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Paz Marquez-Benitez


Born in 1894 in Lucena City, Quezon, Marquez - Benitez authored the first Filipino
modern English-language short story, Dead Stars, published in the Philippine Herald
in 1925. Márquez-Benítez was among the first generation of Filipinos trained in the
American education system which used English as the medium of instruction. She
graduated high school in Tayabas High School (now, Quezon National High School)
and college from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree in
1912. [1][2]

Born into the prominent Marquez family of Quezon province, she belonged to the first
generation of Filipinos educated in the American colonial system, taught using
English as a medium of instruction.

She was a member of the first freshman class of the University of the Philippines,
graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912.

Two years after graduation, she married Francisco Benitez, with whom she had four

Márquez-Benítez later became a teacher at the University of the Philippines, who

taught short-story writing and had become an influential figure to many Filipino
writers in the English language, such as Loreto-Paras Sulit, Paz M. Latorena, Arturo
B. Rotor, Bienvenido N. Santos and Francisco Arcellana. The annually held Paz-
Marquez Benitez Lectures in the Philippines honors her memory by focusing on the
contribution of Filipino women writers to Philippine Literature in the English

Though she only had one more published short story after “Dead Stars.”This of which
is entitled "A Night In The Hills". Nevertheless, she made her mark in Philippine
literature because her work is considered the first modern Philippine short

For Marquez-Benitez, writing was a life-long occupation. In 1919 she founded

"Woman's Home Journal", the first women's magazine in the country. "Filipino Love
Stories", reportedly the first anthology of Philippine stories in English by Filipinos,
was compiled in 1928 by Marquez-Benitez from the works of her students.

When her husband died in 1951, she took over as editor of the Philippine Journal of
Education at UP. She held the editorial post for over two decades.

In 1995, her daughter, Virginia Benitez-Licuanan wrote her biography, "Paz Marquez-
Benitez: One Woman's Life, Letters, and Writings."

1. ^ a b c d The Paz Marquez-Benitez Memorial Lectures, Ateneo Library of

Women's Writings, Admu.edu, date retrieved: 27 May 2007
2. ^ a b c d The Major Collections Filipino Writers in English: Paz Marquez-Benitez
(1894-1983), Biography, Ateneo Library of Women's Writings, Admu.edu, retrieved
on: June 17, 2007
N.V.M. Gonzalez

"Literature is an affair of letters," N.V.M. Gonzalez once said. A teacher, author,

journalist and essayist, Gonzalez is one of the most widely recognized, anthologized
and closely studied among Filipino writers. His most notable works include the
novels The Winds of April, The Bamboo Dancers and A Season of Grace, short story
collections Children of the Ash-Covered Loam and The Bread of Salt and Other
Stories and essay collections Work on the Mountain and The Novel of Justice:
Selected Essays. Gonzalez distinctively wrote of the Filipino life, of the Filipino in the
world. Gonzalez is himself a Filipino in the world, traversing between the United
States and the Philippines and exploring Europe and Asia. The affair of letters
Gonzalez created is more than literature. It is the story of a Filipino in the world. It is
his story.

Nestor Vicente Madali Gonzalez, familiarly known as simply "N.V.M.," was born on
September 8, 1915 in Romblon, Romblon and moved to Mindoro at the age of five.
The son of a school supervisor and a teacher, Gonzalez helped his father by
delivering meat door-to-door. Gonzalez attended Mindoro High School from 1927 to
1930, and although he studied at National University in Manila, he never obtained a
degree. While in Manila, Gonzalez wrote for the Philippine Graphic and later edited
for the Evening News Magazine and Manila Chronicle. His first published essay
appeared in the Philippine Graphic and his first poem in Poetry in 1934.

A Rockefeller Foundation fellowship, awarded to Gonzalez in 1948, allowed the

aspiring author to travel to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California and Columbia
University in New York City. While at Stanford, Gonzalez attended lectures and
classes from many prominent writers, Wallace Stegner and Katherine Anne Porter
amongst them.

After Gonzalez returned to the Philippines in 1950, he began a long teaching career,
beginning with a position at the University of Santo Tomas. Gonzalez also taught at
the Philippine Women's University, but it was the lengthy position at the University of
the Philippines that gave distinction to Gonzalez's career - as a teacher at the
university for 18 years, Gonzalez was only one of two people to teach there without
holding a degree. Gonzalez hosted the first University of the Philippines writer's
workshop with a group who would soon form the Ravens. In addition, Gonzalez made
his mark in the writing community as a member of the Board of Advisers of Likhaan:
the University of the Philippines Creative Writing Center, founder The Diliman Review
and as the first president of the Philippine Writers' Association.

Gonzalez continued to teach when he returned to California in the 1960s, serving as

a visiting professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara; professor
emeritus at California State University, Hayward; and professor at University of
California at Los Angeles' Asian American Studies Center and English department.

Throughout Gonzalez's teaching career, the author produced 14 books and

accumulated many awards along the way. Through these writings, Gonzalez received
many prestigious awards, including repeated Palanca Memorial Award for Literature
awards, the Jose Rizal Pro Patria Award, and the City of Manila Medal of Honor. In
addition, his books became internationally recognized, and his works have been
translated into Chinese, German, Russian and Bahasa Indonesian.
Gonzalez received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Philippines in
1987 and became its first international writer in residence in 1988. He served as the
1998-1999 Regents Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and
continued to receive distinctions such as the National Artist Award for Literature in
1997 and the Centennial Award for Literature in 1998. In 1990 and 1996, "N.V.M.
Gonzalez Days" were celebrated in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.
Despite Gonzalez's travels, he never gave up his Filipino citizenship. Critics feared
that Gonzalez would someday settle into the Filipino-American genre of literature,
but Gonzalez often pointed out with an all-familiar twinkle in his eye, "I never left
home." True to his word, the home that shaped Gonzalez's days is present in his
writings, from the blossoming of a love story to the culture reflected in an immigrant

N.V.M. started his career at the age of 19; 65 years later, he was still creating affairs
with letters. He passed away on November 28, 1999, due to kidney complications.
He was 84. N.V.M. Gonzalez is remembered as an innovative writer, a dedicated and
humble worker and an honest witty friend. He will be dearly missed.

Estrella D. Alfon

Born in Cebu, Alfon set many of her stories in the fictional community of Espeleta, a
recognizable lower middle-class district of that city. Though she wrote mostly in
English, she also wrote some stories in Cebuano. Of the women writers of the region,
she is among the most prominent.
Unable to complete a pre-medical course at the University of the Philippines because
of poor health, Alfon instead earned an Associate in Arts certificate. Her first story,
“Grey Confetti” (1935), was quickly followed by many others. The only female
member of the Veronicans, an avant garde group of writers in the 1930s led by
Francisco Arcellana and H.R. Ocampo, she was also regarded as their muse. A
regular contributor to Manila-based national magazines, she had several stories cited
in Jose Garcia Villa’s annual honor rolls. A collection of her early short stories, “Dear
Esmeralda,” won Honorable Mention in the Commonwealth Literary Award of 1940.
Seventeen of her stories appear in Magnificence and Other Stories (1960), the only
published collection of her short fiction. Of these stories, Francisco Arcellana said,
“When I say that these stories are powerful as stories, I mean they are compelling.
They are told with urgency. They make you think of the ancient mariner.”
While critics found cause to commend her, a conservative group of Catholics charged
Alfon in court with obscenity over one of her short stories, “Fairy Tale for the City,”
about a young man’s initiation into sex. Fellow writers were quick to rally around her,
claiming her as a martyr to the cause of artistic integrity. The present generation of
readers, having dismissed obscenity as a legitimate issue in the critical discussion of
literature, prefers to claim her as a writer for the feminist cause. By populating her
fictional world largely with women and children, she calls attention to their
marginalized roles in Philippine patriarchal society. Though most of her women
characters are unable even to recognize themselves as victims, Alfon’s sympathetic
portrayals allow for readings subversive of the society that victimizes women.
Reportedly the most prolific Filipino woman writer before the war, Alfon was at times
charged with sloppy writing and suspected of writing for money. Undeterred, she
continued to write, not just more stories and journalistic pieces, but also plays. In
the Arena Theater Play Writing Contest of 1961-62, four of her one-act plays won all
the prizes: “Losers Keepers” (first prize), “Strangers” (second prize), “Rice” (third
prize), and “Beggar” (fourth prize). That same year she won the top prize in the
Palanca Contest for “With Patches of Many Hues.” A posthumous collection, The
Collected Stories of Estrella Alfon, was compiled by her long time friend Lina Espina
Moore in 1994. Alfon died in 1983, following a heart attack suffered onstage during
the Awards night of the Manila Film Festival.

Manuel Arguilla

Manuel Estabillo Arguilla (1911-1944) was an Ilokano writer in English, patriot, and

He is known for his widely anthologized short story "How My Brother Leon Brought
Home a Wife," the main story in the collection "How My Brother Leon Brought Home
a Wife and Other Short Stories" which won first prize in the Commonwealth Literary
Contest in 1940.

His stories "Midsummer" and "Heat" was published in the United States by the Prairie

Most of Arguilla's stories depict scenes in Barrio Nagrebcan, Bauang, La Union where
he was born. His bond with his birthplace, forged by his dealings with the peasant
folk of Ilocos, remained strong even after he moved to Manila where he studied at
the University of the Philippines where he finished BS Education in 1933 and where
he became a member and later the president of the U.P. Writer's Club and editor of
the university's Literary Apprentice.

He married Lydia Villanueva, another talented writer in English, and they lived in
Ermita, Manila.

He became a creative writing teacher at the University of Manila and later worked at
the Bureau of Public Welfare as managing editor of the bureau's publication Welfare
Advocate until 1943. He was later appointed to the Board of Censors. He secretly
organized a guerrilla intelligence unit against the Japanese.

In October 1944, he was captured, tortured and executed by the Japanese army at
Fort Santiago.

* Dictionary of Philippine Biography, Volume 3, Filipiniana Publications, Quezon City,

* Filipino Writers in English by Florentino B. Valeros and Estrellita V. Gruenberg, New
Day Publishers, Quezon City, 1987
* "Maysa a Ruknoy ken ni Manuel E. Arguilla," RIMAT Magazine, Quezon City,
October 2004

Nick Joacquin
Philippine novelist, poet, playwright, and essayist writing in English, the National
Artist for Literature. Joaquin is widely considered the best postwar author in his
country. He has written largely about the Spanish colonial period and the diverse
heritage of the Filipino people. Often he deals with the coexistence of 'primitive' and
'civilized' dimensions inside the human psyche. In his short story 'The Summer
Solstice,' set in the 1850s, Joaquin portrayed the collision between instincts and
refined culture. Doña Lupeng first rejects ancient beliefs, but under the spell of the
moon, she becomes possessed by the spirit of the Tadtarin cult - she does not want
to be loved and respected anymore but adored as the embodiment of the matriarchal

"He lifted his dripping face and touched his bruised lips to her toes; lifted his
hands and grasped the white foot and kissed it savagely - kissed the step, the sole,
the frail ankle - while she bit her lips and clutched in pain at the windowsill, her body
distended and wracked by horrible shivers, her head flung back and her loose hair
streaming out of the window - streaming fluid and black in the white night where the
huge moon glowed like a sun and the dry air flamed into lightning and the pure heat
burned with the immense intense fever of noon." (from 'The Summer Solstice' in
Tropical Gothic, 1972)

Nick Joaquin was born in Paco on Calle Herran, as the the son of Leocadio Y. Joaquin,
a lawyer and a colonel of the Philippine Revolution, and Salome Marquez, a
schoolteacher. After three years of secondary education at the Mapa High School,
Joaquin dropped out of school to work on Manila’s waterfront and in odd jobs. On his
spare time he read widely at the National Library and on his father's library. English
had became the official medium of instruction in 1898 after the Spanish-American
war. Especially through the work of short story writers English became the most
developed literary genre and virtually all Spanish literature ceased.

Starting as a proofreader at the Philippines Free Press, Joaquin rose to contributing

editor and essayist under the pen name 'Quijano de Manila' (Manila Old Timer). After
World War II Joaquin worked as a journalist, gaining fame as a reporter for the Free
Press. In 1970 he left the Philippines Free Press and went on to edit Asia-Philippine
Leader. During the reign of Ferdinand Marcos, who had won presidency in 1965,
corruption started to fuel opposition to his administration. When martial law was
declared in 1972 Joaquin was subsequently suspended. He then became the editor of
the Philippine Graphic magazine and publisher of the Women’s Weekly.

Joaquin started to write short stories, poems, and essays in 1934. One year later his
first work appeared in the Tribune in 1935. In 1947 his essay on the defeat of a
Dutch fleet by the Spaniards off the Philippines in 1646 earned him a scholarship to
study in Hong Kong at the Albert College, founded by the Dominicans. Joaquin's
studies for priesthood explains part the Christian setting of his stories and constant
attention to the practices and superstitions of his characters. However, he left the
seminary in 1950, finding it impossible for him to adjust to rigid rules. Prose and
Poems (1952) was followed by the Barangay Theatre Guild's production of his play, A
Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. The title refers to James Joyce's famous book, not
without ironic tone. A Portrait is considered the most important Filipino play in
English. In it Joaquin focused on a family conflict, in which old cultural models are
reconciled with modern values. The descendants of the declining Don Lorenzo refuse
to sell the masterpiece which he has painted for them. With Stevan Javellana, N.V.M.
Gonzalez, Celso Al. Carunungan, and Kerima Polotan Tuvera he influenced the
development of the Philippine novel and short story. He writing also build a bridge
from modern literature to the religious themes of Spanish heritage and primitive
beliefs. When the young Guido in 'The Summer Solstice' had returned from Europe to
his home, he tells Doña Lupeng: "Ah, I also learned to open my eyes over there - to
see the holiness and the mystery of what is vulgar."

The prize-novel The Woman Who Had Two Navels (1961) examined the pressures of
the past upon the present. Monson, the ex-revolutionary, hides in Hong Kong, afraid
to face the trials of postwar independence. Again Joaquin dealt with the tensions
between illusion and reality. The novel won the first Harry Stonehill Award, an yearly
grant. The Aquinos of Tarlac (1983) was a biography of the assassinated presidential
candidate Benigno Aquino. He led the opposition to President Ferdinand Marcos and
was shot dead in the airport when he returned from exile. Three years after his death
his widow Corazon Aquino became President of the Philippines. Cave and Shadows
(1983) occurs in the period of martial law under Marcos.

For his work Joaquin received several awards. His essay 'La Naval de Manila' (1943)
won in a contest sponsored by the Dominicans; 'Guardia de Honor' was declared the
best story of the year in 1949, he received in 1963 the Araw ng Maynila Award, and
in 1966 he was conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Literature, Broadcast and
Journalism. In 1976 Joaquin was declared a National Artist. He is the most
anthologized of all Philippine authors.

For further reading: The Trouble with Nick & Other Profiles by Marra PL. Lanot
(2000); Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, ed. by Steven R.
Serafin (1999, vol. 2); Subversions Of Desire: Prolegomena To Nick Joaquin by
Epifanio San Juan, Jr. (1988); Filipino Writers in English by Florentino B. Valeros and
Estrellita V. Gruenberg (1987); New Writing from the Philippines by L. Casper
(1966); Brown Heritage, ed. by A. Manuud (1967); 'Hauted Intensity' by Miguel A.
Bernard in Bamboo and the Greenwood Tree (1961); 'The Stories of Nick Joaquin' by
Harry B. Furay in Philippine Studies, i (1953) - For further information: The
Storyteller's New Medium - Rizal in Saga by Nick Joaquin - A Summary of Nick
Joaquin's The Four Little Monkeys Who Went To Eden -

Aida Rivera-Ford

Born in Sulu, Aida Rivera-Ford crossed over to Negros Oriental in 1949 for an English
degree at Silliman University. Records toast her as the first editor of Sands and
Coral, the school’s literary folio. In 1954, she flew to the University of Michigan on a
Fulbright grant to secure her master’s degree in English.
“Love in the Cornhusks” is one of five well-crafted stories for which Rivera-Ford won
the Jules & Avery Hopwood Prize in Michigan. In 1955, the Sunday Chronicle’s This
Week magazine featured the prize-winning story, with illustrations by Rod Dayao.
From N.V.M. Gonzalez to Epifanio San Juan, critics were one in hailing the story with
uncommon praise, citing its masterful subtlety but also its earnest vision—a rare
case of art prevailing upon all creeds and manners of persuasion. Two years later,
Rivera-Ford released her five stories under the title Now and at the Hour and Other
Short Stories (1957).
The Rivera-Ford memorabilia at ALIWW includes the story’s early draft, under the
working title “Love in the Farm.” The ink manuscript establishes how, upon rewrite,
Rivera-Ford renamed her now-famous protagonist—from Anselma Godoy to the
simple, unassuming Tinang. Amado’s letter, much parsed in workshop circles for its
naive busting of the King’s English, is untouched, attesting to Rivera-Ford’s quick
sense of its comic effect.

Kerima Polotan

Kerima Polotan Tuvera (born in Jolo, Sulu on December 16, 1925) is a Filipina

She was cristened as Putli Kerima, putli meaning princess.

Her father was an army colonel, and her mother taught home economics. Due to her
father's frequent transfers in assignment, she lived in various places and studied in
the public schools of Pangasinan, Tarlac, Laguna, Nueva Ecija and Rizal.

She graduated from the Far Eastern University Girls' High School. In 1944 she
enrolled in the University of the Philippines School of Nursing. In 1945 she shifted to
Arellano University where she attended the writing classes of Teodoro M. Locsin and
edited the first number of the Arellano Literary Review. Her education has been
repeatedly interrupted by illness, financial difficulties and later marriage and the care
of children of which she has five. She is a prolific writer. Some of her stories have
been published under the pseudonym of Patricia S. Torres.

In 1949, she had married Juan Tuvera, a childhood friend and fellow writer, with
whom she had 10 children. Between the years 1966 to 1970, her husband served as
the Executive Secretary of then President Marcos. Her husband's work drew her into
the charmed circle of the Marcoses.

During the Martial Law years, she founded and edited the officially approved FOCUS
Magazine as well as the Evening Post newspaper.

Tuvera has taught in Albay High School and at Arellano University.

She has worked with Your Magazine, This Week and the Junior Red Cross Magazine.
Recently she went to the United States on a Department of State Specialist Grant.

In 1952 her short story The Virgin won two first prizes - the Free Press short story
prize of Php1,000 and the Palanca Memorial Award. In 1957 she edited the Carlos
Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, a book containing English and Tagalog prize
winning short stories from 1950 to 1955. Her novel "The Hand of the Enemy" (1962)
won the Stonehill Award of Php10,000 for the Filipino novel in English. Some of her
famous short stories are : "A Place to Live In", "Gate", "The Keeper", "The Mats" and
"The Sounds of Sunday". Adventures in a Forgotten Country is her latest collection of
essays. She is the editor of Focus Philippines, the Orient News and the Evening Post.

In 1968, she published "Stories", a collection of eleven stories which she claimed a
"thin harvest" for the twenty years she had been writing. But they were certainly her
best, several among the most frequently anthologized stories even today.

In 1970, she wrote "Imelda Romualdez Marcos, a Biography." That was the same
year that she collected forty-two of her hard-hitting essays during her years as a
staff writer of the Philippine Free Press and published them under the title "Author's

In 1976, she edited the four-volume "Anthology of Don Palanca Memorial Award
Winners." In 1977, she published another collection of thirty-five essays,
"Adventures in a Forgotten Country."

In the late 1990s, the University of the Philippines Press republished all of her major

She now has a book titled The True and The Plain, a collection of essays about her
childhood memories.

The city of Manila conferred on Polotan-Tuvera its Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan

Award to recognize her many contributions to its intellectual and cultural life.

Francisco Arcellana

Francisco Arcellana (Zacarias Eugene Francisco Quino Arcellana) aka Frank V. Sta.
Cruz, Manila 6 Sept 16 1916. National Artist Literature. He is the fourth of 18
children of Jose Arcellana y Cabaneiro and Epifanio Quino. He is married to
Emerenciana Yuvienco with whom he has six children, one of whom, Juaniyo is an
essayist, poet and fictionist. He received his first schooling in Tondo. The idea of
writing occurred to him at the Tondo Intermediate School but it was at the Manila
West High School (later Torres High School) that he took up writing actively as staff
member of The Torres Torch, the school organ.
In 1932 Arcellana entered the University of the Philippines (UP) as a pre-medicine
student and graduated in 1939 with a bachelor of philosophy in degree. In his junior
year, mainly because of the publication of his “trilogy of the turtles” in the Literary
Apprentice, Arcellana was invited to join the UP Writers Club by Manuel Arguilla –
who at that time was already a campus literary figure. In 1934, he edited and
published Expression, a quarterly of experimental writing. It caught the attention of
Jose Garcia Villa who started a correspondence with Arcellana. It also spawned the
Veronicans, a group of 13 pre-WWII who rebelled against traditional forms and
themes in Philippine literature.
Arcellana went on to medical school after receiving his bachelor's degree while
holding jobs in Herald Midweek Magazine, where his weekly column “Art and Life”
(later retitled “Life and Letters”) appeared, and in Philcross, the publication of the
Philippine Red Cross. The war stopped his schooling. After the war, he continued
working in media and publishing and began a career in the academe. He was
manager of the International News Service and the editor of This Week. He joined
the UP Department of English and Comparative Literature and served as adviser of
the Philippine Collegian and director of the UP Creative Writing Center, 1979- 1982.
Under a Rockefeller Foundation grant he became a fellow in creative writing, 1956-
1957, at the University of Iowa and Breadloaf Writers' Conference.
In 1932 Arcellana published his first story. “The Man Who Could Be Poe” in Graphic
while still a student at Torres High School. The following year two of his short stories,
“Death is a Factory” and “Lina,” were included in Jose Garcia Villa's honor roll. During
the 1930's, which he calls his most productive period, he wrote his most significant
stories including, “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal” cited in 1938 by Villa as the year's
best. He also began writing poetry at this time, many of them appearing in Philippine
Collegian, Graphic and Herald Midweek Magazine.
Some of his works have been translated into Tagalog, Malaysian, Italian, German and
Russian, and many have been anthologized. Two major collections of his works are:
Selected Stories, 1962, and The Francisco Arcellana Sampler, 1990. He also edited
the Philippine PEN Anthology of Short Stories, 1962, and Fifteen Stories: Story
Masters 5, 1973. Arcellana credits Erskine Caldwell and Whit Burnett as influences.
From 1928 to 1939, 14 of his short stories were included in Jose Garcia Villa's honor
roll. His short story “The Flowers of May” won second prize in 1951 Don Carlos
Palanca Memorial Award for Literature. Another short story, “Wing of Madness,”
placed second in the Philippines Free Press literary contest in 1953, He also received
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. He was conferred a doctorate in humane
letters, honoris causa, by the UP in 1989. He was proclaimed National Artist in
Literature in 1990 – L.R. Lacuesta and R.C. Lucero

Joy T. Dayrit

Joy T. Dayrit published her first stories under the literary editorship of Nick Joaquin in
the old Philippines Free Press and subsequently in the Asia-Philippines Leader. In the
late 1960s she ran an art gallery called PRINT which started as a small exhibition
space for drawings and prints and evolved into an alternative space for experimental
art until its closure in the early 1970s.” (About the Author, “The Walk”)

Ninotchka Rosca

Ninotchka Rosca (born in the Philippines in 1946) is a Filipina feminist, author and
human rights activist who is active in GABRIELA Network USA, a sister organization
of the militant women's organization, GABRIELA Philippines.

Rosca is active in the Women's Anti-Imperialist League (WAIL) and is a contemporary

Asian-American who is known for the short stories Bitter Country and Monsoon
Country. Her short stories had been featured in the 1986 Best 100 Short Stories in
the United States by Raymond Carver and the Missouri Review Anthology. She is also
the author of the best-selling English language novels State of War and Twice
Blessed. The latter won her the 1993 American Book Award for excellence in
literature. Her most recent book is JMS: At Home In The World, co-written with the
controversial Jose Maria Sison, who has been included in the U.S. list of "terrorists".
Rosca was a political prisoner under the dictatorial government of Ferdinand Marcos
in the Philippines (1965-1986). She was forced into exile to Hawaii when threatened
by the Marcos regime with a second arrest for her human rights activism. Rosca has
been designated as one of the 12 Asian-American Women of Hope by the Bread and
Roses Cultural Project. She had been a leader in Amnesty International and the PEN
American Center. She was the Director of Communications and Development at the
Santa Clara Center for Occupational Safety and Health and lived in San Jose,
California. Rosca was also a founder and the first national chair of the GABRIELA, the
preeminent women's rights organization of the Philippines. She is the international
spokesperson of GABRIELA's Purple Rose Campaign against the trafficking of women,
with an emphasis on Filipinas. She was active in planning the UN Conference on
Women which took place in Beijing, China. Rosca is particularly concerned with
women's human rights focusing on the issues of sex tourism, trafficking, the mail-
order bride industry, and violence against women. For her achievements, Rosca has
been designated as one of the 12 Asian American Women of Hope by the Bread and
Roses Cultural Project. These women were chosen by scholars and community
leaders for their courage, compassion and commitment in helping to shape society.
They are considered role models for young people of color, who, in the words of
Gloria Steinem, "have been denied the knowledge that greatness looks like them."
She attended the University of the Philippines and lives in Queens borough of New
York City. Her lecture schedules are managed by Speak Out Now. A huge fan of
science fiction, Rosca reads four books a week. She is divorced and has two children.

Fernando M. Maramag

Angela C. Manalang-Gloria

Angela Caridad Legaspi Manalang was born on August 2, 1907 in Guagua, Pampanga
to parents, Felipe Dizon Manalang (born in Mexico, Pampanga) and Tomasa Legaspi
(who she hardly mentions). However, their family later settled in the Bicol region,
particularly in Albay. Caring--as she is fondly called--studied at St. Agnes Academy in
Legaspi, where she graduated valedictorian in elementary. In her senior year, she
moved to St. Scholastica's College in Malate, Manila, in which her writing started to
get noticed.

Angela Manalang was among the first generation female students at the University of
the Philippines. Angela initially enrolled in law, as suggested by her father. However,
with the advice of her professor who also becomes her mentor, C.V. Wickers, she
eventually transferred to literature.

It was also during her education at the University of the Philippines that she and
poet, Jose Garcia Villa developed a life-long rivalry. Both poets vied for the position
of literary editor of The Philippine Collegian, which Manalang eventually held for two
successive years. In her junior year, she was quietly engaged to Celedonio Gloria
who she married. She graduated summa cum laude with the degree of Ph.B. in
March 1929.

After graduation, Manalang-Gloria worked briefly for the Philippine Herald Mid-Week
Magazine. However, this was cut short when she contracted tuberculosis. On March
11, 1945, her husband Celadonio and her son Ruben was attacked by a Japanese
patrol in Alitagtag, Batangas. Though her husband died, Ruben was able to survive,
yet his trauma had been so severe that he could not bring himself to recount the
attack. This event left Manalang-Gloria a young widow with three children to support,
which forced her to abandon writing and enter the abaca business, which she
successfully managed.

Angela Manalang-Gloria died in 1995.

She was the author of Revolt from Hymen, a poem protesting against marital rape,
which caused her denial by an all-male jury from winning the Philippine's
Commonwealth Literary Awards in 1940. She was also the author of the poetry
collection , Poems, first published in 1940 (and revised in 1950). The collection
contained the best of her early work as well as unpublished poems written between
1934-1938. Her last poem, Old Maid Walking on a City Street can also be found in
the collection. This book was her entry to the Commonwealth Literary Awards, losing
to Rafael Zulueta y da Costa’s verse Like the Molave.[1]

1. ^ a b The Major Collections Filipino Writers in English: Angela Manalang-Gloria,

Ateneo Library of Women's Writings, date retrieved: 27 May 2007
2. ^ Manlapaz, Edna Zapanta. Angela Manalang Gloria : a literary biography.
Quezon City : Ateneo de Manila University Press, c1993.
3. ^ Manlapaz, Edna Zapanta. Filipino women writers in English : their story, 1905-
2002. Quezon City : Ateneo de Manila University Press, c2003.

Edith Tiempo

Edith L. Tiempo (born April 22, 1919 in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya), poet, fictionist,
teacher and literary critic is one of the finest Filipino writers in English whose works
are characterized by a remarkable fusion of style and substance, of craftsmanship
and insight. Her poems are intricate verbal transfigurations of significant experiences
as revealed, in two of her much anthologized pieces, "Lament for the Littlest Fellow"
and "Bonsai." As fictionist, Tiempo is as morally profound. Her language has been
marked as "descriptive but unburdened by scrupulous detailing." She is an influential
tradition in Philippine literature in English. Together with her late husband, writer and
critic Edilberto K. Tiempo, they founded (in 1962) and directed the Silliman National
Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City, which has produced some of the Philippines'
best writers. She was conferred the National Artist Award for Literature in 1999.

Philippine National Artists for Literature Retrieved August 28, 2005.

Merlie M. Alunan

Merlie M. Alunan, an associate of the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing, is a

professor at the U.P. College in Tacloban City, where she currently resides. She
obtained her M.A. in Creative Writing from the Silliman University in Dumaguete City
in 1975. She has received numerous awards for her writing, including the Lillian
Jerome Thornton Award for Nonfiction, Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, Free
Press, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Creative Work, and Likhaan Workshop
Award. Her book Hearthstone, Sacred Tree (Anvil, 1993), in particular, consists of
sets of poetry that won in the prestigious Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for
Literature in 1985, 1988, 1991, and 1992. She published another collection of
poems, entitled Amina Among the Angels, in 1997. Her other works include a book
that delves into social history, Kabilin: 100 Years of Negros Oriental (1993) and the
anthology Fern Garden: An Anthology of Women Writing in the South (1998). In
addition to teaching literature, she also serves as a panelist in prominent writing
workshops like the Iligan National Writers Workshop.

Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero


Wilfrido Ma. Guerreo (1911-1995) was a Filipino playwright, teacher and theater

He has written well over a hundred plays, 41 one which have been published. His
unpublished plays have either been broadcast over the radio or staged in various
parts of the Philippines.

He has been the teacher of some of the most famous people in the Performing Arts
at present: Behn Cervantes, Celia Diaz-Laurel, Joy Virata, and Joonee Gamboa.[1]

Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero was born in Ermita, Manila. At the Age 14, he has already
written his first play in Spanish, entitled, "No Todo Es Risa." This play was produced
at the Ateneo de Manila University when he was 15.

Aside from becoming a reporter and a proofreader for La Vanguardia, a Spanish

newspaper, and a drama critic for the Manila Tribune, he also worked for some time
in Philippine Films as a scriptwriter. He also became the director Filipino Players from

In 1947 he was appointed as the University of the Philippines Dramatic Club director
despite lacking a degree, a position he served for sixteen years. [2]

In 1962, he organized and directed the U.P. Mobile Theater that goes on the road all
over the Philippines to for performances. [2]

Several Guerrero plays have been translated into and produced in Chinese, Italian,
Spanish, Tagalog, Visayan, Ilocano and Waray. Six of his plays have been produced
abroad: "Half an Hour in a Convent" at the Pasadena Playhouse, California; "Three
Rats" at the University of Kansas; "Condemned" in Oahu, Hawaii; "One, Two, Three"
(premiere performance) at the University of Washington]], Seattle; "Three Rats and
"Wanted: A Chaperon" at the University of Hawaii; and "Conflict" in Sydney,

He is the first Filipino to have a theater named after him within his lifetime: The
Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater of the University of the Philippines.[2]

His Life as a Child

Wilfrido grew up from a wealthy family. His father, Dr. Manuel, was considered the
most renowned doctor of his time, his reputation based on his “clinical eye” which
could diagnose a person’s illness by just studying that person’s outside appearance.
Among his clients were some of Manila’s richest, like Brias Roxas, the Ayalas, Pardo
de Taveras, Zobels, Roceses, Osmeñas, Alberts, etc. Thus, his father could afford to
give them all the comforts of life.

They had a large two-storey wooden house facing Plaza Ferguson (now Virgen de
Guia) and they also had two cars. They also had a taste of the latest gadgets from
abroad, and the latest delicacies and foods from Europe and Spain. On Sundays,
after Mass, they would usually have for breakfast his father’s close friends.

Days before Christmas, they were already literally deluged with gifts—whole rolls of
linen and other expensive clothing material, silverware of all kinds, wines,
chocolates, Piña hams by the dozen, everything in quantity and quality.

Every summer, they would rent a large nipa house in Antipolo, and they would spend
their vacation there for two whole months.

They were not allowed to eat with their hands and they were forbidden to speak
Tagalog. He had a totally comfortable life.

His mother was a beautiful woman and was chosen Rosa de Quiapo in her teen
years. According to Wilfrido, “She kept her beauty until she died at 73,” even though
she was mourning due to her husband’s death. His mother proclaimed to the whole
world that she was a grieving widow by wearing black until her death.

His mother’s parents were Martin Ocampo and Trinidad Barredo. Martin Ocampo was
also the brother of Dr. Gervasio de Ocampo after whom the De Ocampo Memorial
Center at Nagtahan was named. His grandparents lived in a two-storey adobe house
on Barbosa Street which was already torn down.

He was nearly seven when his father died. They were left with the big house at Plaza
Ferguson, two cars (which his mother sold), and a Php10,000 life insurance. Five
months after the funeral, they rented the first floor of his cousins the Mossesgelds’
house for Php50.00. His mother had their house rented to an American family and
they lived on the monthly income. All of them being minors, his mother could not
spend one centavo without the permission of their attorney, Atty. Perfecto Gabriel.
Once a month, he used to accompany his mother to the attorney’s office to render an
account of efery centavo spent.

To be able to study high school in Ateneo in Intramuros, he and his brothers,

Edmundo, Lorenzo, Manuel became choristers. They got free tuition which was
Php60.00 a semester, but they had to buy their textbooks. When he reached third-
year high school, being sick and fed up with having to hear daily Mass, he took the
courage to go to Don Alejandro Roces, Sr., who had been one of his father’s patients
and whose wife was a close friend of their mother. He went to Roces’ office at the
Manila Tribune and stated his purpose. Don Alejandro readily agreed, and he paid for
his tuition for his last two years in high school.

Why He Started Writing

His favorite aunt, Maria Araceli, discovered his writing ability. When he was around
12 or 13, she noticed him writing on scraps of paper, then hiding them inside his
cabinet drawer.

One day, his aunt called up his first cousin, Evangelina, who at that time was already
a well-known poet, as her father Fernando was. All Wilfrido wrote were scenes,
dramatic scenes, tragic scenes. He used to write in Spanish.

So when Eva came, he gave her some of the scenes he had written. She came back
days later and told his aunt, “Freddie has something.” What that something meant
he could not decipher, he only suspected he had it. But because Eva was a poet and
not a playwright, she had little experience with the essential nature of the theater
which he calls actable theater. From the very beginning of his career, he always and
constantly visualized his characters moving and acting on the stage.

He wrote his first complete one-act play, No Todo Es Risa, while in his second year
high school. He showed it to the late Father Juan Trinidad, S.J. (who at that time was
translating the Bible into Tagalog) and he liked it. The priest said his Spanish was
idiomatic and decided to stage it for their Father Rector’s (Fr. O’Brien) birthday.

In June 1939, his aunt complained of pain in the throat. His brother Renato came to
examine her and after that, he made no comment. Nights later, while they were
taking supper, his aunt suddenly stopped sipping her soup and in a barely audible
voice whispered, “I know what I have. Cancer.” Just like that, without any

This brought sadness to Wilfrido. His aunt’s death was a devastating experience for
him. It took him about four or five months before he was able to sleep at night
without crying, and even when he wrote his personal memoirs at the age of 47, he
still, if he thought of his aunt deeply, burst into tears in the silence of his room.

And yet soon after her death, he wrote some of his most popular comedies, like
Movie Artists, Basketball Fight, and Wanted: A Chaperon.

Year’s later, he made his aunt the principal character in Forever as Maria Teresa and
later as Maria Araceli in Frustrations. “Both women are like my aunt: imperious,
strong-willed, wise, but also humane,” he wrote. ]].[2]

1. ^
2. ^ a b c d e f http://http://upreplib.tripod.com/guerrero.htm
3. ^ Guerrero, Wilfrido Ma. The Guerreros of Ermita: Family History and Personal
Memoirs.Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1988.