The Center for Campus Art will also be crediting Cirilo not just
as a writer, but also as an artist, taking inspiration from the vivid
imagery of his art as well as his text and turning the SDA Gallery
into a well-curated exhibition.

Design and text by Dianne Grace Consignado and Thea Torres


The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde through the Center for Campus presents
“The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus,” an exhibit on the life and work of National Artist for Literature
Cirilo Francisco Bautista.

Bautista is a poet, writer, essayist, critic, educator and one of the literary icons of his generation.
His best known work is the epic poem “The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus,” made up
of “The Archipelago (1970,) “Telex Moon” (1981) and “Sunlight on Broken Stones” (1999.)

Born on July 9, 1941, Bautista received his Bachelor of Arts degree
in English at the University of Santo Tomas and Master of Arts in Literature at St. Louis University Baguio, graduating on both occasions Magna Cum Laude. He has a Doctor of Arts in Language
and Literature from De La Salle University (DLSU) and remains the only Filipino to be given
an honorary degree from the prestigious International Program at the University of Iowa, USA.

In 2014, Bautista was elevated to the Order of the National Artist of the Philippines by President Benigno Aquino. Presidential proclamation No. 809 read: “Whereas, the works and achievements
of Cirilo F. Bautista as a poet, fictionist and essayist have greatly contributed to the development of the country’s literary arts and has strengthened the Filipino’s sense of nationalism.”

Bautista paved the way for the foundation of writing organizations in the country: the Baguio Writers Club, Philippine Literary Arts Council, and the Iligan National Writers Workshop. Published locally and overseas, Bautista was named to the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards Hall of Fame
in 1995, given to winners of five first prizes. Bautista won nine for essay,
fiction and poetry, in both English and Filipino.

In 1993, he was declared Makata ng Taon (Poet of the Year) from the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (Commission on Filipino Language.) He is a recipient of the 2012 Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Gawad CCP Para sa Sining and a 2013 Achievement Award from the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts.)

In between writing, Bautista taught poetry and creative writing at De La Salle University (DLSU), where he was Professor Emeritus. He was instrumental in establishing the DLSU Bienvenido Santos Creative Writing Center where he sat on the Board of Advisors. He also taught at St. Louis University Baguio, San Beda College where he was Professor Emeritus for Literature
and at the University of Santo Tomas where he was Senior Associate at the Center for Creative Writing and Studies. Bautista also taught at Waseda University, Japan and Ohio University, USA.

An excerpt from Bautista’s “Five Poems from ‘A Salt Crown,’ a 15-Sonnet Cycle” featured in Esquire Magazine’s August 2017 issue. The poem, which follows the 14-line, iambic pentameter of sonnets, talks about birth and death – and all the strife in between. While it may contain some dark themes,
we spotted this beauty of a quote, a classic touch of Cirilo’s writing – leaving notes of inspiration amid the reality.

Design and text by Dianne Grace Consignado and Thea Torres

Bautista died on May 6, 2018 at the age of 76. He is survived by his wife Architect Rose Marie, the first Dean of Benilde’s School of Design and Arts, his three children,
Maria Bautista, Laura Anna Jensen and Nikos Bautista, and three grandchildren Jeremiah Timothy Jensen, Mira Kathryn Bautista and Miguel Nykos Bautista.

“The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus” aims to introduce Cirilo Bautista to a new audience through the works of artists and students from the College of Saint Benilde. The show is produced by Benilde’s Center for Campus Art and curated by Ar Gerry Torres with Ar Harvey Vasquez.