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A University of the Philippines (UP) professor — Romulo Baquiran Jr. — was recently honored along with seven other writers at the "33rd Southeast Asian Writers (SEA) Awards" in Bangkok, Thailand. According to a news release of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the award was presented on February 16 to Baquiran and seven other writers from Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The awardees were selected by their own peers in each of the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. Baquiran was chosen by the Writers Union of the Philippines, headed by National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario. SEA Writers Awards The SEA Writers Awards was organized in 1979 to honor the Southeast Asian region's creative literary talents. Thai Queen Sirikit presided over the first award presentation ceremony in 1979 until 1983. In 1984, Thai Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn took over in presiding the awards ceremony. For this year's event, the award was bestowed by Thai Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana on behalf of her father, the Crown Prince. Baquiran's accomplishments Baquiran is an assistant professor at the College of Arts and Letters of UP, Diliman, Quezon City. The DFA noted that Baquiran has already published two poetry collections:
- "Mga Tula ng Paglusong (Journey Poems)," and
- "Onyx-and a collection of personal essays-Sagad sa Buto (Felt to the Bones)."
- "ASEANO: An Anthology of Poems from Southeast Asia," and
- "Urbana and Felisa," a book of essays, which merited a National Book Award nomination in 1996.
- Nick Joaquin (1980)
- Edilberto Tiempo (1983)
- Virginia Moreno (1984)
- Ricaredo Demetillo (1985)
- Bienvenido Santos (1987)
- Virgilio Almario (1988)
- Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil (1990)
- Dr. Isagani Cruz (1991)
- Dr. Alejandro Roces (1997)
- Felice Prudente Sta. Maria (2001).
- Gore Vidal (1982)
- Sir Peter Ustinov (1987)
- Lord Jeffrey Archer (1993)
- Lord David Puttnam (1999)
- 2001 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul (2000)
- 2010 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature Mr. Mario Vargas Llosa (2002).