Francisco “Franz” Arcellana (September 6, 1916 – August 1, 2002) was a Filipino writer, poet, essayist, critic, journalist and teacher. He was born on September 16, 1916. Arcellana already had ambitions of becoming a writer during his years in the elementary. His actual writing, however, started when he became a member of The Torres Torch Organization during his high school years. Arcellana continued writing in various school papers at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He later on received a Rockfeller Grant and became a fellow in creative writing the University of Iowa and Breadloaf’s writers conference from 1956- 1957.
He is considered an important progenitor of the modern Filipino short story in English. Arcellana pioneered the development of the short story as a lyrical prose-poetic form within Filipino literature. His works are now often taught in tertiary-level-syllabi in the Philippines.
Many of his works were translated into Tagalog, Malaysian, Russian, Italian, and German. Arcellana won 2nd place in 1951 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, with his short story, “The Flowers of May.
” 14 of his short stories were also included in Jose Garcia Villa’s Honor Roll from 1928 to 1939. His major achievements included the first award in art criticism from the Art Association of the Philippines in 1954, the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan award from the city government of Manila in 1981, and the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for English fiction from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipino (UMPIL) in 1988. Francisco Arcellana was proclaimed National Artist of the Philippines in Literature in 1990. Arcellana is buried at theLibingan ng mga Bayani.
Arcellana died in 2002. As a National Artist, he received a state funeral at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. His grandson Liam Hertzsprung performed a piano concert in 2006 dedicated to him. Arcellana’s published books include:
Lualhati Torres Bautista (born Manila, Philippines December 2, 1945) is one of the foremost Filipino female novelists in the history of contemporaryPhilippine Literature. Her novels include Dekada ’70, Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa?, and ‘GAPÔ.
Bautista was born in Tondo, Manila, Philippines on December 2, 1945 to Esteban Bautista and Gloria Torres. She graduated from Emilio Jacinto Elementary School in 1958, and from Torres High School in 1962. She was a journalism student at the Lyceum of the Philippines, but dropped out even before she finished her freshman year. Despite a lack of formal training, Bautista as the writer became known for her honest realism, courageous exploration of Philippine women’s issues, and her compelling female protagonists, who confront difficult situations at home and in the workplace with uncommon grit and strength.
Lualhati garnered several Palanca Awards (1980, 1983 and 1984) for her novels ‘GAPÔ, Dekada ’70 and Bata, Bata… Pa’no Ka Ginawa? exposing injustices and chronicling women activism during the Marcos era. ‘GAPÔ, published in 1980, is the story of a man coming to grips with life as an Amerasian. It is a multi-layered scrutiny of the politics behind US bases in the Philippines, seen from ordinary citizens living in Olongapo City point of view. Dekada ’70 is the story of a family caught in the middle of the tumultuous decade of the 1970s. It details how a middle class family struggled and faced the changes that empowered Filipinos to rise against the Marcos government. These series of events happened after the bombing of Plaza Miranda, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the proclamation of martial law and the random arrests of political prisoners.
The oppressive nature of the Marcos regime, which made the people become more radical, and the shaping of the decade were all witnessed by the female protagonist, Amanda Bartolome, a mother of five boys. Bata, Bata… Pa’no Ka Ginawa?, literally, “Child, Child… How Were You Made?”, narrates the life of Lea, a working mother and a social activist, who has two children. The novel begun with an introductory chapter about the graduation day from kindergarten of Maya, Lea’s daughter. A program and a celebration were held. In the beginning, everything in Lea’s life were going smoothly – her life in connection with her children, with friends of the opposite gender, and with her volunteer work for a human rights organization.
But Lea’s children were both growing-up – and Lea could see their gradual transformation. There were the changes in their ways and personalities: Maya’s curiosity was becoming more obvious every day, while Ojie was crossing the boundaries from boyhood to teenage to adulthood. In the end, all three, and especially Lea, have to confront Philippine society’s view of single motherhood; and the novel itself brazens out to the questions of how it is to be a mother, and how a mother executes this role through modern-day concepts of parenthood.
Nick Joaquín was born in Paco, Manila, one of the ten children of Leocadio, a colonel under General Emilio Aguinaldo in the 1896 Revolution, and Salome Marquez, a teacher of English and Spanish. Being read poems and stories by his mother, Joaquin taught himself by reading widely at the National Library of the Philippines and the library of his father, who by that time was a successful lawyer after the revolution. This developed further his interest in writing. At age 17, Joaquín was first published in the literary section of the Pre-World War II Tribune under writer and editor Serafín Lanot. Before publishing in the Tribune, Joaquin worked as a proofreader of the paper. After winning a Dominican Order-sponsored nationwide essay competition for La Naval de Manila, the University of Santo Tomas awarded Joaquín an honorary Associate in Arts (A.A.) and a scholarship to St. Albert’s Convent, the Dominican monastery in Hong Kong.
Upon his return to the Philippines, he joined the Philippines Free Press, starting as a proofreader. Soon, he was noticed for his poems, stories and plays, as well as his journalism under the pen name Quijano de Manila. His journalism was markedly both intellectual and provocative, an unknown genre in the Philippines at that time, raising the level of reportage in the country. Joaquín deeply admired José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Joaquín paid tribute to Rizal by way of books such as The Storyteller’s New Medium – Rizal in Saga, The Complete Poems and Plays of Jose Rizal, and A Question of Heroes: Essays in Criticism on Ten Key Figures of Philippine History.
He also translated the hero’s valedictory poem, in the original Spanish “Mi Ultimo Adios,” as “Land That I Love, Farewell!” Joaquín served as a member of Motion Pictures under President Diosdado Macapagal and President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Joaquin’s first move as National Artist was to secure the release of imprisoned writer José F. Lacaba. Later, at a ceremony on Mount Makiling attended by First Lady Imelda Marcos, Joaquín delivered an invocation to Mariang Makiling, the mountain’s mythical maiden. Joaquín touched on the importance of freedom and the artist. As a result, for the remainder of the Marcos regime, Joaquín no longer received invitations to address important cultural events.
Lualhati Bautista is one of the foremost Filipino female novelists in the history of contemporary Philippine Literature. Her novels include, “Dekada ’70 (Decade ’70)”, “Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa? (Child, Child… How were you made?”, and “‘GAPÔ (short name for Olongapo, Philippines)”. In addition to being a novelist, Lualhati Bautista is also a movie and television screenwriter and a short story writer. Her first screenplay was Sakada (Seasonal Sugarcane Workers), a story written in 1975 that exposed the plight of Filipino peasants. Bautista has received recognition from the Philippines’ Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the Surian ng Wikang Pambansa in 1987. Her award-winning screenplays include Bulaklak sa City Jail (A Flower in City Jail) (1984), Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap (If The Clouds are Parted) (1984), Sex Object (1985).
For screenplay writing, she has received recognition from the Metro Manila Film Festival (best story-best screenplay), Film Academy Awards (best story-best screenplay), Star Awards (best screenplay), FAMAS (finalist for best screenplay), and URIAN awards. Two of her short stories have also won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Tatlong Kuwento ng Buhay ni Julian Candelabra (Three Stories in the Life of Julian Candelabra), first prize, 1982; and Buwan, Buwan, Hulugan mo Ako ng Sundang (Moon, Moon, Drop Me a Sword), third prize, 1983. Bautista also authored the television dramas Daga sa Timba ng Tubig (The Mouse in the Bucket of Water) (1975) and Isang Kabanata sa Libro ng Buhay ni Leilani Cruzaldo (A Chapter in the Book of Life of Leilani Cruzaldo) (1987).
The latter won best drama story for television from the Catholic Mass Media Awards. Bautista was honored by the Ateneo Library of Women’s Writings on March 10, 2004 during the 8th Annual Lecture on Vernacular Literature by Women. In 2005, the Feminist Centennial Film Festival presented her with a recognition award for her outstanding achievement in screenplay writing. In 2006, she was recipient of the Diwata Award for best writer by the 16th International Women’s Film Festival of the UP Film Center. She is also the only Filipino included in a book on foremost International Women Writers published in Japan, 1991.
Francisco Baltazar, known much more widely through his nom-de-plume Francisco Balagtas, was a prominent Filipino poet, and is widely considered as the Tagalog equivalent of William Shakespeare for his impact on Filipino literature. The famous epic, Florante at Laura, is regarded as his defining work. Balagtas learned to write poetry from José de la Cruz (Huseng Sisiw), one of the most famous poets of Tondo. It was de la Cruz himself who personally challenged Balagtas to improve his writing. (source: Talambuhay ng mga Bayani, for Grade 5 textbook) In 1835, Balagtas moved to Pandacan, where he met María Asunción Rivera, who would effectively serve as the muse for his future works. She is referenced in Florante at Laura as ‘Celia’ and ‘MAR’. Balagtas’ affections for Celia were challenged by the influential Mariano Capule.
Capule won the battle for Celia when he used his wealth to get Balagtas imprisoned under the accusation that he ordered a servant girl’s head be shaved. It was here that he wrote Florante at Laura—In fact, the events of this poem were meant to parallel his own situation. He wrote his poems in Tagalog, during an age when Filipino writing was predominantly written in Spanish. Balagtas published Florante at Laura upon his release in 1838. He moved to Balanga, Bataan in 1840 where he served as the assistant to the Justice of peace and later, in 1856, as the Major Lieutenant. He was also appointed as the translator of the court. Balagtas is so greatly revered in the Philippines that the term for Filipino debate in extemporaneous verse is named for him: balagtasan.
Jose Garcia Villa (5 August 1908 – 12 June 1973) is a Filipino poet and a National Artist for Literature. He is known for introducing the “reversed consonance rime scheme,” as well as for “comma poems” that made full use of the punctuation mark in an innovative way. Villa is also a short story writer, critic, and painter.
Villa was born in Singalong, Manila on 5 August 1908. He is the son of Simeon Villa, who was Emilio Aguinaldo’s physician, and Guia Garcia. Villa went to the University of the Philippines High School. He studied pre-medicine at the University of the Philippines but did not finish the course. He decided to take pre-law, but did not finish it either. Instead, he devoted a good part of his college time writing short stories and poems.In 1930, he won the Philippines Free Press literary contest for his short story entitled “Mir-i-nisa” and used the prize money to go to the United States. He studied at the University of New Mexico, and later at Columbia University. He taught poetry at the City College of New York from 1964 until 1973. He also worked in the Philippine Mission to the United Nations from 1954 to 1963 and became the vice consul in 1965. After retiring in 1973, he continued to conduct poetry workshops in his apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City.
He has been called a Philippine national treasure. Born on December 4, 1924 in Rosales, Philippines, he was introduced to literature in public school and later at the University of Santo Tomas. While working as a journalist in Manila, he moonlighted writing short stories and eventually novels. In the late fifties Jose founded the Philippine branch of PEN, an international organization of poets, playwrights, and novelists. In 1965 he started his own publishing house SOLIDARIDAD, and a year later he began publishing the remarkable Solidarity, a journal of current affairs, ideas, and arts, still going strong today. Jose wrote in English rather than in his national language Tagalog, or his native language Illocano.
In 1962 he published his first novel The Pretenders. Today his publications include ten novels, five books of short stories, and a book of verse. His works are available in 24 languages and some have recently been published in North America by Random House. He has been awarded numerous fellowships and awards, most notable being the 1980 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts, the most prestigious award of its kind in Asia.
Gilda Cordero-Fernando is a multiawarded writer, publisher and cultural icon from the Philippines. She was born in Manila, has a B.A. from St. Theresa’s College-Manila, and an M.A. from theAteneo de Manila University.Gilda Cordero-Fernando was born on June 4, 1932.
Cordero-Fernando has two landmark collection of short stories: The Butcher, The Baker and The Candlestick Maker (1962) and A Wilderness of Sweets (1973). These books have been compiled and reissued later as Story Collection (1994). Another book, Philippine Food and Life, was published in 1992. Together with Alfredo Roces, Cordero-Fernando worked on Filipino Heritage, a 10-volume study on Philippine history and culture published by Lahing Pilipino in 1978.
Afterwards, she founded GCF Books which published a dozen titles that deal with various aspects of Philippine culture and society. She received several Carlos Palanca and Philippines Free Press awards for her stories. In 1994, she received a Cultural Center of the Philippines (Gawad CCP) for her lifetime achievements in literature and publishing. Cordero-Fernando has also worn numerous other hats as a visual artist, fashion designer, playwright, art curator and producer. In February 2000, she produced a hugely successful extravaganza entitled Luna: An Aswang Romance…..
Linda Ty Casper is a Filipino writer who has published over fifteen books, including the historical novel DreamEden and the political novels Awaiting Trespass, Wings of Stone, A Small Party in a Garden, and Fortress in the Plaza. She has also published three collections of short stories which present a cross-section of Filipino society. In 1992, Tides and Near Occasions of Love won the Philippine PEN short story prize; another at the UNESCO International Writers’ Day, London; and the SEAWrite Award in Bangkok “Triptych for a Ruined Altar” was in the Roll of Honor of The Best American Short Stories, 1977. Her novel Awaiting Trespass which is about the politically sensitive theme of torture by the Marcos regime was published by Readers International ofLondon. This work gained her major critical attention in the United States for the first time, and in Britain the novel was chosen as one of the five best works of fiction by a woman writer published in 1985-86
Born as Belinda Ty in Malabon, Philippines in 1931. She spent the World War II years with her grandmother while her father worked in the Philippine National Railways, and her mother in the Bureau of Public Schools. Her grandmother told her innumerable of stories about the Filipino’s struggle for independence, that later became the topics of her novels. Linda Ty Casper graduatedvaledictorian in the University of the Philippines, and later earned her Master’s degree in Harvard University for International Law. In 1956, she married Leonard Casper, a professor emeritus of Boston College who is also a critic of Philippine Literature. They have two daughters and reside in Massachusetts.
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is an award-winning author and editor of nineteen books. She co-founded PAWWA or Philippine American Women Writers and Artists; she also founded Philippine American Literary House. Brainard’s works include the World War II novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, and Woman With Horns and other Stories. She edited several anthologies including Fiction by Filipinos in America,Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, and two volumes of Growing Up Filipino I and II, books used by educators.
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard (born 1947) grew up Cebu City, Philippines, the youngest of four children to Concepcion Cuenco Manguerra and Mariano F. Manguerra. The death of her father when she was nine prompted her to start writing, first in journals, then essays, and fiction. She attended St. Theresa’s College and Maryknoll College in the Philippines; and she did graduate work at UCLA.
Brainard has worked with Asian American youths for which she received a Special Recognition Award from the Los Angeles Board of Education. She has also received awards from the California State Senate, 21st District, several USIS Grants, a California Arts Council Fellowship, an Outstanding Individual Award from the City of Cebu, Philippines, Brody Arts Fund Award, a City of Los Angeles Cultural grant, and many more. The books she has written and edited have also won awards, the Gintong Aklat Award and the International Gourmand Award among them. Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish.
Brainard’s second novel, Magdalena inspired the playwright Jocelyn Deona de Leon to write a stage play, Gabriela’s Monologue, which was produced in 2011 by the Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco as part of Stories XII! annual production showcasing original works for the stage by Pilipino/Filipino American Artists. Brainard’s writings can be found in periodicals such as Town and Country, Zee Lifestyle Magazine, Focus Philippines, Philippine Graphic, Amerasia Journal, Bamboo Ridge among others. Her stories have been anthologized in books such as Making Waves (1989), Songs of Ourselves (1994), On a Bed of Rice (1995), “Pinay: Autobiographical Narratives by Women Writers, 1926-1998” (Ateneo 2000), “Asian American Literature”
Alejandro Reyes Roces (13 July 1924 – 23 May 2011) was a Filipino author, essayist, dramatist and a National Artist of the Philippines for literature. He served as Secretary of Education from 1961 to 1965, during the term of Philippine President Diosdado Macapagal. Noted for his short stories, the Manila-born Roces was married to Irene Yorston Viola (granddaughter of Maximo Viola), with whom he had a daughter, Elizabeth Roces-Pedrosa. Anding attended elementary and high school at the Ateneo de Manila University, before moving to the Arizona State University for his tertiary education. He graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts and, not long after, attained his M.A. from Far Eastern Universityback in the Philippines. He has since received honorary doctorates from Tokyo University, Baguio’s St. Louis University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and the Ateneo de Manila University.
Roces was a captain in the Marking’s Guerilla during World War II and a columnist in Philippine dailies such as the Manila Chronicle and the Manila Times. He was previously President of the Manila Bulletin and of the CAP College Foundation. In 2001, Roces was appointed as Chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). Roces also became a member of the Board of Trustees of GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) and maintained a column in the Philippine Star called Roses and Thorns. During his freshman year in the University of Arizona, Roces won Best Short Story for We Filipinos are Mild Drinkers. Another of his stories, My Brother’s Peculiar Chicken, was listed as Martha Foley’s Best American Stories among the most distinctive for years 1948 and 1951. Roces did not only focus on short stories alone, as he also published books such as Of Cocks and Kites (1959), Fiesta (1980), and Something to Crow About (2005).
Of Cocks and Kites earned him the reputation as the country’s best writer of humorous stories. It also contained the widely anthologized piece “My Brother’s Peculiar Chicken”. Fiesta, is a book of essays, featuring folk festivals such as Ermita’s Bota Flores, Aklan’s Ati-atihan, and Naga’s Peñafrancia. Something to Crow About, on the other hand, is a collection of Roces’ short stories. The book has been recently brought to life by a critically acclaimed play of the same title; the staged version of Something to Crow About is the first Filipino zarzuela in English. This modern zarzuela tells the story of a poor cockfighter named Kiko who, to his wife’s chagrin, pays more attention to the roosters than to her. Later in the story, a conflict ensues between Kiko’s brother Leandro and Golem, the son of a wealthy and powerful man, over the affections of a beautiful woman named Luningning. The resolution? A cockfight, of course.
Something to Crow About won the Aliw Award for Best Musical and Best Director for a Musical Production. It also had a run off-Broadway at the La Mama Theater in New York. Through the years, Roces has won numerous awards, including the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award, the Diwa ng Lahi Award, the Tanging Parangal of the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining, and the Rizal Pro Patria Award. He was finally bestowed the honor as National Artist of Literature on the 25th of June 2003. When once asked for a piece of advice on becoming a famous literary figure Roces said, “You cannot be a great writer; first, you have to be a good person”.