Writer, poet and journalist Doris Trinidad Gamalinda; 95 | Inquirer News

Writer, poet and journalist Doris Trinidad Gamalinda; 95

/ 05:52 AM February 17, 2023

Doris Trinidad Gamalinda

Doris Trinidad Gamalinda

Doris Trinidad Gamalinda, poet, essayist, and editor of several national publications, died on Monday, Feb. 13, in Manila. She was 95.

Born Adoracion Trinidad on Nov. 15, 1927, to school teacher Aurora Cañizares and lawyer Jesus Trinidad, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in philosophy, summa cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas, (UST) where she was also assistant literary editor of The Varsitarian.


She also attended high school at Holy Ghost College (later College of the Holy Spirit) and was valedictorian at Legarda Elementary School, a few steps from her ancestral home in Sampaloc, Manila.


She began her writing career as a section editor for the Manila Times until its closure during martial law in 1972, and later worked as associate editor for Focus Magazine, editor of the Times Journal’s People Magazine and the Journal’s lifestyle editor.

In 1980, she joined the staff of the National Media Production Center, and a year later became editor in chief of Woman’s Home Companion, during which time she turned the magazine into the most widely circulated lifestyle magazine in the country.

First love

She retired in 1995 and devoted her later years pursuing her first love—writing—and rapidly published a succession of books, including “Looking Glass” (essays, New Day Publishers, 1991); “Permutations of Love” (essays, Anvil Publishing, 1996); “The Way of the Miracle” (essays, Giraffe Books, 1998); “Mysteries and Memories” (essays, Giraffe Books, 2000); and “Now and Lifetimes Ago” (poetry, Giraffe Books, 2001). She also published “Two Voices” (poetry, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2012) with Gloria G. Goloy.

In addition, her poems were also included in the anthology “Babaylan” (Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco, 2000).

“Mysteries and Memories” was awarded Book of the Year by the Manila Writers Circle. In his introduction to the book, F. Sionil Jose noted “the felicity of language that only a poet can muster,the depth of perception and the illumination that clear thinking brings.”

Eugenia Duran-Apostol, in her introduction to “Permutations of Love,” said: “She rises above mere journalese and ends up enchanting you with single-topic literary musings, many of them poems-in-the-rough, almost-poems, not-quite-poems, unmetered poems.


For by nature, Doris is a poet.”Her alma mater UST also honored her with the Ustetika Award in 2006 and Philets Owl Award in 2010.

Quest for meaning

Doris Trinidad’s work explored the interconnectedness of writing, personal history, and memory, placing great value on the significance of family, friendships, art and literature, spirituality, and even politics and personal loss. Throughout her life, she remained a relentless student of the great metaphysical mysteries and the quest for God and meaning, and of being and becoming.

She wrote: “I will just remind you of the treasures that might be lying in your own mind, buried for years by layers of more pressing, more recent experiences. Find a quiet corner and a restful moment to coax them out. They are part of what you are.”

Doris was married to the late Marcial Gamalinda Jr., and the mother of eight children, Marcial III (“Bunny”); Marisse Abelgas; Marco; Celine Borromeo; Eric; Diana; Marvin; and Miel Lanting.

Her siblings included the late Agnes Tolosa, formerly dean of student affairs at the College of the Holy Spirit, and the late Dr. Juvenal Trinidad of the UST Faculty of Medicine. She leaves behind 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

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Her remains lie in state at St. Martin’s Chapel of Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City and will be interred on Feb. 19 at Loyola Memorial Park.

TAGS: UST, Writer

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