The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (Commision on Filipino Language) awarded Dr. John Barrios as Kampeon ng Wika (Champion of Language) during the KWF Awards Night held on August 19, 2017 at SEAMEO Innotech, Quezon City.
Dr. Barrios was cited because of his contribution in propagating Western Visayan languages, literature and culture through his writings and literary criticisms of literary forms. This range from the indigenous epics to popular culture while at the same time highlighting the Hiligaynon language.
Aside from being an author, he is also an editor, translator, administrator and a patient teacher with intelligent and critical views. Significantly, he did his job as Komisyoner of KWF more than what is expected from a public servant. He served KWF beginning 2011 up to the present.
The Kampeon ng Wika is given to chosen individuals who disseminate knowledge about Filipino language and their local language in their respective fields. The KWF has given the same award to members of the media and literary organizations in the last two year. Currently, the KWF expands its search of deserving individuals and organizations in the field of culture, politics, music and the academe. UPV professors who have been given this award were Dr. Leoncio P. Deriada and Dr. Alicia P. Magos, both awarded in 2014.Dr. Barrios is currently Chair of the Division of Professional Education of the College of Arts and Sciences, UP Visayas. He also teaches Filipino in the Graduate Programs of UP Visayas and the UP High School in Iloilo.