US, Australia, France mourn death of F. Sionil Jose

The United States, Australia, and France have sent their sympathies to the Philippines as it mourns the passing of Philippine National Artist for Literature Francisco Sionil José.

Francisco Sionil Jose in his bookstore Solidaridad (NOEL PABALATE/MANILA BULLETIN)

In a tweet, the French Embassy in the country remembered José for leaving behind “a literary career spanning several decades, inspiring countless writers & readers from all over the world through his works which tell the history, aspirations & struggles of the Filipino.”

“(French flag) mourns the loss of a great (Philippine flag) artist, a beacon and an inspiration. We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones and to the (Philippine flag) people,” French Ambassador to Manila Michele Boccoz said.

The US Embassy in Manila called José a “longtime friend.” He was also an alumnus of the US’ Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitor Leadership Program.

“I offer my thoughts and prayers to the loved ones of F. Sionil José. The U.S. Embassy community is lucky to have known and worked with such a talented artist,” US charges d’ affaires Heather Variava said in a tweet.

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Australia sent its condolences as well through its envoy, Steven Robinson.

“We join the country in remembering National Artist @SionilJose and in celebrating his literary work that provided an insight to the Philippines,” he wrote.

José died on Thursday, Jan 6., at the Makati Medical Center where he was supposed to undergo an angioplasty procedure. He was 97.

The author is known as one of the most widely read Filipino writers in the English language.

READ: F. Sionil Jose's passing mourned; hailed as 'a true Filipino'

His works have been translated into 28 different languages.

Jose’s works have won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in five separate years, and has also received recognition from award-giving bodies, including the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Centennial Award in 1999, France’s Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 2000, and the Pablo Neruda Centennial Award in Chile in 2004.

In 2001, the Philippine government honored José by bestowing on him the title of National Artist for Literature for his outstanding contributions to Philippine literature.