Our man in H’wood, double winner
“The process of writing is often a lonesome task—often a harried one because of the tight newspaper deadline. Being recognized by one’s peers for pieces done under time pressure each day is always a welcome honor,” said Inquirer Entertainment’s man in Hollywood, Ruben V. Nepales, a double winner at the 57th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards.
Nepales, whose column “Only IN Hollywood” appears in this broadsheet three times a week, took home two honors. He placed second in the Best Columnist/Critic-International category for his piece, “Stephen King: Why Master of Horror Novels Doesn’t Scare Us”; and won third prize in News-International for his two-part feature on rocker Courtney Love.
The veteran writer told the Inquirer via e-mail that this year’s contest got close to a thousand entries, making it one of the most competitive yet. “In that context, the cliché ‘just to be a finalist is an honor’ is my sincere sentiment,” he said, adding that his victory was made sweeter by the fact that the citations were given by the Los Angeles Press Club, “one of the oldest and most prestigious” media associations in the United States.
In 2013, Nepales received third prize for personality profile for his story “Charlie Sheen After the Meltdown,” also from the same award-giving body.
Perhaps it was the barong Tagalog he was wearing during the ceremony that brought him good fortune, he surmised. “I was feeling lucky in it. It was my first time to wear a barong Tagalog to the event and I felt extra proud in a ballroom full of men in suits and women in cocktail dresses,” Nepales related.
Meanwhile, asked what his readers can expect from him soon, Nepales said he will cover the annual Comic-Con, and visit the sets of big movies being shot this year.
“I’m so not looking forward to the hectic schedule, but just the thought of rushing from one interview/event to the next somehow makes my adrenaline start pumping already, and the story-seeking journalist in me still gets excited,” he said. “Anything to drive away the possibility of developing a blasé attitude is important.”
Nepales, an alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas who hails from Calasiao, Pangasinan, migrated to the US in 1985. He went on to become the first Filipino member and chair (2012-2013) of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the Golden Globe Awards.
He’s also the author of “My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood,” a collection of published articles—many of which came out in the Inquirer—about talents of Filipino heritage who made a name on the world stage.”
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