Filipino poet Bienvenido Lumbera dies

poet and National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera dies at the age of 89.

Bienvenido Lumbera (born April 11, 1932) is a poet, critic and dramatist. He is a National Artist of the Philippines and a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communications. He won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Awards from the National Book Foundation, and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards.

Lumbera was born in Lipa on April 11, 1932. He was barely a year old when his father, Timoteo Lumbera (a baseball player), fell from a fruit tree, broke his neck, and died. Carmen Lumbera, his mother, suffered from cancer and died a few years later. By the age of five he was an orphan. He and his older sister were cared for by their paternal grandmother, Eusebia Teru.

When the war ended, Lumbera and his grandmother returned to their home in Lipa. Eusebia, however, soon succumbed to old age and he was once again orphaned. For his new guardians, he was asked to choose between his maiden aunts with whom his sister had stayed or Enrique and Amanda Lumbera, his godparents. The latter had no children of their own and Bienvenido, who was barely fourteen at the time, says he chose them mainly because “they could send me to school.”

poet Bienvenido Lumbera dies

Bienvenido Lumbera taught Literature, Philippine Studies and Creative Writing at the de University, De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines Diliman, and the University of Santo Tomas. He was also appointed visiting professor of Philippine Studies at Osaka University of Foreign Studies in Japan from 1985 to 1988 and the very first Asian scholar-in-residence at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Lumbera is now widely acknowledged as one of the pillars of contemporary Philippine literature, cultural studies and film, having written and edited numerous books on literary history, literary criticism, and film.

The launching of Bayan at Lipunan: Ang Kritisismo ni Bienvenido Lumbera, edited by Rosario Torres-Yu and published by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, was celebrated by the University of the Philippines in January 2006.

Bienvenido Lumbera was proclaimed National Artist in April 2006.

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