Awards NewsPress Release

Awards: The 39th National Book Awards announces full list of winners

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Manila Critics Circle (MCC) are proud to present the complete list of winners of the 39th National Book Awards, announced during the awards ceremony on the evening of July 30.

This year’s cycle marks the comeback of the awards after its postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were a total of 110 finalists selected, all published in 2019 and 2020.

Out of the 110, 27 winners took home the prestigious prize across 25 categories. For the Drama and Poetry (English) categories, there were two winners selected for both awards. The Ateneo de Manila University Press was named the Publisher of the Year with a total of 8 winning titles.


“The National Book Awards, by empowering agents of creativity to bring their ideas to fruition, aligns with the daring, yet hopeful economic outlook of the NBDB to reinvigorate the Philippine publishing industry,” said NBDB Chairman Dante Francis Ang II in his message.

“By increasing access points for books across the country through our programs such as the Book Nook and by expanding the market for publishers through our participation in international fairs, the NDBB is set to leverage the power of our number — our archipelago of stories from the islands of Batanes to Tawi-Tawi and our global diaspora that knows no boundaries.”

“While some people might say that awards are really just secondary to what is truly important—which is the book—I believe, like many of you, that the prestige and attention that they bring to creative work amounts to something greater,” said NBDB Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade during her welcome remarks.

“They encourage wider readership and spotlights what are otherwise overlooked voices, which then encourages sales and helps our booksellers and publishers, which in turn encourages wider authorship,” she said.

Below is the full list of winners for the 39th National Book Awards:


BEST NOVEL IN ENGLISH Tiempo Muerto: A Novel Caroline S. Hau Ateneo de Manila University Press
BEST NOVEL IN FILIPINOTopograpiya ng Lumbay: Imus Novel 6RM Topacio-AplaonUniversity of the Philippines Press
BEST BOOK OF SHORT FICTION IN ENGLISHVoyager and Other Fictions: The Collected Stories of Jose DalisayJose Dalisay, Jr. Anvil Publishing, Inc.
BEST BOOK OF SHORT FICTION IN FILIPINOThe Next Great Tagalog Novel at Iba Pang KuwentoAllan N. DerainUniversity of the Philippines Press
BEST BOOK OF NONFICTION PROSE IN ENGLISHBiyaheng Pinoy: A Mindanao TravelogueEdilberto N. AlegreAteneo de Manila University Press
BEST BOOK OF NONFICTION PROSE IN FILIPINOBalagerEmmanuel T. BarramedaIsang Balangay Media Productions
BEST BOOK OF ESSAYS IN ENGLISHThe Philippines Is Not a Small CountryGideon LascoAteneo de Manila University Press
BEST ANTHOLOGY IN ENGLISH Mindanao Harvest 4 Jaime An Lim, Christine F. Godinez-Ortega, Ricardo M. De Ungria (Editors)Far Eastern University Publications
BEST BOOK OF DRAMASalvador/Javier at Iba Pang DulaLito Casaje University of the Philippines Press
Two Women as Specters of History: Lakambini and Indigo ChildRody VeraAteneo de Manila University Press
BEST BOOK OF LITERARY CRITICISM IN ENGLISHSensing ManilaGary C. DevillesAteneo de Manila University Press
BEST BOOK OF LITERARY HISTORY IN ENGLISHSongs Sprung from Native Soils: More Conversations with Eight Mindanao WritersRicardo M. De Ungria (Editor)Xavier University Press
BEST BOOK OF LITERARY CRITICISM IN FILIPINOFaustino Aguilar: Kapangyarihan, Kamalayan, KasaysayanEpifanio San Juan, Jr.University of Santo Tomas Publishing House
BEST BOOK OF POETRY IN ENGLISHWhen Bridges Are Down, Mountains Too Far: New PoemsGémino H. Abad University of the Philippines Press
We Shall Write Love Poems AgainDinah RomaUniversity of Santo Tomas Publishing House
BEST BOOK OF POETRY IN FILIPINORuta: Mga Bago at Piling TulaBenilda S. SantosAteneo de Naga University Press
BEST GRAPHIC LITERATURETarantadong Kalbo Volume 1Kevin Eric RaymundoKomiket Inc.
BEST TRANSLATED BOOKThe World is Still Beautiful Lazaro Francisco, translated by Mona HighleyAteneo de Manila University Press



BEST BOOK ON ARTPhilippine Cinema, 1897-2020Gaspar A. Vibal and Dennis S. Villegas; edited by Teddy O. CoVibal Group
BEST BOOK ON PROFESSIONSCool Minds, Brave Hearts: The People of the Philippine Central BankRoel R. Landingin Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Millennials: Alternative Perspectives on a

Misunderstood Generation

Jayeel Cornelio (Editor)University of Santo Tomas Publishing House
BEST BOOK ON HISTORYClothing the Colony: Nineteenth-Century

Philippine Sartorial Culture, 1820-1896

Stephanie CooAteneo de Manila University Press


Press Freedom Under Siege: Reportage that Challenged the Marcos DictatorshipMa. Ceres P. DoyoUniversity of the Philippines Press
BEST BOOK ON HUMOR, SPORTS, AND LIFESTYLEWalk Manila Lorelei D.C. de VianaFar Eastern University Publications
BEST BOOK ON FOODLasa ng Republika Dila at Bandila: Ang Paghahanap sa Pambansang Panlasa ng FilipinasIge Ramos Anvil Publishing, Inc.
BEST BOOK IN SCIENCEThe Zanjeras of Ilocos: Cooperative Irrigation Societies of the PhilippinesJose A. RiveraAteneo de Manila University Press
BEST BOOK DESIGNA Watercolor JourneyClaude Tayag, Design by Miguel


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