How to Win the Palanca Without Even Writing Part V
So let's say you have read this column for the past weeks or so and heeded my advices (which you should). Let us then make a list of what we just discussed, and what you have right now are:
1) the guidelines for the latest Palanca contest (Yes, they have opened up)
2) A great pen name. You should thought of this a long time ago.
3) A computer with typewriter fonts. A nice copier.
4) Great Morocco folders dipped in holy water
5) FB profile of The One aka the one who picks the judges
6) List of possible judges under your genre. Under this, we should have friended them on FB so we would know their activities. Like I said, if they went to a fancy restaurant and two others also Instagrammed about it at the same time. You can be pretty sure, they are the judges. Sometimes for convenience and networking throughout the judging, they would friend each other so just do your FB triangulation. Just hope they like to tag each other.
7) Gift certificates in case their birthdays fall from May to August. Or what the heck, just give something.
8) A severed horse head for each on August 31 in case you lose. Put it on their beds early in the morning.
9) Round trip ticket to Manila including taxi fare to CPJ Building
10) Alibi for the time you were writing so no one knew you joined. Also a secretive lawyer. Better a lawyer-priest who will notarize that you are the one who wrote etc etc.
The hard part is the waiting from deadline to September 1 when they wine and dine the winners. You must do your Visita Iglesia. Snoop around writer friends. Troll the FB of such writers like IC, RT, TA, ML and the rest of those Manila (read: available) pen pushers (yuck). They usually will tell who joined or who might be the judges if they are not.
Troll them about your suspected rivals who posted this poem or snippets of essay in their blogs two years ago and isn't that illegal? Stir the teapot.
By August, start panicking. Storm the heavens. Raise hell. By August 15, try to accept the fact that those are only three writers judging out of 1,500 so no big deal. By August 17, restart panicking. By August 20, open and reopen your email every 5 minutes. No notice? Join the Nigerian scammers. Join Anonymous and hack the Palanca website (which hackers often do, those frustrated writers). By August 27, start bingeing on GSM and Tanduay which the Palancas own anyway. Wake up by August 30. Still no notice. Do your last prayers. Beg for an invite from a writer. If you do make it to the party, drink and start heckling with the best. Enjoy the night. There's always next year.