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Sands and Coral contest winners take their spots in second Pandemonium issue

by Nina Isabelle Alolod | November 29, 2022

Sands and Coral (S&C), one of the oldest literary journals in the country, announced the winners for their essay and fiction writing contest last Nov. 5 as part of the second chapter of their Pandemonium issue.

This issue centered on hope, transformation, and rebuilding after the pandemic.

Pia Villareal, co-editor of S&C said, “With this new chapter, the works take a more optimistic turn as entries focus on rebuilding and pushing forward despite the pain of the past years,” 

The winners of the essay writing contest include Paul Ray Donaire who placed first, Job Paculba in second, and Zarelle Villanzana in third place.

“When I read the theme of the issue, I remembered the social research I conducted before that somehow relates to the theme. So, I wrote an essay about it,” Donaire said on why he joined the competition.

For fiction writing, Job Paculba placed first, Arn Malto placed second, and Maria Calunod placed third.

Paculba said that the challenging conditions he had to go through during online classes were a source of inspiration for his participation.  

He said that he wrote his piece ‘Facing Life, Mask On’ to get away from all his troubles. “I felt that if I had an outlet to express my frustrations, I would feel a bit better – and I did,” Paculba said.

For future participants of S&C, Donaire advised, “Make sure that you have a captivating essay title that actually represents your write-up – a title that instantly grabs the attention of the readers.”

He added that in essay competitions that do not ask for references, “personal narrative is always the go-to theme!” 

Dr. Andrea Soluta, chairperson of the English and Literature Department and adviser of S&C said that the literary journal has helped contribute to Silliman University’s legacy.

“If you look at the list of editors of S&C since its first issue in 1948, many of the  names are now a part of the ‘Who’s Who’ in the Philippine literary scene,” Dr. Soluta said.

The contest commenced on Oct. 6 and the winners were later announced on the S&C Facebook page on Nov. 5.

The first-place winners were awarded ₱1,500, followed by ₱1,000 and ₱500 for the second and third-place winners respectively.

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