The National Book Development Board and the Manila Critics Circle proudly announce the winners of the 29th National Book Awards held at the Metropolitan Museum last November 13, 2010.

Below are the winners and their respective citations.

The Law and Practice on Philippine Corporate Governance
Dean Cesar L. Villanueva
Holy Angel University

governance.jpgTo non-lawyers, the law is often regarded as something that curtails our freedom, that limits what we can and want to achieve, that keeps us from misbehaving, that makes us quake in fear that we might be violating it and as a consequence be fined or imprisoned. Non-lawyers and perhaps even lawyers think of the law as something to get around, to find loopholes in, to use to our own personal advantage. Rarely does a book on law make us feel that we can be better than ourselves. The Law and Practice on Philippine Corporate Governance, by Cesar L. Villanueva, makes those of us that lead corporations realize that the law is there to show us how to be socially responsible, how to ensure that our corporations make us a lot of money without exploiting our employees or our customers, how to exercise good corporate governance. The book shows us how to read laws in their entirety, within a context of corporate social responsibility, within theories that are not only legal but sociological, not only textual but personal. Because it has made the law not only more comprehensible but also more inspirational, the National Book Award for Best Book in Law is given to The Law and Practice on Philippine Corporate Governance, by Cesar L. Villanueva, Holy Angel University.

Palaspas: An Appreciation of Palm Leaf Art in the Philippines
Karl Fredrick M. Castro, Designer
Ateneo De Manila University Press

PalaspasAng disenyo ng isang libro ay dapat na katulad ng disenyo ng isang bahay. May mga bahay na, dahil napakaganda ng disenyo, ay hindi ka na makatulog o makakain o makakilos nang maayos dahil masyado mong hinahangaan ang itsura ng kuwarto, ng pader, ng ilaw, ng mga kung anu-ano. Dapat na tumutulong sa awtor, nagpapakumbaba at hindi nagyayabang ang nagdisenyo ng isang libro. Sa librong nanalo sa taong ito, tumutulong ang disenyo na maintindihan ng mambabasa kung paano gagawin ang nais ng awtor na gawin niya. Malinaw na pinili ang uri, laki, at kulay ng mga letra, ang ayos ng mga litrato, ang uri at bigat ng papel, ang laki mismo ng libro, at ang ilalagay sa cover dahil hinahatid ng mga ito ang mensahe ng awtor. Dahil masining ang pinapaksa ng libro, ang materyal na hawak ng mambabasa ay masining rin. Sa madaling salita, bagay at nakaaambag ang disenyo sa nilalaman ng libro. Dahil dito, ibinibigay ang National Book Award for Best Design sa librong Palaspas: An Appreciation of Palm Leaf Art in the Philippines, ni Elmer I. Nocheseda, na dinesenyo ni Karl Fredrick M. Castro, Ateneo de Manila University Press.

Trese: Mass Murders
Ferdinand-Benedict G. Tan and Jonathan Baldisimo
Visprint, Inc.

TrecePowerful, iconic characters comic book characters Darna, Zuma and Captain Barbell, among others, emerged fully-formed from the mind of Filipino comic creators. That creativity continues to this day, in all directions, in different ways. But in Trese, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo have a stunningly original idea, swathed in the irresistible spookiness of our folklore and the edged mythology of our urban legends. Alexandra Trese, the enigmatic paranormal investigator and her lethal bodyguards the Kambal helps the police when encountering cases that just don’t make any sense of the normal kind. In the process, Tan and Baldisimo offers us a peek into the supernatural embedded into Metro Manila’s badly lit corners. In the first volume, Trese: Murder on Balete Drive, we are introduced to Alexandra and her team, and the second volume, Trese: Unreported Murders, showed us one peculiar procedural after another. But it is in this third volume, Trese: Mass Murders, where we find out where and how Alexandra Trese came to be who and where she is. Instead of hemming us in, Trese: Mass Murders actually opens up another world of narrative possibilities. The rabid fan following Trese has earned is impressive, and that only adds to the fact that in Trese, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo has crafted a testament to the limitless capacity of the Filipino imagination, as well as one of the best Filipino comic books of all time. It is for those reasons that Trese: Mass Murders is given the National Book Award for Graphic Literature.

Wash: Only a Bookkeeper, A Biography of Washington Z. SyCip
Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr.
The SGV Foundation, Inc. and AIM Scientific Research Foundation

“My life’s journey continues to be blessed with rich experiences, unique opportunities, and inspiring people.

WashIt is my hope that you will pick up a lesson or two from the memories of a bookkeeper,” writes Washington SyCip in the preface to Wash Only a Bookkeeper: A Biography of Washington Z. SyCip by Jose Y. Dalisay, published by The SGV Foundation and the AIM Scientific Research Foundation. One will pick more than two lessons with the unexpected and profound experiences of the titular Wash in a fascinating story that chronologically commences with Wash’s father and continues with the geographically and experientially diverse circumstances that Wash finds himself. Dalisay vividly chronicles the smart, sharp Wash’s introduction and rise through the ranks of accountants: who knew accounting could be so interesting? Wash Only a Bookkeeper then traces Wash’s odyssey from talented accountant to a great Filipino, including Wash’s ideas about the country and the continent we live in, as well as the tale of the iconic Asian Institute of Management. All this plus Dalisay’s elegant writing tell us what Wash Only a Bookkeeper reinforces: Washington Z. SyCip is anything but only a bookkeeper. For this, the National Book Award goes to Wash Only a Bookkeeper: A Biography of Washington Z. SyCip.

The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata
Gina Apostol
Anvil Publishing, Inc.

RevulotionGina Apostol tells our revolutionary history – or fragments of our history – using a pastiche of writing from the academe, a diary, stories within stories, jokes, puns, allusions, a virtual firecracker of words. Her novel is fearlessly intellectual, anchored firmly on the theories of Jacques Lacan. But it is also funny and witty as it picks – lice, nits, and all – on the hoaxes in our history. It affirms, if it still needs to be affirmed, the power of fiction to shape and reshape the gaps in the narratives of our history as a nation. The main character here is History, and its protagonist, Imagination. For this audacious sword-play of a novel, the National Book Award is given to Gina Apostol’s The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata.

The Life and Works of Marcelo Adonay, Volume 1
Elena Rivera Mirano, Corazon Canave Dioquino, Melissa Corazon Velez Mantaring, Edna Marcil Martinez, Ma. Patricia Brillantes-Silvestre, Iñigo Galing Vito and Patrticia Marion Lopez
The University of the Philippines Press

AdonayThis first volume is a testament to the huge amount of research needed in order to even just recreate for us the bright spots of Filipno arts during our colonial history. Marcelo Adonay is a very significant link in music to the period which produced a Rizal in literature, a Juan Luna and a Felix Resurrecion-Hidalgo in painting, and other artists, intellectuals, and revolutionists. We are grateful that Elena Rivera Mirano and her group are able to give us a glimpse of Adonay’s life and, more importantly, give us a fuller appreciation of his superior talent as a composer of religious music. We anxiously await the sceond volume.

Jerry B. Gracio
The University of the Philippines Press

AvesKahanga-hanga ang koleksiyong ito ni Jerry B. Gracio dahil isang tunay na aklat ng tula na may iisang paksa – ibon o mga ibon: mula sa iba’t ibang ibon sa mundo, hanggang sa mga mitikong lumilipad na nilalang na gaya ng aswang, tigmamanukin, at ibong adarna at mga lumilipad na pangarap at lunggati ng tao. Palatandaan ito ng pambihirang imahinasyon ng makata bukod sa kaniyang makabagong talino upang bigyan tayo ng malungkot at masisteng pagtingin sa ating buhay ngayon.

Pungsod Damming the Nation: Region/Nation and the Global Order in Contemporary West Visayan Literature
Isidoro M. Cruz
University of San Agustin Publishing House

PungsodPungsod is a narrative of the nation, by the region, and for the global. Using contemporary West Visayan literary selections as its objects of study, this critical tour-de-force rethinks and dismantles myths and comfortable categories related to the dominant perception and construction of national and regional literatures. As a work of scholarship, it is intellectually intense, meticulously mapped, and down-to-pungsod-earth. Pungsod is a tenacious addition to our trove of Philippine literary and cultural studies.

Bakwit: The Power of the Displaced
Jose Jowel Canuday
Ateneo De Manila University Press

BakwitNarratives of human mobility are not history’s novelties. Bakwit is more than an impressive documentation of and a scientific inquiry into the movement and lives of the dispossessed, innocent casualty of three decades of armed conflicts in Mindanao; it is an absorbing “creation” of a human-interest story, a vivid portrait of the creative and enduring power of Everyman. As Fr. Albert Alejo has stated in his commentary, “Canuday reminds us that the first and lasting fact in any rigorous and reverent social analysis is the resilience of the human spirit.” Bakwit moves beyond the realm of science and recalls us to our humanity.

The University of the Philippines Press