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HAU book on Pinatubo wins National Book Award

Holy Angel University has reasserted itself as one of the most active and respected book publishers outside Manila with another National Book Award from the Manila Critics Circle (MCC) and the National Book Development Board (NBDB).

Pinatubo: The Volcano in our Backyard, written by Robert Tantingco and published by the University’s Center for Kapampangan Studies, won the National Book Award (Science category) during ceremonies held last November 17 at the Old Senate Hall, National Museum of the Philippines.

The award is the University’s fifth since it started publishing 10 years ago. It previously won National Book Awards in Translation, Biography and Professions categories, plus citations in History and Fiction categories.

The book on Pinatubo was one of 10 books published last year by the University to mark the 10th anniversary of its Center for Kapampangan Studies.

Explaining why they chose the Pinatubo book as winner in the Science category, members of the Manila Critics Circle said “the book equips us with the scientific basis for all that happened in 1991, but also rewards us with the unique experience of Kapampangans and the monster mountain in their midst. The book draws on ancient mythology, cutting-edge science, and modern remembrance in telling its fiery story.”

“The best science books help readers to go beyond understanding the natural world—they inspire awe as well as enlightenment. Such is the case with this year’s winner, Pinatubo: The Volcano in our Backyard by Robert Tantingco,” the citation read. “Beginning with the terrible eruption in 1991, the book goes back in time and then into the future to aid us in appreciating not just any volcano, but this particular volcano, our Pinatubo. They called it the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century and here is a book that goes under the earth and into the skies to show us what it really means to live in the shadow of the mountain god.”

The Manila Critics Circle is composed of some of the best literary critics, writers and newspaper columnists in the Philippines, including National Artist VirgilioAlmario, Cirilo F. Bautista, Isagani R. Cruz, ResilMojares, JuaniyoArcellana, Ruel de Vera, and Danton Remoto. Its members served as board of judges together with category experts appointed by the NBDB.

The previous HAU publications that have won the National Book Awards are: The Law and Practice on Philippine Corporate Governance by Atty. Cesar Villanueva (2009), Fray Francisco Coronel’s Arte y Reglas: Kapampangan Grammar and Rules circa 1621 by Fr. Edilberto Santos (2006), A Cofradia of Two: Oral History on the Family Life and Lay Religiosity of Juan D. Nepomuceno and Teresa G. Nepomuceno of Angeles, Pampanga by Erlita Mendoza (2005), and Gloria: Roman Leoncio’sKapampangan Translation of HusengBatute’s Verse Novel, Lost and Found (2004).

The University also received a Special Citation for the translation of Fray Diego Bergaño’sVocabulario de Pampanga by Fr. Venancio Samson (2008).

Three other HAU books were finalists in their respective categories, namely, Abe: A Frank Sketch of E. Aguilar Cruz by National Artist Nick Joaquin (2007), Ten: Coming Home and Nine More Short Stories by Albina Peczon Fernandez (2007) and Laying the Foundations: Kapampangan Pioneers in the Philippine Church by Dr. Luciano PR. Santiago (2003).

Date Posted: 11-19-2012