The Philippines Awardee
I accept this award with mixed excitement and trepidation, elation and humility. The journey of the Filipino and Asian writer is never easy. We deal with a public more interested to read the writing from the West, a generation attracted to the advance and sophistication of technology, difficult economies, and other unencouraging reasons to write. To be given this award is an affirmation of the writer’s role as well as responsibility: to make us remember our childhood capacity to imagine and to ask questions, and when we think we have found the answers, to let go of them, especially if they are to reinforce only prejudices against differences that make it almost impossible to live without resorting to violence and war.
S.E.A. Write connects us to one another as brothers and sisters with different languages and cultures, but rich in character and tradition, proud and ready to speak to communities of the world who may in time show the courage to listen to our own aspirations and relevance against the order of corruption, greed, and despair. When we go back to our countries, we will soon as well step on ground to write in a way that should make every writer useful to the human race.
On behalf of the Filipino people, thank you, thank you, S.E.A Write. May you be more blessed as you bless the writers in this part of the world.