Monday, November 19, 2012
IN HONOR OF FILIPINO AMERICAN WRITER, N.V.M. GONZALEZ
Today, I'm honoring the writer N.V.M. Gonzalez, whom I had the privilege of knowing. I first met him with Bienvenido N. Santos at a literary event sponsored by Linda Nietes' Philippine Expressions. Like Mr. Santos, Mr. Gonzalez encouraged my literary efforts; he generously wrote blurbs for my book projects or contributed stories for anthologies which I edited.
N.V.M. Gonzalez was born on September 8, 1915 in Rombon, Philippines, although he grew up in Mindoro, later the setting of much of his fiction, such as the stories in Seven Hills Away, Children of the Ash-Covered Loam, and Look, Stranger on This Island Now. His father was a teacher and school supervisor.
N.V.M. played the violin and reportedly earned his first peso by playing the violin at a Chinese funeral in Romblon. He attended Mindoro High School, and later the National University although he was unable to complete his undergraduate degree. In Manila he wrote for the Philippine Graphic, the Evening News Magazine, and the Manila Chronicle. He was a member of the Board of Advisors of Likhaan: the University of the Philippines Creative Writing Center, and he was also the founding editor the Diliman Review. He was the first president of the Philippine Writers Association.
In the US, he attended creative writing classes at Stanford University. He later taught at the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, the Philippine Women's University, University of California Santa Barbara, UCLA, UC Berkeley, the University of Washington, and the California State University at Hayward.
He won many honors, including the Republic Award of Merit, the Republic Cultural Heritage Award, the Jose Rizal Pro-Patria Award. In 1987, the University of the Philippines awarded him honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters. In 1997, he was proclaimed National Artist of the Philippines.
He died on November 28, 1997 in Quezon at 84. As a National Artist, he was honored with a state funearl at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
External Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._V._M._Gonzalez
Photo below shows N.V.M. Gonzalez and Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the award-winning author of 9 books, including When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, Vigan and Other Stories, and Out of Cebu: Essays and Personal Prose. She edited four books, co-edited six books, and co-authored a novel, Angelica's Daughters. Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish; and many of her stories and articles have been widely anthologized. Cecilia has received many awards, including a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction, a Brody Arts Fund Award, a Special Recognition Award for her work dealing with Asian American youths, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate, 21st District, and the Outstanding Individual Award from her birth city, Cebu, Philippines. She has received several travel grants from the USIS. She has lectured and performed at UCLA, USC, University of Connecticut, University of the Philippines, PEN, Shakespeare & Company in Paris, and many others. She teaches creative writing at the Writers Program at UCLA-Extension.