National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose dies at 97 | Inquirer News
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National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose dies at 97

/ 12:13 AM January 07, 2022
National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose passed away on Thursday night at the age of 97.

National Artist F. Sionil Jose. Image lifted from his Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose passed away on Thursday night at the age of 97.

This was confirmed by the Philippine Center of International Poets, Essayists, Novelists in a statement.

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“Jose died Thursday evening at the Makati Medical Center where he was supposed to undergo an angioplasty Friday Jan. 7, according to his wife, Tessie Jovellanos Jose,” said the organization that Jose also founded.

“Tessie said Jose apparently died in his sleep. He was declared dead at 9:30 p.m,” it added.

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Jose recently celebrated his 97th birthday last Dec. 3.

On Thursday afternoon, Jose posted on his Facebook account what would seem like a letter to his own heart.

“For 97 years you have been constantly working patiently pumping much more efficiently and longer than most machines. Of course, I know that a book lasts long too, as the libraries have shown, books that have lived more than 300 years,” said Jose in his post.

“Now, that I am here in waiting for an angioplasty, I hope that you will survive it and I with it, so that I will be able to continue what I have been doing with so much energy that only you have been able to give,” he added.

Angioplasty is a procedure used to open blocked coronary arteries caused by coronary artery disease.

Thank you brave heart. There are times when as an agnostic I doubt the presence of an almighty and loving God. But dear…

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Posted by F Sionil Jose on Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Jose is known as one of the most widely read Filipino authors in the English language, with works that 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, which include the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Centennial Award in 1999, France’s Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 2000, as well as the Pablo Neruda Centennial Award in Chile in 2004.

The Philippine government then bestowed upon Jose the title of National Artist for Literature in 2001, for his outstanding contributions to Philippine literature.

RELATED STORY: 

National Artist F. Sionil José: The lion at 95 

JPV

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