we don’t receive a lot of entries, or when I believe that the submitted entries are substandard; but so far, we are doing pretty well. A Peter’s Prize medallion was for grabs early this year for Children’s Poetry, and nobody won it. So you see, we do not compromise, and we want to keep it that way. Anyway, I’m hopeful about the response to The Saddest Love Story Ever Told contest. We still have three weeks before the April 30 deadline.

Excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: April 4, 2014


POEMS ABOUT WATER


What is next after The Saddest Love Story Ever Told?

As I announced in my column last week, the deadline for Ang Pinakamasubo nga Sugilanon sang Paghigugma nga Nasaysay [The Saddest Love Story Ever Told] contest of Peter’s Prize 2014 is set at midnight of April 30. This week, it is my honor and pride to announce a new category for Peter’s Prize 2014. It’s for poetry, and it’s called Mga Binalaybay Tuhoy sa Tubi [Poems about Water].


What are the rules?

At The Peter Solis Nery Foundation, we keep everything simple. For the poetry contest called Mga Binalaybay Tuhoy sa Tubi/Poems about Water, the contest is open online, and it starts April 15, with a July 31 deadline. Other than the connection to water requirement, the subject and theme is generally open and free; and participants can send in as many collections as they want. However, each entry: [1.] must consist of seven Hiligaynon poems; [2.] each poem must not be longer than 21 lines; [3.] if mixed with other languages, each poem must have at least an 80% Hiligaynon vocabulary; [4.] must be submitted in the format: a] Title of the Collection, b] Author’s real name, c] Author’s email address, and d] the seven poems with individual titles; and [5.] must be sent before the deadline to either: a] my personal Facebook account: Peter Solis Nery, with the pink suit in the profile photo, as a private message; b] the Facebook page of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation, as a message, not as a public-seen post; or c] as an email to: 500tinaga@gmail.com. Facebook submission is preferred, and has a quick acknowledgment mechanism.


What are the prizes?

Cash prizes will be awarded to winners of the category: P5,000 for first prize winner; P3,000 for second; and P2,000 for third. But everyone should aim for the first prize because in addition to the much-coveted Peter’s Prize medallion, the top winner is also commissioned to be a Hiligaynon literature ambassador, who, like the counterpart poet laureate in the US, will be tasked to enjoy his/her crown for a year and do some community service by reading his/her works, and promoting literature with lectures/talks in schools, town halls, radio and TV stations, the internet, and other media platforms. Awarding will be held in September along with winners of the other categories of Peter’s Prize 2014.


Why poems about water?

It’s a little arbitrary, really. I just wanted to excite and challenge our writers. Last year, we did Mga Binalaybay sang Paghihgugma/Love Poetry, but I didn’t want to be predictable and do it again. This year, I was torn between poems about Iloilo and poems about water. I thought that although Guimarasnons, Negrenses, and other Panaynons can write poems about Iloilo, the topic could be very limiting. On the other hand, water seems to lend itself to so many possibilities: we are island people, after all, surrounded by the sea and the Pacific ocean; we have great rivers, springs, waterfalls, rains, storms, typhoons, floods, monsoons; we cry, we bathe, we get thirsty. Just think about it: rain and crying, dewdrops and rainbows, the sexy sweat, the pool of drool, even urinary incontinence! The world is 80% water, and humans are 84% water. Why shouldn’t we have a poetry contest about water?


Is the contest open to everyone?

Of course. I mean, everyone with access to the internet, that is, because the contest is only open online. However, as to the participant’s age, ethnicity, geography, and whatnots, Peter’s Prize does not discriminate against anyone. Young and old, veterans or novice writers, native speakers or just second language learners from all over the Philippines [in fact, the world!] are all welcome. There are no entry fees for the contest; and for more chances of winning, participants can send as many entries as they want. Otidiinkapasina?


What are your expectations for this contest?

I foresee a lot of sob poems, and that’s not necessarily bad. In fact, I think that longer Hiligaynon poems generally tend to speak more of tragedy than comedy. For example, our funny paktakons and hilarious luwas are very short, but our great lyrics and ngoyngoys are usually at least nine lines.    

Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: April 11, 2014


THE FORGOTTEN BOOKS


What books have you prepared for your fans for 2014?

We are just starting the second quarter so I really don’t know how this year will end, but I’m seriously looking at the publication of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation’s “The Best of Hiligaynon Writing” series for this year. The content material for the book/s will come from the Peter’s Prize competitions so they are already at hand just waiting for my time to clear up for its editing and book design. At least one book was supposed to come out last December, but I was sidetracked by the demands of my regular paying job as a nurse, which until this month was a priority. And then, there was my big move from California to Maryland


So, you are still going to publish a book this year?

At the very least, I will edit the anthology of the new Hiligaynon writings that came out of the 2013 Peter’s Prize. That’s a promise from The Peter Solis Nery Foundation, and we have a budget for it. Our mission-vision is clear: to promote, preserve, and propagate Hiligaynon literature through research, publications, education, and dissemination. I think that we are doing a fairly good job of promoting and propagating literature with our Peter’s Prize contests. Publishing the materials we gathered is the next logical step to actualize our mission to preserve and disseminate Hiligaynon literature. It is my pride and honor to be true to our Foundation’s objectives, and to be truly active in our commitment to give our Hiligaynon language the glory and dignity it deserves.

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: April 18, 2014


POEM-A-THON WITH PETER SOLIS NERY


What is Poem-a-thon?

I’m a marathoner. I may just have done it only once or twice, but if I don’t ever run again for the rest of my life, I’ll die happy knowing that I have finished a full marathon. I’m the guy who goes the distance. As it is with running, so it is with my poetry. So I push the envelope and just do a poetry marathon. What about challenging myself to write poetry for thirty days? That’s the Poem-a-thon: a challenge of writing at least one poem a day everyday in May. To make that even more exciting, I do it in the public eye, posting my daily poems on Facebook. 


What gave you the idea?

I’m retired only from Nursing, but not from my writing life. I just don’t want to deteriorate, so I push myself a little doing what makes me even more creative. I think that performing the challenge in the public eye is a pretty good motivation. People can cheer me on when I get tired and weary, just like in the marathon. Then, I thought, why not also invite other people to join me in the challenge. And that lead me to the idea of the workshop.


An online poetry workshop?

Yes. I figured that I can also involve people from all parts of the world if I do it online so I did it on Facebook. Right now, I have participants from Iloilo, Negros, Metro Manila, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia. I invited a few poet-friends to be senior critics, but they didn’t last long enough, or didn’t show up at all. I guess they hate the adjective senior. Haha! But it’s all good. I’m pretty competent as a critique, and workshop director. Haha!


How are the participants?

They’re a pretty good mix. I have two or three who are very accomplished, meaning that they have been published or won competitions before. There are several newbies who are professionals of a certain age. And I have Wesnecan students from Ismael Java’s Kalingaw Hiligaynon Theatre Group at West Negros University in Bacolod. I knew from the get go that I wanted to hear Negrense voices because I am trying to expand the vocabulary database for my Hiligaynon dictionary. The evolution of the participants is really a surprise delight for me even at Week Two.  


How was that?

We started the workshop on the Facebook wall of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation. My idea was that more people could benefit in a public space like that. They post their poems, and I post my critiques as comments. They reply as comments, and we continue to discuss in that way. By the end of the first week, I realized that some people did not really engage in the discussion so I imagined that some of them could just be very sensitive to criticism especially in public. So I created a secret community on Facebook, and it’s called Poem-a-thon with Peter Solis Nery. The day we made the move, people started posting their most sensual and sexual poems. I was shocked! It was like everybody was working for orgasm, at least in their poetry. I am very happy about that!


Will the public have access to those erotic poems?

Definitely! I mean, sure, ultimately. Unlike most other poetry workshops, I have my eye on publication, and I am directing this Poem-a-thon with a goal in mind of a published book of poems from the workshop. I knew that from the very beginning so I even invited people to the workshop with the hook: Being a published Hiligaynon poet has never been easier. Many signed up, but few showed actual commitment. Their loss, that’s for sure.


Will you hold another Poem-a-thon soon?

Poem-a-thon, sure. But maybe not another month-long. Haha! We are just beginning Week Four, and it has taken a lot from me already. I couldn’t party out all night long because I have to be on Facebook 24/7. I mean, of course, I am not paid for this, but once I give my commitment, I truly deliver. I am a big man of my word that way, that’s why even if divorce is legal in America, I have remained married for six years now. Haha!

Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: May 16, 2014


ALL ABOUT LOVE


How many entries were submitted to The Saddest Love Story contest?

Eight stories were received from five contestants, so you can imagine some multiple submissions, and that’s very fine by me. The stories—at 2,500 words minimum to 4,000 words maximum—were a little longer than what Peter’s Prize is used to, which was 500 words maximum, but I am very glad to see that our participants are equally adept with stories longer than 500 words. Although, of course, I also see that more people have competed in our very, very short story contests in the past compared to this 2,500 words minimum challenge.  


Will you do another story contest?

My foundation is committed to Hiligaynon literary contests. The question is only a matter of when, since our funds are limited, and we can only afford so much every year. Unlike most writing contests that leave their output to gather dust, I want our literary harvest to see the light of day in printed book forms. Right now, I have at least four books lined up for release this year, and that’s a lot for a language that most people still look down on as bakya. So, to answer the question, there will be no more story contests until next year.


But will you do another love story contest?

Maybe not in the next three years. As I have said, our funds are limited, and we can only do a number of contests a year. Also, I have a vision of exploring various subgenre of stories like horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and so on. I also like to challenge people to write on specific topics so I have the idea of making contests for stories about Iloilo or stories set in Boracay. But then again, love is a wonderful, reliable subject that I wouldn’t mind going back on my word when the subject is love. Haha! 

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: May 23, 2014


WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY


Did you really announce on Facebook that you are cancelling the Poems about Water contest?

It is sad, but true. I first blurted out the news on Facebook on May 28. And I am announcing it here again, hoping that those people who read my mid-April announcement in this newspaper will be notified and guided accordingly. It is not really a cancellation more than a postponement until next year. We are definitely going to have the Poems about Water writing contest in 2015. It is an unfortunate development, but I have very good reasons.  


Which are?

I’ll give you just two: my Foundation no longer has the money for it this year, and I think that we are on to a bigger project. Last year, my Foundation sponsored only two writing contests: the Very Short Story, and the Love Poetry. This year, we announced four including the Poems about Water, and have realized three: Poetry for Children, Stories for Children, and The Saddest Love Story. I think that it’s pretty amazing. This May, I also conducted an online poetry workshop called Poem-a-thon. What I haven’t announced with finality, because I didn’t really see the Poem-a-thon coming, is the publication of five books in Hiligaynon in 2014. So, yes, I am redirecting the Poems about Water budget for the Poem-a-thon anthology.


You are publishing five books in a single year?

Sounds impossible, right? But I am Peter Solis Nery, and this is my Foundation we are talking about. So, we will have five anthologies that will feature the entries to the Peter’s Prize Very Short Story, Love Poetry, Children’s Literature, Saddest Love Story, and the submissions to the Poem-a-thon. Based on the collective creative output, and the discovery of new writing talents in the region, I think that my Foundation has very successfully promoted and propagated Hiligaynon by encouraging writers, new and old, to write more in the mother-tongue. By publishing our creative output in these last two years, we will be truer to our mission of also preserving Hiligaynon literature.


But the writing contests will resume next year, right?

Definitely. We will not be giving up the writing contests. I find the contests an effective way to give people a real incentive to write. We have also gained good reputation and prestige not only in the writing community, but in the whole Western Visayas region in general so we are determined to keep that. I really think that postponing the Poems about Water contest to next year will only give it more attention, and perhaps a bigger, more enthusiastic response. I’m pretty sure that the poets from my online poetry workshop will be excited to join. Also, I don’t want to give those who benefitted from the workshop an undue advantage.


So the Poem-a-thon is the big reason for the change of plans?

I think that the Poem-a-thon is a wonderful, and pretty historic, experience that deserves proper documentation. I believe that the book will definitely do that. Being at the heart of the Poem-a-thon gave me a good view of the state of our current Hiligaynon poetry. The poetry in Poem-a-thon may not be dizzyingly highbrow, or the kind of elitist poetry that is worshipped by the academics, but for me, they are the true documents of the Hiligaynon experience of this generation. It would truly be a pity not to publish such creative output in a book.


Is the postponement of the Poems about Water contest any indication that the well of funds for The Peter Solis Nery Foundation is running dry?

If it is, what can you do about it? I have personally funded all the projects of my Foundation. I have not yet asked anything from anyone. I worked my ass off as a nurse to afford what my Foundation does. And now, I am retired from Nursing. So yes, maybe our funds are running low. Maybe our well is running dry. But until you give a single centavo to my Foundation, you have no right to ask about our state of funds. You are only allowed to be amazed at how much, how very much, I can do alone.

Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: May 30, 2014


BOOKS OF SUMMER


What’s your first summer in Baltimore like?

I wish that I could say that it’s all fun under the sun, especially that I am retired now. But, no! I like taking on challenges, and sometimes, I give myself unnecessary challenges. Summer could have been much, much nicer for me if I just learned to relax and read a book or two, or even five! But no, silly goose me, I chose to publish five books, maybe even add a sixth, this summer. It is an enormous job, a huge responsibility, but yes, I am making good on my promise to publish at least five books for The Peter Solis Nery Foundation this year.


You are publishing five books?

It is my modest contribution to Hiligaynon literature. Already in my hands are the first proofs of Peter’s Prize Very, Very Short Stories with a flaming red cover, Love Poems in a hot pink cover, Children’s Stories and Poems in orange, and The Saddest Love Stories Ever Told in bright purple. I am currently working on the poems from the Poem-a-thon with Peter Solis Nery, which will constitute the fifth anthology, which I will also publish along with the four. These five books are collections of the best new writings in Hiligaynon edited using the new Hiligaynon orthography [with 28 letters] that I so certainly advocate. And then, there is the Ten Elegies book project, which I may or I may not release along with the five. I mean, I can always publish the Ten Elegies later in the year, but the five Hiligaynon anthologies are set to be launched in September.


So, you have planned a book launch in September?

If you still haven’t noticed, I go on an annual trip to the Philippines in August and September. In the last seven years, it was all about the Palanca Awards night on September 1, but starting last year, I have also established my own Peter’s Prize awards ceremony. This year, I want to make Peter’s Prize Night extra special by launching these books that are a product of the Peter’s Prize contests. We’re seriously looking at September 6, which is much closer to anniversary of the establishment day of The Peter Solis Nery Foundation, or if the schedules are so messed up, maybe September 13. We might have the event at the same place as last year, although I’m also thinking that this year, we can have a longer Peter Solis Nery Festival in my hometown of Dumangas, where, in addition to the awards ceremony and book launching, I can also run another Audrey Hepburn film festival, direct a live-in writing workshop, maybe do some performance art, and maybe even make another movie in the guise of a filmmaking workshop. I plan to make a longer visit to Iloilo this year. 

excerpt from Brash, Brazen & Brilliant column
© Peter Solis Nery and Iloilo Metropolitan Times: July 11, 2014