Playwright wins 6th and 7th Palanca

Dr. Layeta P. Bucoy, a faculty member at the Department of Humanities under the College of Arts and Sciences, is among the few writers who were selected for the 70th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (CPMA), a prestigious recognition for Filipino writers. 

As the CPMA returns from its two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Dr. Bucoy will be awarded in its two categories.

Her play entitled, “Orgullo Compound” won the First Prize in the English Division – Full-Length Play category. Winning Second Prize in the Filipino Division – Dulang May Isang Yugto category is “Dance of the Foolies,” a one-act play in Filipino. 

Dr. Bucoy said that the plays are part of her dissertation on interweaving drama and the scientific research paper without treating drama as a handmaiden of science and without misrepresenting science. They were inspired by research conducted by the UPLB Nanoscience and Technology Facility and Analytical and Instrumentation Science Laboratory (UPLB NanoLab Services). 

“Both plays would not have been written without the help of the [UPLB NanoLab Services] through its then director, Dr. Milagros Peralta of the Institute of Chemistry,” she said.

These are the sixth and seventh Palanca Awards Dr. Bucoy has received in her career. She has previously won for her teleplay “Ang Repleksyon ni Miss Trajano” (Second Prize, 1998), and her one-act plays “Ellas Inocentes” (Third Prize, 2007), “Doc Resureccion: Gagamutin Ang Bayan” (First Prize, 2009), El Galeon de Simeon (Second Prize, 2011), and “The Adopted Healthy Baby” (First Prize, 2015).

Aside from gaining national recognition, she has also received acclaim within the UP community. She was appointed with the UP Artist title in 2013, 2015, and 2018. She was also recognized as Outstanding Alumna in the Arts by the UPLB Alumni Association in 2019.

Dr. Bucoy will be officially awarded by the CPMA in a ceremony on Nov. 30 in Makati.

Dr. Bucoy’s recent Palanca win is marked by her unique approach to creating a play of marrying scientific research and literature. 

“Dance of the Foolies” takes its theme and structure from the research “Effects of Nanosilica Powder from Rice Hull Ash on Seed Germination of Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)” by Maria Morissa D. Lu, Diana Marie R. De Silva, Engelbert K. Peralta, Alvin N. Fajardo, and Milagros M. Peralta; and “Growth and Yield of Tomato Applied with Silicon Supplements with Varying Material Structures,” also conducted by the same research group. 

“Orgullo Compound” is inspired by the research papers “Effect of Nano-Sio2 from Rice Hull Ash on the Conductivity of Cement Paste” by Joshua T. Dimasaka, Engelbert K. Peralta, Milagros M. Peralta, Alvin Karlo G. Tapia, and Marish S. Madlangbayan; and “Investigation on Performance of Epoxy Coated Steels with Nano-SiO2 and Polyaniline Composite Using Complex Impedance Spectroscopy” by Vella G. Dela Cruz, Milagros M. Peralta, Ronaniel A. Almeda, Engelbert K. Peralta, Marloe B. Sundo, Richelle G. Zafra, and Marish S. Madlangbayan.

As written in her research abstract, Bucoy sought to problematize “how drama in the form of a full-length play and science in the form of an actual scientific research paper act as particular representations of the same universal statement.”

It concludes that “the rise of a dramatic text from a scientific research paper may only effectively occur if diving into the scientific research paper hits its ‘nanostructure.’”  (Jessa Jael S. Arana)

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