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Kerima Polotan writes ‘30’


Fictionist and essayist Kerima Polotan, one of the most outstanding Filipino writers in English, died on Aug. 19 at 85.

She was married to the late Juan Tuvera, himself a writer,  with whom she had 10 children (Victor, Teresa, Helen, Leticia, Kerima Yr., Patricia, Enrico, Mariam, Rafael and Katrina).

The wake started Sunday night at Jacinto Chapel, Funeraria Paz Sucat, inside Manila Memorial Park.

Polotan was the most awarded writer among her contemporaries at one time. She won the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for her short stories “The Virgin” (1952), “The Trap” (1956), “The Giants” (1959), “The Tourists” (1960), “The Sounds of Sunday” (1961) and “A Various Season” (1966).

Her story “The Virgin” also won first prize in the Philippines Free Press literary contest in 1952.

Polotan received the 1961 Stonehill Award for her novel “The Hand of the Enemy” and was bestowed in 1963 the Republic Cultural Heritage Award, the government’s highest form of recognition for artists at the time.

A prolific journalist, Polotan regularly wrote for the pre-martial law Free Press. “Author’s Choice,” a collection of her essays and journalistic pieces, was published in 1972.

She also wrote a biography of Imelda Marcos.

Born on Dec. 16, 1925, Polotan initially took up nursing at the University of the Philippines but her studies were interrupted by the battle for Manila in 1945.

She transferred to Arellano University, where she edited the first issue of the Arellano Literary Review. She graduated in 1953. With a report from Inquirer Research


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