Attention, High School Students! Check Out Loving Pinoy Lit, A Penguin Classics Essay Writing Contest


If you’re a high school student who loves classic Filipino literature, writing, and winning big prizes, then you should definitely join Loving Pinoy Lit: A Penguin Classics Essay Writing Contest! This is a special collaboration by National Book Store and Penguin Random House, one of the world’s leading English-language publishers.

The contest started on July 12, 2019, after being launched at Penguin Classics Vice President Elda Rotor‘s talk at NBS Shangri-La Plaza.  

(L-R) Jennifer Javier, Xandra Ramos-Padilla, Marga Buenaventura, Elda Rotor, Don Jaucian, Honey De Peralta, and Yvette Fernandez at A Conversation with Elda Rotor in NBS Shangri-La Plaza

The contest is open to all junior and senior high school students enrolled in any private or public high school and residing in the Philippines. Is that you? Choose from one of the five Filipino books included in the Penguin Classics roster: • Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere”;
• Jose Rizal’s “El Filibusterismo”;
• Jose Garcia Villa’s “Doveglion”;
• Carlos Bulosan’s “America Is in the Heart,” and;
• Nick Joaquin’s “The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic.”

Then, write an essay with about why that book remains relevant for today’s generation. Entries will be accepted until August 31, 2019, and your essays will be evaluated by the board of judges.

The five (5) winners with the best essays shall each receive NBS Gift Cards worth P10,000  and a set of Penguin Classics books worth over P20,000 for their school! It’s not just a prize for you, but for your classmates and other students too! You can check out the complete mechanics (and also submit your entries!) here.

Your FAQs Answered

  1. Can I submit more than one entry?

No, it’s strictly one entry per participant.

2. Does my essay have to be in English?

Your essay may be written in either English or Filipino.

3. I’m a Senior High School student and don’t have an English or Filipino subject. How can I join?

You may still join the contest. Just have your essay endorsed by any English or Filipino teacher from your school.

4. What should my teacher put in the endorsement letter?

Your teacher must certify that you are a duly enrolled student of your school, that s/he has read your essay, and that she supports your participation in the contest.

5. Is there a specific format I need to follow for the essay?

Yes, the required format for your essay can be found here.

6. How many words should my essay have?

No exact word count is set. However, your essay must not exceed the maximum of 3 pages while still following the required font face, font size, line spacing, and page margins.

7. Can I co-write an essay with another student and have it as a shared entry?

No, there should only be one student for each essay.

8. I’m a college student. Can I join this contest too?

No, this contest is only open for high school students. Please stay tuned for more contests in the future.

Send your entries in and get a chance to win!

Don’t forget that the deadline for entries is on August 31, 2019! If you don’t have any of the five Penguin Classics you need to choose from for this contest, you can shop for them in our branches or order online

We can’t wait to see your essays, and how they’ll help today’s readers – and future generations – learn to love Pinoy lit!

Got more questions? Leave them in the comments section or ask us on social media – it’s @nationalbookstore on Instagram and @nbsalert on Facebook, Twitter, Viber, and YouTube. For more updates, sign up for our newsletter:

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