Jose Rizal, Filipino National Hero

December 30 is celebrated as Rizal Day every year in the Philippines. It is an official holiday.

His nickname was Pepe (from Giuseppe / Joseph).

SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF RIZAL IN ENGLISH

According to many, Jose Rizal is the greatest genius and hero of the Philippines. He wrote two novels that energized the nationalism movement and the revolution during the time of the Spaniards: Noli Me Tangere (The Social Cancer) and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed). Like the works of Shakespeare, his writings are interpreted to have various meanings. Among the most ardent of his admirers are the Kababaihang Rizalista and The Knights of Rizal. His “Last Farewell” was written at Fort Santiago (and is said to have been smuggled out inside an oil lamp). His writing is appreciated not only by Filipinos but also by other countries that use the Spanish language. He was born in Calamba, Laguna, on June 19, 1861. He was killed on December 30, 1896.

TAGALOG TRANSLATION OF BIOGRAPHY

Ayon sa marami, si Jose Rizal ang pinakadakilang henyo at bayani ng Pilipinas. Sumulat siya ng dalawang nobela na nagpasigla sa kilusan ng nasyonalismo at sa rebolusyon sa panahon ng mga Kastila: Noli Me Tangere at El Filibusterismo. Gaya ng mga akda ni Shakespeare, ang kanyang mga sinulat ay binibigyan ng iba’t ibang kahulugan. Kasama na sa kanyang masigasig na tagahanga ang mga Kababaihang Rizalista at ang mga Knights of Rizal. Ang “Ultimo Adios” ay isinulat sa Fort Santiago (at sinasabing inilabas sa pamamagitan ng isang ilaw na langis). Siya ay kinagigiliwan hindi lamang ng mga Pilipino kundi rin sa mga ibang bayang gumagamit ng Espanyol. Ipinanganak siya sa Kalamba, Laguna, noong Hunyo 19, 1861. Pinatay siya noong ika-30 ng Disyembre, 1896.

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Jose Corazon de Jesus

Known as the King of the Balagtasan and as Makata ng Puso, José Corazón de Jesús was born in Manila on November 22, 1896. He wrote Tagalog poetry during the American occupation of the Philippines (1901-1946).

His most famous work is the Tagalog poem Bayan Ko (My Country, 1929), which was used as lyrics for a patriotic song that became popular during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1980s. His pen name was Huseng Batute. He died on May 26, 1932, and is buried in Manila’s North Cemetery.

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Virgilio Almario

On January 5, 2017, it was announced that National Artist for Literature and Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) chairperson Virgilio Almario is the new chairperson of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

This great Filipino poet is known by his pen name “Rio Alma.” He is a National Artist for Literature.

As of 2016, he is the chairman of the Commission on the Filipino Language (Tagapangulo ng Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino).

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Benigno Zamora

SHORT BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION IN ENGLISH

Benigno Zamora was once chief of the section on Secondary Instruction and Supervision in Pilipino of the Department of City Schools. Former member of the Institute of National Language. Published his first short story at the age of eighteen. Wrote plays, zarzuelas, essays and lyrical poetry on themes that were popular yet charming (love, faith, and nostalgia for home). The last is found in “Ang Aking Tahanan,” composed while the poet worked as a spy against the Japanese during the Second World War II.

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Julian Cruz Balmaceda

This great Filipino writer was also known by his initials JCB. Continue reading “Julian Cruz Balmaceda”

David Mamaril

This great Filipino poet is known as the Makatang Caviteño.

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Lamberto E. Antonio

This great Filipino poet has won the Palanca award at least ten times!

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Clodualdo del Mundo

SHORT BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION IN ENGLISH

Clodualdo del Mundo was born in Manila in 1911. Liwayway editor, critic, scholar, and head of TANIW (Taliba ng Inang Wika). Winner of a presidential award on literature and nationalism. Pioneer in modern drama, having presented the first modern Tagalog zarzuela, Anong Tamis ng mga Sandali sa Sariling Bayan, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and the first modern opera with Balagtas as hero. Wrote a great number of “novels” for television, radio, and the local cinema, receiving the FAMAS award for one of his stories. In poetry, he was among the first to write in free verse. His Ang Kanyang mga Mata (patterned after the Japanese haiku) is a gem in its lucidity and restraint. He passed away on October 5, 1977.

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