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National Artist for literature(2003)

Virgilio S. Almario, also known as Rio Alma, is a poet, literary historian and critic, who has
revived and reinvented traditional Filipino poetic forms, even as he championed modernist
poetics. In 34 years, he has published 12 books of poetry, which include the
seminal Makinasyon and Peregrinasyon, and the landmark trilogy Doktrinang
Anakpawis, Mga Retrato at Rekwerdo and Muli, Sa Kandungan ng Lupa. In these works,
his poetic voice soared from the lyrical to the satirical to the epic, from the dramatic to the
incantatory, in his often severe examination of the self, and the society.

He has also redefined how the Filipino poetry is viewed and paved the way for the discussion of
the same in his 10 books of criticisms and anthologies, among which are Ang Makata sa
Panahon ng Makina, Balagtasismo versus Modernismo,Walong Dekada ng Makabagong
Tula Pilipino, Mutyang Dilim and Barlaan at Josaphat.

Many Filipino writers have come under his wing in the literary workshops he founded –the
Galian sa Arte at Tula (GAT) and the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA). He has
also long been involved with children’s literature through the Aklat Adarna series, published by
his Children’s Communication Center. He has been a constant presence as well in national
writing workshops and galvanizes member writers as chairman emeritus of the Unyon ng mga
Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL).

He headed the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as Executive Director, (from 1998
to 2001) ably steering the Commission towards its goals.

But more than anything else, what Almario accomplished was that he put a face to the Filipino
writer in the country, one strong face determinedly wielding a pen into untruths, hypocrisy,
injustice, among others.
Published works
International

 Japanese version of Ibong Adarna story, Ohanashi Caravan, Tokyo, Japan


 Water, An Ecology Book, contributing editor, Asia/Pacific Cultural Center
for UNESCO (ACCU, Japan), 1996
 Trees, An Ecology Book, contributing editor, Asia/Pacific Cultural Center
for UNESCO (ACCU, Japan), 1995
 Kuwentuhan Mo Ako!, translation of short stories for children, editor,
ACCU, Japan, 1992
 The Sun, contributing editor of an ecology book for children, ACCU, Japan,
1998

National

 Editor, UP Centennial Edition of Balagtas’ Florante at Laurawith English translation by Marne Kilates,
Office of the Chancellor, UP Diliman, 2008

 Author, Romanza, poetry collection with paintings by Marivic Rufino and English translation by Marne
Kilates, Tahanan Books, 2008

 Author,Mga Biyahe, Mga Estasyon (Journeys, Junctions), poetry collection with English translation by
Marne Kilates, Anvil Publishing Inc., 2008

 Author,Si Rizal: Nobelista, critical essays on Noli and Fili, UP Press, 2008

 Editor,101 Icons, symbols of Filipino culture, Bench/Adarna House, 2007

 Author,Bakit Kailangan ang Himala, collection of poems, UP Press, 2007

 Sonetos Postumos, book of poems with translation by Marne Kilates and paintings by National Artist Ang
Kiukok, 2006

 Mahigit Sansiglo ng Makabagong Tula sa Filipinas, editor of an anthology of modern poems in Filipino,
English, Spanish, Pampanggo, Ilocano, Bicolano, Cebuano, Ilonggo, Waray, Anvil publishing, 2006

 Pag-unawa sa Ating Pagtula, a literary history and criticism of poetry in Filipino, Anvil Publishing, 2006

 Tatlong Pasyon sa Ating Panahon, poems for children with illustrations by Mark Justiniani, Neil Doloricon,
Ferdinand Doctolero, UST Press, 2006

 Memo Mulang Gimokudan, book of poems, University of the Philippines Press, 2005

 Dust Devils, book of poems with translation by Marne Kilates, Aklat Peskador, 2005

 Dionatext, co-editor of an anthology of modern diona, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2004

 Ang Hayop na Ito, book of poems, Anvil Publishing, 2004

 Sentimental, book of poems, Anvil Publishing, 2004

 Sari-Sari, book of poems, Anvil Publishing, 2004

 Estremelenggoles, book of poems, Anvil Publishing, 2004

 Pablo Neruda: Mga Piling Tula, co-editor and translator, University of the Philippines Press, 2004

 Barlaan at Josaphat, editor of a modern edition of the first translated fiction in the Philippines, 2003
 Ikatlong Bagting, co-editor of an anthology of young poets, UST Press, 2003

 Pacto de Sangre: Spanish Legacy in Filipinas, Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Committee, 2003

 Textanaga, co-editor of an anthology of modern tanaga, National Commission for Culture and the Arts,
2003

 Dalitext, co-editor of an anthology of modern dalit, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2003

 Translation of JB by Archibald McLeish, November 2002

 Bulacan: Bayan ng Bayani’t Bulaklak, editor of a coffeetable book on the history and culture of Bulacan,
Bulacan Heritage Foundation, 2002

 Florante at Laura, editor of the revised edition, Institute for Public Policy, 2002

 Supot ni Hudas: Book of Poems, U.S.T. Publishing House, 2002

 U.P. Diksiyonaryong Filipino, editor-in-chief, Anvil Publishing, 2001

 Mutyang Dilim, Talingdao Publishing, 2001

 Kalahating Siglo sa Ibabaw ng Mundo, collection of essays, Anvil Publishing, 1998

 Tradisyon at Wikang Filipino, collection of critical studies on language, Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, 1998

 Manuel Sityar: Rebolusyong Filipino, editor of the translation of Memorias Intimas (1896-1898) by Manuel
Sityar, Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, 1998

 Una Kong Milenyum, two volumes, anthology of all published poems, U.P. Press, 1998

 Noli Me Tangere, translation of Rizal’s novel, National Centennial Commission, 1999

 El Filibusterismo, translation of Rizal’s novel, National Centennial Commission, 1999

 100 Events that Shaped the Philippines, editor, Adarna books, 1999

 Patnubay sa Pagsasalin, co-editor, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 1996

 Si Tandang Basio Macunat, editor, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 1996

 Poetikang Tagalog: Mga Pagsusuri sa Sining ng Pagtulang Tagalog, editor, National Commission for
Culture and the Arts, 1996

 Sa Dakong Silangan: Jose Corazon de Jesus, editor, Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1995
*Sentimiento: Translation of Gemma Cruz’ Fiction and Essays, Anvil Publishing Inc., 1995

 Dakilang Tinig ng Dakilang Awit, translation of Jovita Fuentes, A Lifetime of Music by Lilia Hernandez
Chung, Foundation for Nationalist Studies, 1995

 Bumasa at Lumaya: A Source Book on Children’s Literature in the Philippines, editor with Ma. Elena
Paterno et al, Anvil Publishing Inc., 1994

 Muli, Sa Kandungan ng Lupa, poetry, De La Salle University Press, 1994

 Jose Corazon de Jesus: Ilang Piling Taludtod, a salute to J.C. De Jesus and his poetry in commemoration
of his birth centennial, editor with Romulo Baquiran Jr., Sentro ng Wikang Filipino and UMPIL, 1994

 Panitikan ng Rebolusyon (G1896), Isang Paglingon at Katipunan ng mga Akda nina Bonifacio at Jacinto,
Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas, 1993

 Filipino ng mga Filipino, collection of newspaper columns about language, Anvil Publishing, 1993

 Mga Bacchae, translation of the Bacchae by Euripides, 1992

 Kung Sino ang Kumatha kina Bagongbanta, Ossorio Herrera, Aquino de Belen, Balagtas, atbp., literary
criticism, Anvil Publishing, 1992

 Students’ Philippine Almanac, editorial director, Filway Marketing Inc., 1991

 Mga Retaso ng Liwanag, poetry, Aklat Peskador, 1991


 Lumikha ng Kuwento, Tula at Laruang Pambata, manual on writing stories, creating songs and poems,
making toys for children from indigenous materials, co-author, 1991

 Parikala, anthology of new poets in the 1980s, editor, Kalikasan Press, 1990

 Mga Bakasyonista, translation of Summer Folks by Maxim Gorki, 1990

 Ang Pangginggera at mga Piling Tula ni Lope K. Santos, editor, 1990

 Turtle Voices in Uncertain Weatherby Alfredo Navarro Salanga, editor, CCP, 1989, co-translator and
editor, 1989

 Makabagong Tinig ng Siglo, selected modern world poets in translation, co-translator and editor, 1989

 Katon Para sa Limang Pandama, poetry, Aklat Peskador, 1987

 Selected Poems 1968-1985(bilingual edition), Maya Books, 1987

 Kabalikat sa Kalayaan, translation of Aide-de-camp to Freedom by Teodoro M. Kalaw, 1986 *Taludtod at


Talinghaga, poetics, Aklat Balagtasyana, 1985 and Anvil Publishing Inc., 1991

 (A)lamat (H)istorya, poetry, Aklat Balagtasyana, 1985

 Palipad-Hangin, poetry, Aklat Peskador, 1985

 Mga Retrato at Rekwerdo, poetry, 1984

 Mga Piling Tula ni Jose Corazon de Jesus, editor, Aklat Balagtasyana, 1984 and Dela Salle University
Press, 1995

 Balagtasismo versus Modernismo, literary criticism, Ateneo Press, 1984

 Galian, co-editor, Aklat Peskador, 1983

 Walong Dekada ng Makabagong Tulang Pilipino, anthology of major poets in Pilipino 1900-1980, PECO,
1981

 Patnubay sa Masinop na Pagsulat, writing stylebook, National Bookstore, 1980

 Doktrinang Anakpawis, poetry, Aklat Peskador, 1979

 Ang Makata sa Panahon ng Makina, literary criticism, U.P. Press, 1972

 Peregrinasyon at Iba Pang Tula, poetry, Ateneo Press, 1970

 Makinasyon at Ilang Tula, Pioneer Press, 1968

 Over 50 children’s storybooks in the Aklat Adarna series

 More than a hundred poems and stories and numerous essays on literature and history published in
national and international publications

 Anthologized and cited in books, magazines, journals, and folios

 Translations of poems and plays by literary and theater masters

Honors and Awards

 U.P. Centennial Award, 2008

 U.P. Centennial Professorial Chair, 2008

 Best Book of Poetry, National Book Development Board, 2006

 National Artist for Literature, 25 June 2003

 Saiko Eiyosho, highest honorary award from Soka Gakkai University, 2003

 Gawad Chanselor, Pinakamahusay na Mananaliksik, February 2003

 Gawad Chanselor, Pinakamahusay na Nilathalang Pananaliksik, February 2003

 Lifetime Achievement Award, July 2002, by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People
 Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Award, June 2002, Lungsod ng Maynila

 The Book Development Leadership Awards, 29 June 2001, by the National Book Development Congress
2001

 Sagisag Balagtas, Pinakamataas na Karangalang Gawad ng PASATAF, Abril 2001

 Centennial Award for Literature, 1998, given by the Cultural Center of the Philippines to 100 outstanding
Filipino artists and writers of the 20th century

 National Book Award for Translation, 1999, by the Manila Critics Circle

 National Book Award for Editing, 1999, by the Manila Critics Circle

 Plaque of Honor and Citations, 19 July 2000, by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People

 Plaque of Appreciation, 8 September 2000, by the town of San Miguel, Bulacan

 Outstanding Citizen Award for Literature, Dangal ng Lipi Award, Bulacan, 1993

 Outstanding Citizen Award for Literature, Gantimpalang Quezon, Quezon City, 1993

 Outstanding Citizen Award for Literature, Gawad Patnubay ng Sining, City of Manila, 1992

 Southeast Asia (SEA) Write Award, Bangkok, 1989

 Poet of the Year (Makata ng Taon), Talaang Ginto, Institute of National Languages, 1984

 Palanca Memorial Awards for poetry and essay, 1970, 1979, 1984, 1990

 CCP Literary Awards for poetry and essay, 1975, 1979, 1984

 Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for Literature, 1980

 National Book Award for Poetry, Manila Critics Circle, 1982

 Amado V. Hernandez Award, Institute of National Language, 1980

 Emilio Jacinto Plaque for Outstanding Contributions to Literature and Philippine Studies, U.P., Department
of Filipino and Philippine Languages, 1976

 Balagtas Award for poetry and essay, 1975

 Second Poet of the Year, Talaang Ginto, Institute of National Languages, 1967 and 1970

 Benigno Aldana Award, Outstanding Teacher of Bulacan, Bulacan Public School Teachers Association,
1968

 Mercado Awards for Poetry and Essay, KADIPAN, 1966

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