National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera passes away

Published September 28, 2021, 2:22 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Filipino poet and National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera has passed away. He was 89.

Bienvenido Lumbera (Screenshot from TVUP)

Lumbera’s daughter Tala confirmed the news in a Facebook post, saying her dad passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

He was also a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communications. He also won numerous literary awards, including National Book Awards and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards.

Tanggol Wika expressed its condolences and declared a day of mourning in honor of Lumbera.

“Taus-pusong pakikiramay ang ating ipinaabot sa kanyang pamilya. Mananatili pong inspirasyon sa amin ang inyong buhay, mga sinulat, at adhikain makabayan (We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family. Your life, writings, and patriotic aspirations will continue to inspire us).”

Writer Lualhati Bautista mourned the death of Lumbera.

“Paalam Bien, Pambansang Alagad ng Sining. Isa ka sa mga taong mahal ko talaga. Pakikiramay sa iyo, Cynthia, sa pamilya, sa lahat ng manunulat, estudyante, at mga kaibigan. Dala mo ang aming taos-pusong pagpupugay (Farewell, Bien, National Artist. You are one of the people I really love. Condolences to you, Cynthia, to the family, to all the writers, students, and friends. You give you our heartfelt salute.”

In 1974, he was arrested by the Philippine military following the declaration of Martial Law. In 1977, he served as editor of the Diliman Review, one of the most critical publications during the Marcos regime.

The late national artist also taught Literature, Philippine Studies, and Creative Writing at the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines Diliman, and the University of Santo Tomas.

He was also appointed visiting professor of Philippine Studies at Osaka University of Foreign Studies in Japan from 1985 to 1988 and the first Asian scholar-in-residence at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

 
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