About the Panelists

The poet and literary critic Gémino H. Abad obtained his B.A. in English from the University of the Philippines in 1964 and his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Chicago in 1970. Since then he has fulfilled a number of functions at U.P., particularly as Secretary of the University, Secretary of the Board of Regents, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Director of the U.P. Creative Writing Center, now an institute. He continues to contribute to the growth of the Institute of Creative Writing as an active member of its Board of Advisers.

Jimmy Abad was born in Cebu to the acclaimed Cebuano poet and professor Antonio Abad. Meeting the challenge of his father’s legacy, Abad has garnered numerous prestigious academic and literary awards to his own name, including the UP Outstanding Faculty Award, Palanca, Free Press, and the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas. He has also received several grants and professorships here and abroad, among them the British Council (Cambridge and Oxford) and Rockefeller (University of Chicago) fellowships, as well as the Carlos P. Romulo (U.P.) and Irwin (Ateneo) chairs. At present, he is Emeritus University Professor at the College of Arts and Letters in U.P. Diliman.

Abad co -founded the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC). He has authored over ten books of poetry, fiction and criticism. Titles include Fugitive Emphasis (1973), The Space Between (1985), Orion’s Belt and Other Writings (1996), and Getting Real: An Introduction to the Practice of Poetry (2004). A tireless worker, Dr. Abad edited the landmark historical anthologies Man of Earth (with Edna Z. Manlapaz,1989), A Native Clearing (1993) and A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, ’60s to the ’90s (1999).

(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)

Romulo P. Baquiran, Jr. is a poet and teacher of Creative Writing at the U.P. Department of Filipino.  He is a member of LIRA, Katha and Oragon Poets’ Circle.

He has edited many books, among which are Pablo Neruda: Mga Piling Tula with National Artist Virgilio Almario, and Kuwentong Siyudad with Roland B. Tolentino and Alwin Aguirre. He has also worked with Mario Miclat and produced the tributeBeauty for Ashes: Remembering Maningning Miclat.

Baquiran’s Onyx won the National Book Award in 2003. His Singsing ni Solomon is available as an e-book at http://www.pantas.ph/singsing.pdf. He has also authored Mga Tula ng Paglusong.

(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)

UP ICW Deputy Director Conchitina Cruz teaches creative writing and literature at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. A recipient of Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation grants, she is the author of Disappear (High Chair, 2004), Dark Hours (UP Press, 2005), which won the National Book Award for Poetry, and elsewhere held and lingered (High Chair, 2008).

UP ICW Director Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. (Butch Dalisay to readers of his “Penman” column in the Philippine STAR) was born in Romblon, Philippines in 1954.

As of January 2006, he had published 15 books of his stories, plays, and essays, with five of those books receiving the National Book Award from the Manila Critics Circle. In 1998, he was named to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Centennial Honors List for his work as a playwright and fictionist.

He graduated from the University of the Philippines in 1984 (AB English, cum laude), the University of Michigan (MFA, 1988) and the University of

Wisconsin-Milwaukee (PhD English, 1991). He teaches English and Creative Writing as a full professor at the University of the Philippines, where he also serves as coordinator of the creative writing program and as an Associate of the UP Institute of Creative Writing. After serving as chairman of the English Department, he became Vice President for Public Affairs of the UP System from May 2003 to February 2005.

Among his distinctions, he has won 16 Palanca Awards in five genres (entering the Palanca Hall of Fame in 2000), five Cultural Center of the Philippines awards for playwriting, and Famas, Urian, Star and Catholic Film awards and citations for his screenplays. He was named one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of 1993 for his creative writing. He has been a Fulbright, Hawthornden, David TK Wong, Rockefeller, and British Council fellow.

(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)

J. Neil C. Garcia finished his BA Journalism (magna cum laude) in the University of Santo Tomas in 1990. He is currently teaching creative writing and comparative literature at the University of the Philippines , Diliman, where he also serves as an associate for poetry in the Institute of Creative Writing . He is the author of numerous poetry collections and works in literary and cultural criticism, including Our Lady of the Carnival (1996), The Sorrows of Water (2000), Kaluluwa (2001), Philippine Gay Culture: The Last Thirty Years (1996), Slip/pages: Essays in Philippine Gay Criticism(1998), Performing the Self: Occasional Prose (2003), The Garden of Wordlessness(2005), and Misterios and Other Poems ( 2005) His latest critical work , Postcolonialism and Filipino Poetics: Essays and Critiques , is a revised version of his PhD dissertation in English Studies: Creative Writing, which he completed in 2003. He is currently working on a full-length book, a postcolonial survey and analysis of Philippine poetry in English.(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)

Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo was born on August 21, 1944 in Manila. The renowned teacher, editor, writer, and pioneer of creative nonfiction obtained her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Philippines in 1993. Garnering honors since her colegiala days, Dr. Hidalgo has also received such prestigious awards as Gawad Balagtas, Graphic, Free Press, Focus, Manila Critics’ Circle, British Council Grant to Cambridge, and the U.P. President’s Award for Outstanding Publication. She has been recognized as Outstanding Thomasian Writer, Hall of Famer for the International Publication Award, and Grand Prize winner for the Novel in the Palanca Awards.

Her husband’s fifteen-year relationship with UNICEF provided her with opportunities to explore various countries. Out of her experiences were born seven autobiographical travel books, including Sojourns (1984), Celadon and Kimchi: A Korean Notebook(1993), Coming Home (1997), and Passages: Selected Travel Essays (2008). She also has five short story collections, the most recent of which is Sky Blue After the Rain(2005), and two novels, Recuerdo (1996), which won the Palanca, and A Book of Dreams (2001). Her work in literary criticism has produced four books that include studies of women’s literature, such as those published in Woman Writing: Home and Exile in the Autobiographical Narratives of Filipino Women (1994), A Gentle Subversion (1998), and Over a Cup of Ginger Tea (2006). Dr. Hidalgo has also put together numerous anthologies such as The Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction (1995 and 2001), Sleepless in Manila (2003), My Fair Maladies (2005), and The Children’s Hour: Stories on Childhood, Vol. II (2006).

She is currently Vice President for Public Affairs of the University of the Philippines and an associate of the UP Institute of Creative Writing.

Below is her extensive bibliography:


Recuerdo (1996)

A Book of Dreams (2001)

Short Stories/Tales

Ballad of a Lost Season and Other Stories (1987)

Tales for a Rainy Night (1993)

Where Only the Moon Rages: 9 Tales (1994)

Catch a Falling Star (1999)

Sky Blue After the Rain: Selected Stories and Tales (2005)

Creative Nonfiction

Sojourns (1984)

Five Years in a Forgotten Land: A Burmese Notebook (1991)

I Remember…Travel Essays (1993)

Skyscrapers, Celadon and Kimchi: a Korean Notebook (1993)

The Path of the Heart (1994)

Coming Home (1998)

Passages: Selected Travel Essays (2008)

Literary Criticism

Woman Writing: Home and Exile in the Autobiographical Narratives of Women(1994)

A Gentle Subversion: Essays on Philippine Fiction (1998)

Over a Cup of Ginger Tea: Conversations on the Literary Narratives of Filipino Women (2006)


Pinay: Autobiographical Narratives by Filipino Women (2000)

Creative Nonfiction: A Reader (2003, 2005)

Sleepless in Manila : Funny Essays, etc. on Insomnia by Insomniacs (2003)

My Fair Maladies: Funny Essays and Poems on Various Ailments and Afflictions(2005)

The Children’s Hour: Stories on Childhood, II (2007)

Tales of Fantasy and Enchantment (2008)

Philippine Postcolonial Studies, Priscelina Patajo-Legasto co-editor (1993, 2005)

The Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction 1995, Gemino H. Abad co-editor (1996)

Shaking the Family Tree, Alessandra Gonzales, co-editor (1998)

The Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction 1997, Gemino H. Abad co-editor (1998)

Why I Travel and Other Essays, Erlinda E. Panlilio co-editor (2000)

The Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction, 2001 Gemino H. Abad co-editor (2002)


Creative Nonfiction: a Manual for Filipino Writers (2003, 2005)

Be Your Own English Teacher: Punctuation, Thelma E. Arambulo co-author (2003)

Be Your Own English Teacher: New Words, Thelma E. Arambulo and April T. Yap co-author (2003)

Our People’s Story: Philippine Literature in English, Gemino H. Abad co-author(2005)

(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)

Mario Ignacio Miclat was born in Marikina; spent his childhood in Tubod, Lanao and San Ramon, Masbate; grew up in Olongapo, Zambales; was educated in Asinan Elementary and Jackson High School; obtained his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in the UP Diliman; had his apprenticeship in Central Luzon, Cordillera, and the Sierra Madre; matured in Beijing, Pyongyang, Tirana and Linyang; and is now an acknowledged China studies expert and Philippine studies professor of the UP System.

His publications include Mga Kuwento ng Kabayanihan (1988, volume of children’s stories) and Pinoy Odyssey (1989, short story collection that was relaunched by UP Press last 2005 as Pinoy Odyssey 2049). His literary works have won in Asiaweek Short Story Competition (1984), Gawad CCP (1988) and Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (1986-1987). He was a UP CWC National Fellow for Translations (1995-1996).

He is husband to Alma Miclat nee Cruz of Bataan and father to artist/poet Maningning and actress of the legitimate stage Banawe. He is now residing in San Luis, Antipolo City.

(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)

National Artist for Literature Bienvenido L. Lumbera was born on April 11, 1932. He spent most of his youth in Batangas until he entered the University of Santo Tomas in 1950 to pursue a degree in journalism. He completed his M.A. and then his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Indiana University in 1967. Lumbera writes in English and Filipino, and has produced works in both languages.

He has a poetry collection entitled Likhang Dila, Likhang Diwa (1993), and Balaybay: Mga Tulang Lunot at Manibalang, a collection of new poems in Filipino and those from Likhang Dila. He has several critical works, including Abot-Tanaw: Sulyap at Suri sa Nagbabagong Kultura at Lipunan (1987) and Writing the Nation/Pag-akda ng Bansa (2000). He has also done several librettos, among them Tales of the Manuvu (1977) and Rama Hari (1980). Sa Sariling Bayan: Apat na Dulang May Musika (DLSU, 2003) collects the four historical musicals Nasa Puso ang Amerika, Bayani, Noli Me Tangere: The Musical, and Hibik at Himagsik Nina Victoria Laktaw.

Dr. Lumbera has been a recipient of numerous awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts in 1993, the Gawad CCP, Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, Manila Critics’ Circle and the Palanca. He has also gained Professor Emeritus status in the University of the Philippines. He also serves in the Board of Advisers of the UP Institute of Creative Writing. This 2006, for his creative and critical work directed towards a literature rooted in the search for nationhood, Dr. Lumbera received the much-coveted title of National Artist for Literature.

More details about Bienvenido Lumbera may be accessed at http://www.lumbera.ph.

(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)

Charlson L. Ong , resident fellow of the Institute of Creative Writing and fictionist/scriptwriter/singer extraordinaire, was born on July 6, 1960. He obtained an A.B. in Psychology from the University of the Philippines in 1977, and currently teaches literature and creative writing under UP’s Department of English and Comparative Literature. He has joined several writers’ workshops here and abroad, and has acquired numerous grants and awards for his fiction, including the Palanca, Free Press, Graphic, Asiaweek, National Book Award, and the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Award for Excellence. His novel, Embarrassment of Riches published by UP Press in 2002, won the Centennial Literary Prize. In addition to this, Ong has served as co-editor of the Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction

His short stories range from parodies of well-loved Filipino texts to insightful treatments of Chinese-Filipino culture. These have been collected into Men of the East and Other Stories (1990 and 1999), Woman of Am-Kaw and Other Stories (1993) andConversion and Other Fictions (1996). His second novel is due for publication this year.

(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)

Si Jun Cruz Reyes ay isa sa mga natatanging muhon ng wikang Filipino at kamalayang Bulakenyo ng ating panahon. Mula 1993 hanggang 2004, kung kailan siya ay Assistant Professor sa Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, nakapaglabas siya ng maraming libro, kabilang ang Etsa-Puwera na nagkamit ng unang premyo sa National Centennial Literary Contest noong 1998 at National Book Award mula sa Manila Critics Circle noong 2001. Isa rin siyang magaling na guro na binigyan ng parangal bilang pinakamahusay na Assistant Professor ng College of Arts and Letters sa UP Diliman, Most Outstanding Faculty sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines, at ng isang Writing Grant mula sa UP Office of the Chancellor at Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs noong 2003. Si Reyes ay kinikilala rin sa marami pang unibersidad tulad ng Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, at University of Sto. Tomas, na kadalasang iniimbitahan siyang maging panelist, judge o tagapagsalita sa mga palihan at patimpalak. Abala rin siya sa pagiging judge sa mga pambansang patimpalak gaya ng Palanca Awards at NCCA Writers Prize.

Ginawaran siya ng Gawad Alagad ni Balagtas ng Unyon ng Manunulat sa Pilipinas noong 2002. Sa taong iyon din siya hinirang bilang Most Outstanding Alumni for Literature and the Arts ng Hagonoy Institute noong Diamond Anniversary nito. Patuloy na isinusulong ni Reyes ang kamalayan para sa kanyang bayan sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng libreng workshop sa pagsusulat, journalism, pelikulang dokumentaryo, pagpipinta at iba pa, sa kanyang bahay sa Bulacan. Editor-in-Chief din siya ng D yaryo Hagonoy , kasalakuyan niyang tinatapos ang pag-akda sa Hagonoy, Paghilom sa Kasaysayan . Muling nilathala ng UP Press ang kanyang Utos ng Harinoong 2002. Ang pinakabago niyang aklat ay ang Armando na inilabas ngayong taon. Patuloy siyang nagtuturo ng pagsusulat sa UP.

(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)

Rolando B. Tolentino is an associate for fiction of the UP Institute for Creative Writing. He is a faculty member of the UP Film Institute. He is the founding chair of Katha, the fictionists group in Filipino, and is a member of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino and the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND-UP). His works include: Sakit ng Kalingkingan: 100 Dagli sa Edad ng Krisis (2005), Kuwentong Syudad (co-editor, 2002), Sapinsaping Pag-ibig at Pagtangis: Tatlong Novella ng Pagsinta’t Paghinagpis (1999); Fastfood, Megamall at iba pang kwento sa pagsasara ng ikalawang milenyum (1999); Relasyon: Mga Kwuwento ng Paglusong at Pag-ahon (co-editor, 1999); Ali*bang+Bang atpb. Kwento (1994); Habilin: Antolohiya ng Katha Para sa Pambansang Kasarinlan (co-editor, 1991); Engkwentro: Kalipunan ng mga Akda ng Kabataang Manunulat (co-editor, 1990).

He has received many awards here and abroad, namely: Distinguished Visitor, UC-Berkeley and UCLA Southeast Asian Studies Consortium (2006), Visiting Fellow, Sociology Department, National University of Singapore (Jul 2005-Dec 2006), Obermann Summer Research Fellowship (2004), Best Arts Book, Gintong Aklat, (2002), Writer’s Prize, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (2001), Manila Critics Circle Award for Best Film Criticism Book (2001); Gawad Chancellor for Best Literary Work (2001); Lily Monteverde Professorial Chair (2000-2001); UP International Publication Award (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003); Henry Sy Professorial Chair (1998-1999); Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, 1998, 1994, 1991; Research Grant, U.P. Office of Research Coordination, 1998-1999, 1999-2000; Research Grant, U.P. Center for Integrative Development Studies, 1997-1998; Angara Fellowship, U.P. Women’s Studies Center, 1997-1998; Belmonte Creative Writing Grant, U.P. College of Arts and Letters, 1997-1998; Research Grant, Sumitomo Foundation, 1997-1998; CCP Gawad para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, 1996; All University Predoctoral Merit Fellowship, USC, 1993-1996; Fulbright Grant to pursue Ph.D. in area of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, 1992-1996; Writing Grant, Cultural Center of the Philippines; Thesis Grant, Philippine Social Science Council, 1991.

(Taken from panitikan.com.ph)


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