THE LIFE AND WORK OF CIRILO BAUTISTA

Cirilo F. Bautista, b July 9, 1941, is a poet, fictionist and essayist with exceptional achievements
and significant contributions to the development of the country’s literary arts. He is acknowledged by peers and critics, and the nation at large as the foremost writer of his generation.

Throughout his career that spanned more than four decades, Bautista established a reputation for fine and profound artistry. His books, lectures, poetry readings and creative writing workshops continue to influence his peers and generations of young writers.

As a way of bringing poetry and fiction closer to the people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to develop their creative talent, Bautista regularly funded writing workshops throughout the country. In his campus lecture circuits, Bautista updated students and student-writers on literary developments and techniques.

As a teacher of literature, Bautista has realized that the classroom is an important training ground for Filipino writers. In De La Salle University, he was instrumental in the formation of the Bienvenido Santos Creative Writing Center. He was also the moving spirit behind the founding of the Philippine Literary Arts Council in 1981, the Iligan National Writers Workshop in 1993,
and the Baguio Writers Group.

Bautista contributed to the development of Philippine literature as a writer; through his significant body of works; as a teacher, through his discovery and encouragement of young writers
in workshops and lectures; and as a critic, through his essays that provide insights into the craft
of writing and correctives to misconceptions about art.

Design and text by Dianne Grace Consignado and Thea Torres

CCA’s next exhibit will be showcasing literature based on the writings of Cirilo Bautista. Here you’ll find all the updates, teasers, and facts about Cirilo Bautista, Philippine literature, the art of text, and many more.

His major works include Summer Suns (1963), Words and Battlefields (1998), The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus (2001), Galaw ng Asoge (2003). Of these, his best known is the epic poetry “The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus,” made up of the “The Archipelago” (1970), “Telex Moon” (1981) and “Sunlight on Broken Stones” (1999).

A thoughtful man known to his close friends as “Toti,” Bautista was a mentor to countless younger writers through his own efforts and as part of many panels at writing workshops.

As a way of bringing poetry and fiction closer to the people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to develop their creative talent, Bautista regularly funded writing workshops throughout the country. In his campus lecture circuits, Bautista updated students and student-writers on literary developments and techniques.

Bautista funded the Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for Short Fiction at the National Book Awards and the separate Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for the Novel. He was also an avid painter, having exhibited his work professionally several times.

He was the first recipient of a British Council fellowship as a creative writer at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1987 and remains the only Filipino to be given an Honorary Degree from the prestigious International Program at the University of Iowa.

The Hall of Fame for Palanca Award Winners are reserved for those who have won five Palanca awards. Cirilo Bautista has gone above and beyond this by garnering eight Palanca awards for his poetry, essays, and stories–a testament to his being a literary giant in the country’s history of literature.

Design and text by Dianne Grace Consignado and Thea Torres

In 2014, he was elevated to the Order of the National Artist (ONA)
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.”

Awarded the country’s National Artist for Literature in 2014, Cirilo was given recognition by
the National Commission for Culture and Arts not only as a writer, but as a teacher and critic
of the literary arts as well.

“In the beginning God was pain in the void,” Bautista writes at the start of Telex Moon, the second book from the “Trilogy of Saint Lazarus.” Here he envisions the beginning
of mankind in the most visual and poignant way.

At a 2015 testimonial dinner at his alma mater the University of Santo Tomas, Bautista said this of being named National Artist: “It is a kind of confirmation, that after 74 years, you know you can write.”

He is married to Rose Marie Bautista and has three children, Ria, Laura and Nikos.

Bautista died on May 6, 2018 at the age of 76. He was laid to rest following a state funeral at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery.)

“It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of our beloved professor/mentor and perhaps the greatest poet in the annals of Philippine literature–Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista. Rest in peace, our Moses, Gandalf, Nero Wolfe, Obi Wan Kenobi. Till we meet again in Paradise,”
– DLSU Department of Literature

EDUCATION

Born in Manila on July 9, 1941, spent his childhood in Balic-Balic, Sampaloc.

Basic education – Legarda Elementary School (1st Honorable Mention, 1954)

Victorino Mapa High School (Valedictorian, 1959)

AB Literature – University of Santo Tomas (magna cum laude, 1963)

MA Literature – St. Louis University, Baguio (magna cum laude, 1968)

Doctor of Arts in Language and Literature – De La Salle University-Manila (1990)

Fellowship – International Writing Program, University of Iowa (1969-69.)

The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus is Cirilo Bautista’s obra maestra. The book
tells the story of the history of the Philippines through epic poetry,
from the colonization of Spain to the EDSA Revolution.

Design and text by Dianne Grace Consignado and Thea Torres

“In Praise of Sardines” is a poem by Cirilo Bautista published in Esquire Magazine in February 2014. The poem is a creative and witty tale of how sardines are caught at sea, bought at the flea market, and eaten
for breakfast– an utterly mundane story told in the most poetic
and poignant way, a true signature of Bautista’s.

Design and text by Dianne Grace Consignado and Thea Torres

CAREER

Bautista was a noted critic and respected teacher. He served as Senior Associate at the UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies. He taught creative writing and literature at St. Louis University (1963–1968), University of Santo Tomas (1969–1970) and San Beda College. He was a Professor Emeritus of Literature at the College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University-Manila. (1970-20__) where he was also on the Board of Advisors for the Bienvenido Santos Creative Writing Center.

Co-founding member – Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC)

Member – Manila Critics Circle, Philippine Center of International PEN

Member – Philippine Writers Academy

Exchange Professor – Waseda University and Ohio University.

Honorary Fellow in Creative Writing – University of Iowa, 1969

First recipient – Cambridge British Council Fellowship, Creative Writer, Trinity College, 1987

Member – Board of Advisers and Associate, Bienvenido Santos Creative Writing Center, De La Salle University-Manila

Senior Associate – The Center for Creative Writing and Studies, University of Santo Tomas.

Columnist and Literary Editor – Philippine Panorama, Sunday Supplement, Manila Bulletin.

POEMS

Summer Suns (with Albert Casuga, 1963)

The Cave and Other Poems (1968)

The Archipelago (1970)

Charts (1973)

Telex Moon (1981)

Sugat ng Salita (1985)

Kirot Ng Kataga (1995)

Sunlight On Broken Stones (2000)

Tinik Sa Dila: Isang Katipunan Ng Mga Tula (2003)

The Trilogy Of Saint Lazarus (2001)

Believe and Betray: New and Collected Poems (2007)

Third World Geography

Pedagogic (2008)

“In Many Ways: Poems 2012-2016,” University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in (2018)

The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus is Cirilo Bautista’s obra maestra. The book tells the story of the history
of the Philippines through epic poetry, from the colonization of Spain to the EDSA Revolution.

FICTION

Stories (1990)

Galaw ng Asoge (2004)

Taken from “The Archipelago,” the first book from “The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus,” this quote shows Bautista’s affinity and skill of describing people not through adjectives,
but through verbs and pictures.

Design and text by Dianne Grace Consignado and Thea Torres

Cirilo Bautista is one of the Philippines’ National Artist for Literature. He is a Filipino poet, critic
and writer of nonfiction. Be on the lookout for what CCA’s take on Bautista’s life and works.

Design and text by Dianne Grace Consignado and Thea Torres

Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

Breaking Signs (1990)

Words And Battlefields: A Theoria On The Poem (1998)

The Estrella D. Alfon Anthology Vol. I – Short Stories (2000)

Bullets And Roses: The Poetry Of Amado V. Hernandez / A Bilingual Edition (translated Into English And With A Critical Introduction) (2002)

One of Cirilo’s lesser known poems “Window Shopping” is also one
of his shortest; nonetheless the brevity does not impede his literary chops. Here, he narrates human characteristics as if they were purchasable—things you can see while window shopping. Again, Cirilo’s writing never strays
far from the truth.

Design and text by Dianne Grace Consignado and Thea Torres

CAREER

Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (for poetry, fiction and essay in English and Filipino) Philippines Free Press Awards for Fiction

Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Awards

Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas’ Gawad Balagtas

Pablo Roman Prize for the Novel

Highest accolades from the Cities of Manila, Quezon City and Iligan

Makata ng Taon by the Komisyon ng mga Wika ng Pilipinas 1993

Centennial Prize – Sunlight on Broken Stones, the last book of The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus, 1998

Bautista has also received Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (for poetry, fiction and essay in English and Filipino) as well as Philippines Free Press Awards for Fiction, Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Awards, Gawad Balagtas from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas, the Pablo Roman Prize for the Novel, and the highest accolades from the City of Manila, Quezon City and Iligan City.

Bautista works include Boneyard Breaking, Sugat ng Salita, The Archipelago, Telex Moon, Summer Suns, Charts, The Cave and Other Poems, Kirot ng Kataga, and Bullets and Roses: The Poetry of Amado V. Hernandez. His novel Galaw ng Asoge was published by the University of Santo Tomas Press in 2004. His latest book, Believe and Betray: New and Collected Poems, appeared in 2006, published by De La Salle University Press.

His poems have appeared in major literary journals, papers, and magazines in the Philippines and in anthologies published in the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, China, Romania, Hong Kong, Germany and Malaysia. These include: excerpts from Sunlight on Broken Stones, published in World Literature Today, USA, Spring 2000; What Rizal Told Me (poem), published in Manoa, University of Hawaii, 1997; She of the Quick Hands: My Daughter and The Seagull (poems), published in English Teacher’s Portfolio of Multicultural Activities, edited by John Cowen (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996).

Much published locally and aboard, Bautista was named to the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards Hall of Fame in 1995, which is given to winners of five first prizes. Bautista had won nine Palanca in all, for essay, fiction, poetry in both English and Filipino.

He had also won First Prize in the 1998 National Centennial Commission literary tilt. He received the Gawad Balagtas from the Unyon ng Manunulat ng Pilipinas, among many other accolades.

Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature nine (9) times for poetry, fiction and essay. His prize-winning works include: Philippine Poetics: The Past Eight Years (essay), 1981; Crossworks (collected poems), 1979; Charts (collected poems), 1973; The Archipelago (epic poem), 1970; Telex Moon (epic poem), 1975; The Cave and Other Poems (collected poems), 1968; and the short stories Ritual and The Man Who Made a Covenant with the Wind.

Honorary Fellow in Creative Writing, University of Iowa, U.S., 1969

Visiting Professor at Waseda University, Japan and Ohio University, U.S.

An excerpt from his book “Sunlight and Broken Bones” wherein Bautista
talks about heroism in the Philippines–how it has led to many deaths
as much as revolutions.

“Third World Geography,” is one of Cirilo’s poems and tells about the time when Ferdinand Marcos was the president of the Philippines and how some people lived that time. Here, he writes “That’s how light the burden
of the government is in peace time—any tyrant can turn it into a metaphor.
You kneel on the parched earth and pray for the rice. Only the wind hears
your useless words.”

Most Outstanding Alumnus Award for Literature, Graduate School, Saint Louis University, 1975.

Fernando Maria Guerrero Award for Literature, University of Santo Tomas Alumni Association, 1980.

Most Outstanding Alumnus Award for Literature from the Alumni Association of the College of Arts and Letters, University of Santo Tomas, 1982.

Pablo Roman Prize for his Novel-in-Progress entitled Reconstruction, 1982.

Most Outstanding Alumnus Award for Literature, Mapa High School Alumni Association, 1983.

British Council Fellowship as Visiting Writer, Trinity College, Cambridge, England, 1987. Bautista was the first Filipino writer to be invited to attend the Cambridge Seminar on Contemporary Literature.

Included in The Oxford Companion to the English Language, edited by Tom MacArthur, Oxford University Press, 1992.

Included in The Traveller’s Guide to Asian Literature, 1993.

Makata ng Taon 1993, Komisyon ng mga Wika ng Pilipinas with the poem Ulat Buhat Sa Bulkan. With this and his Palanca award for Tagalog poetry and his winning the First Prize in the Poetry contest sponsored by the Dyaryo Filipino with his poem, Ilang Aeta Mula Sa Botolan, Bautista affirmed his importance as a bilingual writer.

Gawad Manuel L. Quezon in 1996 by the Quezon City Government in connection with the Quezon Day Celebrations for Bautista’s outstanding achievement as writer, editor and teacher.

Most Outstanding Achievement Award in Literature by the Philets-Artlets Centennial Alumni Association of the University of Santo Tomas, 1996.

Included in Who’s Who in the World, 1996, New Providence, New Jersey, U.S.

Gawad Balagtas in 1997 by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas for Bautista’s achievements as a poet, fictionist, and critic.

First Prize, Epic Writing English Category, National Centennial Commission’s Literary Contests, 1998 by the Philippine Government. The judges in this prestigious contest, held to commemorate the Centennial of our freedom, gave the prize to Bautista’s Sunlight on Broken Stones, the last volume in his The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus. This epic of 3,050 lines concludes his monumental work on Philippine history.

Adopted Son of Iligan City, 1997, by virtue of Executive Order #98 signed by Mayor Alejo Yanes, for his contribution “in the development of creative writing in Mindanao, for serving as a role model among young writers, as well as his tireless promotion of Iligan City as a center for literary arts in the Philippines.” Bautista was instrumental
in the founding of the Iligan Writers Workshop and was its primary mover in attracting young writers to congregate in Mindanao and learn the craft of writing.

Knight Commander of Rizal by the Order of the Knights of Rizal, December 1998, in recognition of Bautista’s literary works that helped propagate the ideas
and achievements of the national hero. His The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus has the national hero as the main character and focal point in the author’s poetic recreation
of the development of the Filipino soul from the beginning of our history to the present.

In 1999, Sunlight on Broken Stones, published by De La Salle University-Manila Press, garnered the National Book Award given by the Manila Critics Circle
and the Gintong Aklat Award given by the Book Development Association of the Philippines.

National Book Award given by the Manila Critics Circle five (5) times, for The Archipelago,
Sugat ng Salita, Sunlight on Broken Stones, The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus
and Tinik sa Dila.

Diwa ng Lahi, Gawad Antonio Villegas at Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan in the field of literature by the City of Manila. This award is given to outstanding Manila artists who have contributed to the advancement of arts and culture. 430th Araw ng Maynila, June 22, 2001,
Bulwagang Villegas, Manila City Hall.

Certificate of appreciation from the Benigno Aquino, Jr., Foundation for his literary works that helped perpetuate the memory of the late senator.

First Annual Dove Award by the College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University-Manila, February 14, 2001. An alumnus of the Graduate School of the University, Bautista was honored
for the contributions he had in energizing the writing life in campus through his co-founding
of the creative writing programs in the University and activities
as Writer-in-Residence for fifteen years.

St. Miguel Febres Cordero Research Award, SY2002-03 given by De La Salle University-Manila, 2002. This award was given to Bautista in recognition of his achievements in research
and creative writing.

“Misfortune and creativity go together,” Bautista wrote in The Archipelago.
To this day it is one of his most popular quotes. Rightfully so, as many artists
can relate with this sentiment.

This is an excerpt from Bautista’s poem “Henry Miller in Paris” published
by Esquire Magazine in February 2014 about the esteemed American writer whose books were banned in the United States. It talks of a fascination with the man, describing him in fine detail, only to conclude at a sorrowful note.

Awards / Honors / Distinctions

First Prize in Epic Writing, English Category, of the National Centennial Commission’s Literary Contests, 1998, sponsored by the Philippine Government. The judges in this prestigious contest,
held to commemorate the Centennial of our freedom, gave the prize to Bautista’s
Sunlight on Broken Stones, the last volume in his The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus. This epic of 3,050 lines concludes his monumental work on Philippine history.

1999, Sunlight on Broken Stones, published by De La Salle University Press, garnered the National Book Award given by the Manila Critics Circle and the Gintong Aklat Award given
by the Book Development Association of the Philippines.

Hall of Fame of the Palanca Awards Foundation for achievements in the field of literature, 1995. This is given to Filipino writers who have distinguished themselves by winning at least five
First Prizes in the Palanca Literary Contests.

Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature nine (9) times for poetry, fiction and essay. His prize-winning works include: Philippine Poetics: The Past Eight Years (essay), 1981;
Crossworks (collected poems),1979; Charts (collected poems), 1973; The Archipelago (epic poem), 1970; Telex Moon (epic poem), 1975; The Cave and Other Poems (collected poems),
1968; and the short stories Ritual and The Man Who Made a Covenant with the Wind.

National Book Award given by the Manila Critics Circle five (5) times, for the The Archipelago, Sugat ng Salita, Sunlight on Broken Stones, The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus and Tinik sa Dila.

Diwa ng Lahi, Gawad Antonio Villegas at Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan in the field of literature by the City of Manila. This award is given to outstanding Manila artists who have contributed
to the advancement of arts and culture. 430th Araw ng Maynila, June 22, 2001, Bulwagang Villegas, Manila City Hall.

Gawad Balagtas in 1997 by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas for Bautista’s achievements as a poet, fictionist, and critic.

Included in Who’s Who in the World, 1996, New Providence, New Jersey, USA.

Included in The Traveller’s Guide to Asian Literature, 1993.

Knight Commander of Rizal by the Order of the Knights of Rizal, December 1998, in recognition of Bautista’s literary works that helped propagate the ideas and achievements of the national hero. His The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus has the national hero as the main character and focal point in the author’s poetic recreation of the development of the Filipino soul
from the beginning of our history to the present.

Adopted Son of Iligan City, 1997, by virtue of Executive Order #98
signed by Mayor Alejo Yanes, for his contribution “in the development
of creative writing in Mindanao, for serving as a role model among young writers, as well as his tireless promotion of Iligan City as a center for iterary arts in the Philippines.” Bautista was instrumental in the founding of the Iligan Writers Workshop and was its primary mover in attracting young writers to congregate in Mindanao and learn the craft of writing.
The Iligan National Writers Workshop is now on its twelfth year.

Gawad Manuel L. Quezon in 1996 by the Quezon City Government in connection with the Quezon Day Celebrations for Bautista’s outstanding
achievement as writer, editor and teacher. Certificate of appreciation from
the Benigno Aquino, Jr., Foundation for his literary works that helped perpetuate the memory of the late senator.

St. Miguel Febres Cordero Research Award, SY2002-03
given by De La Salle University, 2002. This award was given to Bautista inrecognition of his achievements in research and creative writing.
First Annual Dove Award by the College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle
University, February 14, 2001. An alumnus of the Graduate School
of the University, Bautista was honored for the contributions he had in energizing the writing life in campus through his co-founding of the creative writing programs in the University and activities
as Writer-in-Residence for fifteen years.

Following the much-loved “Trilogy of Saint Lazarus,” these are Cirilo Bautista’s consequent novels. After years of working on the trilogy, published in 2001, Bautista continued his craft through
a poetry collection “Believe and Betray” (2006),a novel in Tagalog, “Galaw ng Asoge” (2004)
and “The House of True Desire: Essays about Life and Literature” (2011.)

SCHOLARSHIPS / FELLOWSHIPS

Visiting Writer, Trinity College, Cambridge University, England, 1987.
Bautista was the first Filipino writer to be invited to attend
the Cambridge Seminar on Contemporary Literature, through the British Council. Honorary Fellow in Creative Writing,
State University of Iowa, U. S. A., 1969

Galaw ng Asoge (2004)

From the poem “What Rizal Told Me,” Cirilo Bautista creates a discourse between himself
and the Philippine’s National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Throughout the poem, Rizal’s voice and sentiments
are given focus as if he was talking to Cirilo himself. “Rizal” here is having a poetic discussion
on revolution with Bautista.

An excerpt from Cirilo Bautista’s poem called “Pedagogic,” a word that relates to the act of teaching
or education. Here, he relates the nature of man—how we learn and evolve—to nature itself

SOURCES

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1941617-august-2014-the-trilogy-of-saint-lazarus-by-national-artist-cirilo-f-b?fbclid=IwAR2qBAE8H_IWF6Ucv5qiT64fDrR3M6QoTx5sC1KhcOYoZwqkxmJgZ76teME

https://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/notes-and-essays/cirilo-f-bautista-national-artist-for-literature-a1512-20180507-lfrm

http://cfbautista.tripod.com/awrd.htm
http://gwhs-stg02.i.gov.ph/~s2govnccaph/about-culture-and-arts/culture-profile/national-artists-of-the-philippines/cirilo-f-bautista/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirilo_Bautista?fbclid=IwAR1eztd2pRpm5mirzO4rF26veXGbcHjAO0Dev86tThl0hiqPxmwZ0wvEdSg