Today, Aug. 5, is the 106th birth anniversary of the poet, fictionist, and National Artist for Literature Jose Garcia Villa. Born in Singalong, Manila, in 1908, Villa introduced the reversed consonance rime scheme, including the comma poems that made full use of the punctuation mark in an innovative, poetic way. He was given the National Artist Award in 1973. Villa died on Feb. 7, 1997.–Marielle Medina, Inquirer Research
A censorship row in Singapore escalated Wednesday when judges of a literary prize quit over the national library’s plans to destroy three children’s books deemed to be pro-homosexual.
National Artist for Literature Alejandro R. Roces was born on July 13, 1924. A short story writer and essayist, he is considered the country’s best writer of comic short stories. He spearheaded the campaign to change the country’s Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 and was instrumental in changing the language used in the country’s stamps, currency and passport from English to Filipino. He was named a national artist in 2003.–Marielle Medina, Inquirer Research
Today is the 10th death anniversary of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin. Born on May 4, 1917, in Paco, Manila, Joaquin wrote more than two dozen books, including “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino,” “The Woman who Had Two Navels,” “Manila: Sin City and Other Chronicles,” and several other plays and poems. As a journalist, he used the pseudonym Quijano de Manila. Joaquin was named National Artist for Literature in 1976. He died in 2004.—Marielle Medina, Inquirer Research
“A thousand years of loneliness and sadness for the death of the greatest Colombian of all time!” — Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos.