August 21, 2011

(UDPATED) Kerima Polotan Tuvera, 85 and Edith L. Tiempo, 92

(Cover of Author's Choice, a collection of Polotan Tuvera's essays and short stories. Photo from scribblerjack)

MANILA, Philippines - Kerima Polotan Tuvera, former editor in chief of Focus Philippines magazine and the Evening Post newspaper, died Friday night after a lingering illness. She was 85.

Polotan won four first prizes at the Palanca awards, and also garnered prizes in the Philippines Free Press short story contest as well as the Stonehill award for the novel in 1961.

She was a regular panelist at the Silliman University Writers Workshop in the 1960s, and sometimes wrote under the pseudonym Patricia S. Torres. (The rest in the Philippine Star.)

The short story that launched her career:
The Virgin

He went to where Miss Mijares sat, a tall, big man, walking with an economy of movement, graceful and light, a man who knew his body and used it well. He sat in the low chair worn decrepit by countless other interviewers and laid all ten fingerprints carefully on the edge of her desk. She pushed a sheet towards him, rolling a pencil along with it. While he read the question and wrote down his answers, she glanced at her watch and saw that it was ten. "I shall be coming back quickly," she said, speaking distinctly in the dialect (you were never sure about these people on their first visit, if they could speak English, or even write at all, the poor were always proud and to use the dialect with them was an act of charity), "you will wait for me."

As she walked to the cafeteria, Miss Mijares thought how she could easily have said, Please wait for me, or will you wait for me? But years of working for the placement section had dulled the edges of her instinct for courtesy. She spoke now peremtorily, with an abruptness she knew annoyed the people about her. (The rest at Philippine Literature.)

(UPDATED): This was a sad weekend for all writers who grew up w/ Tuvera and Tiempo's stories, or were mentored by these two grand dames of Philippine literature.

National Artist for Literature Edith Tiempo, 92

MANILA, Philippines -- National Artist for Literature passed away Sunday. She was 92.

A poet, fictionist, teacher, and literary critic, she was one of the finest Filipino writers in English whose works are characterized by a remarkable fusion of style and substance, of craftsmanship and insight, according to the website of the National Commission on Culture and Arts. (Click Interaksyon for the rest.)

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