The 2024 NICK JOAQUIN LITERARY AWARDS’ 82 GRAPHIC SALUTE AWARDEES

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“Publication is the first hurdle of a writer who wants the public to read his or her work. Publication is the first level of the competition for public awareness. To breeze past the line-up of a hundred or more writers who submitted their works; to have your work chosen for publication—that is no mean feat. That deserves a Graphic Salute.”—T. Anthony C. Cabangon, publisher of the Philippines Graphic and the Philippines Graphic Reader

001 Ab Abillar
Adelio B. Abillar

ADELIO B. ABILLAR is a long-time journalist and lawyer, a devoted husband to Arlene, and doting father to their four kids—Ulan, Sining, Alon, and Laya. His short story, “The Lady of Sitio Kariktan” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in January 2024.

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Miguel Agcaoili

MIGUEL AGCAOILI, known by his friends and family as Migs, grew up in a family of writers, actors, and directors. From an early age, he was interested in exactly those things that surrounded him growing up. Much of his life has been spent in writing, acting in theater, and occasionally in TV specials as a kid, as well as directing in small-scale productions. His heart, however, has always been in writing. After all, he believes that there is no movie, song, production or play that can truly stand on its own without a bit of good writing.  These days, he’s spent the past few years writing for TV specials and major live events while finishing his studies as a Creative Writing major at the Ateneo de Manila University. His poem, “Inner Angels” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in August 2023.

Michellan Sarile Algao Manananggal
Michellan Sarile-Alagao

MICHELLAN SARILE-ALAGAO is a writer and editor. Her books include verse-novella Black and children’s book The Sad Cat. Her chapbook, Elena and Other Stories, came out in April and is available at 8Letters. Her poem, “Manananggal” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in June 2023.

Mila D. Aguilar
Mila Aguilar

At age 74, MILA D. AGUILAR still wrote poetry and essays. Stories she couldn’t, because life around her was too storied to be cast in stone, she said. Video documentaries she used to do, when she was young enough to hold a camera. The last she did at age 65. She passed away in 2023, months after her two poems—“Butterfly” (February 2023) and “Praying Your Will?”—saw publication in the Philippines Graphic Reader.

002 Juaniyo Arcellana
Juaniyo Arcellana

JUANIYO ARCELLANA graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He has worked for Philippine Star for 25 years. His short story, “Seven Excerpts toward a Theory of Musicology (For Elizabeth)” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in October 2023.

Fullsizerender.jpg The Animals At Frediricks House By Rita Avila
Rita Avila

RITA AVILA completed a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Santo Tomas. Destiny, however, took her to the art of television and film as an actress. Having an angel child is what led her to write children’s books to continue valuing the welfare of children and to keep reminding us to “keep the child in your heart” while also keeping the heart of a “mother.” Four of her books received nominations at the Jaime Cardinal Sin Book Awards, and two were included in “The Asian Parent’s list of best books for kids.” Her short story, “The Animals at Fredirick’s House” was published in the February 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Cathy Sanchez Babao

CATHY S. BABAO is a grief, loss, and transitions coach. She graduated with a B.S. in Business Management at the Ateneo de Manila University, and a Masters in Family Psychology and Education from Miriam College. Cathy has trained with Dr. Alan Wolfelt at the Center for Loss and Transitions in Fort Collins, Colorado. She has received specialized training in the Grief Recovery Method and has attended workshops on Complicated Grief at Columbia University. Carrie holds private hyractice and is an author of four books, two of them on grief. Her poem, “After the Rain” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in February 2023.

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Jona Branzuela Bering

JONA BRANZUELA BERING is from Cebu province. She is now based in Munich, Germany, after having lived in Hanoi, Vietnam, or four years. Her poem, “The Uprooting” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in January 2024.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

CECILIA MANGUERRA BRAINARD is the author and editor of over 20 books, including three novels: When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, and The Newspaper Widow. Her Selected Short Stories was awarded the 40th National Book Award for Short Fiction in English; also a Gintong Aklat Award Finalist. Her recent book is Growing Up Filipino 3: New Stories for Young Adults. Her official website is ceciliabrainard.com. Her poem, “My Mother’s Skirts” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in November 2023.

Rofel Brion
Rofel G. Brion

ROFEL G. BRION is a professor of interdisciplinary studies, literature, creative writing, and popular culture at the Ateneo de Manila University. He writes poetry and prose in English and Filipino and coaches the writers online (rbrion@ateneo.edu). His poem, “On the Twenty-Third Floor” was published in the November 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

Skarlet Brown
Skarlet Brown

SKARLET a.k.a. Myra Ruaro is a multi-awarded rock and jazz songwriter and music producer. She is also an advocate of women’s and artists’ rights and welfare. Skarlet is a nature lover, an apprentice to poetry writing, and a loving mother. Her poem, “Colors Danced” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in March 2023.

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F. Jordan Carnice

F. JORDAN CARNICE is a writer and visual artist based in Bohol province. He was published in Anomaly, MIDLVLMAG, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, among other publications, as well as in the forthcoming Issue 17 of Likhaan: The Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature and Anthology of Southeast Asian Eco-Writing through the University of Hawaii Press’s Manoa Journal. He authored two poetry chapbooks—Weights & Cushions (2018) and How to Make an Accident (2019). He can be found online through Instagram, Twitter, and Threads (@thebullfrog__ ).

He was hailed as “Poet of the Year” in the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards 2023. At the 2024 NJLA, he was once again hailed as “Poet of the Year” for his “Two Poems for 2023,” published in the September 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Ian Rosales Casocot

IAN ROSALES CASOCOT is the author of Don’t Tell Anyone, Bamboo Girls, Heartbreak & Magic, and Beautiful Accidents. He has won the Palanca six times for his stories. In 2008, his novel Sugar Land was longlisted in the Man Asia Literary Prize.

He was Writer-in-Residence at the International Writers Program of the University of Iowa in 2010. He is currently faculty member at Silliman University Department of English and Literature. He won second place at the 2023 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for short story, for one-act play, and for children’s poetry. At the 2023 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards (NJLA), he won first prize for his short story entry, “Ceferina in Apt. 2G.”

For 2024, his short stories that were published in the Philippines Graphic Reader include, “Everything Taken Together Has the Weight of Heaven” (August 2023) and “Don’t Follow Me, I Don’t Even Know Where I’m Going” (December 2023).

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Calvin Castillo

CALVIN CASTILLO, 18, is from Puerto Princesa, Palawan. He is taking up Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) at Silliman University Senior High school in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. His short story, “The King who Had Nothing” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in December 2023.

Michelle D. Chedjou Sludge
Michelle F. Chedjou

MICHELE F. CHEDJOU received her M.A. in English Studies from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She lives in Quezon City. Her short story, “Sludge” was published in the June 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

Jhoanna Lynn B Cruz
Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz

JHOANNA LYNN B. CRUZ is a professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines Mindanao. Her recent book, Abi Nako, Or So I Thought (2020), published by the UP Press, is the first lesbian memoir in the Philippines. Among the anthologies she has edited is the Tingle Anthology of Pinay Lesbian Writing (2021). Her short story, “Damages” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in March 2023.

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Kriztin Cruz

KRIZTIN ELEONOR CRUZ is a former Human Resources professional and a ghostwriter from Antipolo City. She thinks the Philippines Graphic has been a historical publication that has given voice to so many writers from one genre to another. It’s been her dream to submit a story she’s personally proud of. Her short story, “The Mysteries beside the Brook, under the Tree” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in May 2023.

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Isidoro M. Cruz

ISIDORO M. CRUZ won the Palanca first prize for his poetry collection, “Bodies of Water.”  He received two National Book Awards for Literary Criticism from the Manila Critics Circle for his books entitled Cultural Fictions and Pungsod.  He is a full professor of literature at the University of San Agustin and an invited professorial lecturer at the University of the Philippines Visayas in Iloilo. His poem, “I Write and Make No Sound” was published in the August 23 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Alice M. Sun-Cua

ALICE M. SUN-CUA (b. 1955) is a poet, travel narrative writer, literary translator, and a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist. Her latest books include Nada, a Spanish novel by Carmen Laforet translated into Hiligaynon, and Golden Kumquats in Trieste and other Travel Narratives. She was a recipient of the UMPIL Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas Award for the English essay in 2018. Her poems, published in the Philippines Graphic Reader, include “Supper at Emmaus” (October 2023) and “The Calling of Saint Matthew” (December 2023).

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Dante O. Cuales, Jr.

DANTE O. CUALES, JR. is a short story writer based in Cebu. He works for a San Francisco-based startup. He’s 41 and lives with his wife, Bel, and kids Luke and Lizzy. His short story, “Confession” was published in the August 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Nestor Cuartero

NESTOR CUARTERO finished his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at the University of Santo Tomas, where he taught for many years under the Department of Media Studies. A veteran journalist and editor, he has worked for both the broadcast and print media covering diverse fields: tourism and travel, business, lifestyle, culture, entertainment.

In 2000, he was awarded the Grand Prize in Premio de Periodismo by Instituto Cervantes. He was named the Binhi Awards’ Environment Journalist of the Year by the Philippine Agricultural Journalists in 2010. He is the author of three books (At Large, At Leisure, PH Movie Confidential, and Easy Listening), and has co-authored other books. His short story, “Killing Trees Softly” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in November 2023, while his poem, “Rainbow’s End” came out in the Philippines Graphic Reader in May 2023.

Authors Photo R. Joseph Dazo The Red Banca On Our Island
R. Joseph Dazo

R. JOSEPH DAZO was born and raised in the City of Talisay, Cebu. He writes short fiction in Binisaya and English. He holds a Master of Arts in Literature. He is the co-editor of Libulan Binisayang Antolohiya sa Katitikang Queer (2018, Cratos). He is also the author of a collection of short fiction in Binisaya, Ubang Gabii sa Mango Avenue (2019, Kasingkasing Press). He has won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for his short fiction. His works are featured in Words Without Borders, Slice Magazine, Anomalous Press, Bisaya, and Likhaan. He is currently participating in a culture exchange program, and serves as a visiting international teacher in Manor, Texas. His short story, “The Red Banca on Our Island” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in July 2023.

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Noelle Q. de Jesus

NOELLE Q. DE JESUS is a prize-winning Filipino-American who is internationally published with collections of stories, flash fiction, and a novel. She obtained her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University and her MFA in Creative Writing at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, U.S.A. She is now based in Singapore with her children and husband. Her short story, “Somebody Else” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in September 2023.

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Totel de Jesus

TOTEL V. DE JESUS has contributed two poems in the inaugural year of the Philippines Graphic Reader monthly magazine. One for its November 2022 issue and another for February 2023. In the 1990s, a few of his earlier poems were published when Nick Joaquin edited the literary section of the then weekly Graphic magazine. De Jesus has been working for two-and-a-half decades in the media industry, and now edits for the central news desk of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He looks forward to spending the rest of his life reading and writing more poems and other literary works, while taking care of six cats at home with his occasionally sleep-deprived wife. His poem, “After Reading Hemingway’s ‘Clean, Well-lighted Place’ (For Joel Toledo and the Bayaws)” was published in the February 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Khavn De La Cruz

KHAVN DE LA CRUZ has written 11 books of poetry, two short story collections, a novel, and a reference book about the “Philippine No Wave” film movement. He has won the Palanca for his novel Antimarcos, his short story “Ang Pamilyang Kumakain ng Lupa,” and his poetry collection Larombata. He co-edited Under the Storm, an anthology of contemporary Philippine poetry, and published comics, zines, and other underground literature. His spokenword album Dilang-Putol is now available on Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Tidal, TikTok, and YouTube. His “Four Poems in Search of a Government” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in October 2023.

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Noel Romero del Prado

NOEL ROMERO DEL PRADO is a poet, lawyer, and a teacher of Literature and Law. His poem, “Three Threads” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in April 2023.

M. A. Del Rosario
M. A. Del Rosario

M. A. DEL ROSARIO is a dreamer and a storyteller. He is also a published author of graphic novels and short stories. He still believes that magic is real. His short story, “The Last Kapre” was published in the March 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Karl R. De Mesa

KARL R. DE MESA is a longreads journalist and photographer who has reported on stories in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Singapore. He is the author of the books of horror, News of the Shaman and Damaged People, as well as the non-fiction collections, Report from the Abyss and Radiant Void—both shortlisted for the Philippine National Book Awards for journalism and non-fiction. His latest book is Calling Out the Destruction. He makes music as Dark Horse (Ph) and is a certified Muay Thai instructor and medalled grappler. Updates on his works are on https://linktr.ee/karlrdemesa. His short story, “QUARAN10” was published in the July 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

His latest book is Calling Out the Destruction. He makes music as Dark Horse (Ph) and is a certified Muay Thai instructor and medalled grappler. Updates on his works are on https://linktr.ee/karlrdemesa. His short story, “QUARAN10” was published in the July 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

Ma. Ceres P. Doyo has been a journalist for more than 40 years. She wrote prize-

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Glenn L. Diaz

GLENN L. DIAZ’s first book, The Quiet Ones (1971), won the Palanca Grand Prize and the Philippine National Book Award. His second novel, Yñiga (2022), was shortlisted for the Novel Prize. His works have appeared in The New York Times, Rosa Mercedes, Liminal, The Johannesburg Review of Books, and others. He teaches literature and creative writing at the Ateneo de Manila University, and holds a PhD from the University of Adelaide. His short fiction, “The News of You” was published in the December 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

Byron Diaz Poem Bloodsheds On The Rainbow
Byron Diaz

BYRON DIAZ, 21, is a graduating college student who enjoys writing poems, essays, and short stories in his spare time. He received recognition for some of his literary works. His main objective as a writer is to amplify the voices of minorities, especially the LGBTQIA+ community, and to help provide them the rights they deserve. His poem, “Bloodsheds on the Rainbow” was published in the July 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Ma. Ceres P. Doyo

MA. CERES P. DOYO has been a journalist for more than 40 years. She wrote prize-winning stories for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and continues to write her weekly column “Human Face” for the paper. Two of her books published by the University of the Philippines Press won the National Book Awards in 2016 and 2022. Her latest and seventh book is Covid-19 in the News: Of Seekers, Scoundrels and Saints (Ateneo University Press, 2023). She hopes to encounter an extraterrestrial in her lifetime. She loves classical music and gardening. Her short stories published in the Philippines Graphic Reader include, “The Scent of Coconuts” (August 2023) and “Senior Momentous” (January 2024). Her poem, “I Read Your Name: A War Requiem” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in November 2023.

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Simeon Dumdum Jr.

SIMEON DUMDUM JR. is a retired trial court judge. He has published 13 books of poetry and four of non-fiction, and won a number of prizes for his works. His latest poetry book is Mass at the Edge of Morning. His poem “War Has a Special Currency” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in January 2024.

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U. Z. Eliserio

U Z. ELISERIO’s latest book is Shooting the Zombie Apocalypse (UST Publishing House, 2022). He is 40 years old. He dreams of becoming a painter, sculptor, podcaster, and TikToker. He’s currently a professor at the Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman. His short story, ‘The Untermensch” came out in the Philippines Graphic Reader in April 2023.

Nestor Felix Boyhood
Nestor Felix

In the 1970s and 1980s, the poems of NESTOR FELIX appeared in national magazines like Focus Philippines Magazine and Sunday Inquirer Magazine, among others. Last year, his poem, “Boyhood” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in June 2023.

Nena Gajudo Fernandez
Nena Gajudo-Fernandez

NENA GAJUDO-FERNANDEZ is a writer, poet, humanist and a student of life. Her poem, “In Gratitude” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in March 2023.

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Gretchen Filart

Based in the Philipppines, GRETCHEN FILART is a freelance editor and writer. Her essay, “Where the Gods Play,’ won second place in Navigator’s Around the World in 80 Pages Global Travel Writing Contest. Her poem, “When I think of leaving, I remember my daughter the night we lost the elections” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in January 2024.

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Rosario A. Garcellano

Journalist ROSARIO A. GARCELLANO, lately of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, is now executive editor of the digital newsmagazine CoverStory.ph. She is the author of Necessary Contexts: Essays for Our Times (Gantala Press and Alfredo F. Tadiar Library, 2022), and Mean Streets: Essays on the Knife Edge (Kalikasan Press, 1991). She studied at the University of the Philippines Diliman and at the College of the Holy Spirit Manila. Her short story, “The Heart Wants What It Wants”—published in the July 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader—won first place during the 2024 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards (NJLA).

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Richard Giye

RICHARD A. GIYE is a Cordilleran writer from Sadanga, Mountain Province. He received the BIYAG Essayist of the Year 2022 Award from Benguet. He is also a fellow of the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA). He currently teaches language and literature at Benguet State University. Last year, his short story, “Blood and Gold in Benguet” won the third prize for the short story at the 2023 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. For 2024, his short story, “The Last of the Igorot Head-hunting” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in May 2023.

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Selya Gonzales

SELYA GONZALES, 24, is a burnt-out English teacher who loves long walks, shawarma rice, and the flame trees in summer. When she writes, and she does so rarely, given the ever-erratic Manileño life, she writes about coping as a post-pandemic adult, a firstborn daughter, and a once-upon-a-time tibak in this late-stage capitalist world. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in Education, she was masochistic enough to enroll in graduate school and take up Creative Writing. Her poem, “Montage (of A Once Activist)” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in August 2023.

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Jonell Segador Gregorio
 

JONELL SEGADOR GREGORIO teaches  language and communication at Aklan State University. A year after writing this story, he got infected by COVID-19 and was in quarantine for 24 days. He finished journalism at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. His short story, “Uling” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in April 2023.

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Ramil Digal Gulle

RAMIL DIGAL GULLE is the author of four books of poetry. His writing career spans journalism, public relations, marketing copy, biographies, and the literary arts. He is the founder of Healthy Mind Manila, a mental-health support group on Facebook. 

In 2018, he won the “Poet of the Year” prize at the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards and in 2022, the Palanca Award for Poetry in English. In September 2023, his poem “Bol-anon Prodigal (Panglao Island, 2022) was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader, followed by “Maomag Prince (Philippine Tarsier Foundation in Looc, Bohol) in December 2023.

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Kiff Joshua

KIFF JOSHUA is an 18-year-old who has managed to have a poem published by Where the Write Things Are and an essay posted by Transit Dialog. He lives and breathes stories. His short story, “Simulacrum” was published in the May 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Marne Kilates

MARNE KILATES is an award-winning poet, freelance writer, editor, and translator. He has published six books of poetry and translated works by leading Filipino poets such as National Artists Rio Alma, Bienvenido Lumbera, and Lazaro Francisco. He has won the Philippines’ Palanca Memorial Awards, the National Book Awards, and the SEA Write Award given by the Thai royalty.  His works may be accessed at his website, Marneskripts, at http://marnek2.wixsite.com/marneskripts. Two of his poems were published in the Philippines Graphic Reader—“Water Rondel” (April 2023) and George Tapan’s Baler (September 2023).

Fe P. Koons Poem A Flower For Freedom
Fe P. Koons

FE P. KOONS is a poet, sports feature writer, and a film critic. She has a master’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is also the president of The Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival (The LAPIFF), based in Carson, California. Her poem, “A Flower for Freedom” was published in the July 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Jefferson Limos

JEFFERSON LIMOS is a 24-year-old student from Tarlac. He is currently studying for a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Communication at the Urdaneta City University. He usually writes and devours classic and contemporary literature in the dead of night. His short story, “What Are Years?” was published in the October 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

Zbabeth Lolarga Poem Bohemian Rhapsody
Babeth Lolarga

ELIZABETH “BABETH” LOLARGA finished journalism and fine arts at the University of the Philippines.  She wrote two books released by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House: Catholic and Emancipated (selected essays) and Moon Hanging Low Over My Window and Other Poems. A freelance journalist, the pandemic has turned her into a homebody. Two of her poems were published in the Philippines Graphic Reader—“Now that You Ask: For Bruno on Good Friday” (May 2023) and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (July 2023)

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I.S.A. Crisostomo-Lopez

I.S.A. CRISOSTOMO-LOPEZ is a writer based in Binan City, Philippines. She earned her B.A. Communication Arts degree from the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1996 and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing degree from De La Salle University Manila in 2003. She is married with four children. She has published several works of fiction including “Passage,” which was anthologized in Hoard of Thunder 2: Philippine Short Stories in English (UP Press). She has written storybooks for children, Si Lola Apura at si Lolo Un Momento (Adarna House) and Ang Bisikleta ni Kyla (Philam Foundation).

Her short stories, poems, and essays were published in Philippines Graphic, Liwayway Magazine, Philippines Free Press, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Manila Bulletin. She has also published a science fiction trilogy, the Driftland series for young adult readers. Her latest novel, The Waters of Manila Bay are Never Silent, was published by Penguin Random House Southeast Asia. Her short story, “The Wonderer in the Age of Fake” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in October 2023.

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Therese Q. Yaptenco-Loyloy

THERESE Q. YAPTENCO-LOYLOY is a freelance Technical Writer and the author of a collection of over 15 short fictions that appeared in national journals including the Philippines Free Press and Philippines Graphic. She holds an English Literature degree from Silliman University, and achieved success in publishing her literary works in the early 1990s but took a literary sabbatical when she took a full-time job in research and proposal/grants development. She rediscovered her passion for creative writing during the COVID-19 era, when she left Manila and returned to Cagayan de Oro to take over the family’s construction business. At 50, she moonlighted as a ghost writer and wrote research materials, speeches, and memoirs for businessmen. Getting the nod and having been published in the maiden issue of the Graphic Reader in 2021 after a 20-year hiatus was the validation she needed that she should be writing. Her short story, “The Root of All Evil” was published in the September 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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BENSON LUCERO currently lives in an old apartment somewhere in the Philippines. He spends most of his time reading books, writing stories, riding his retro motorcycle, and occasionally fending off mosquitoes and cockroaches. He loves fantasy and mystery books. His short story, “The Shaman’s Wall” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in Febuary 2023.

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Paolo Manalo

PAOLO MANALO is the author of poetry collections Happily Ever After Ek-Ek and Jolography Retconned. He teaches creative writing at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. His poem, “Two Poems” were published in the November 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Luchie Maranan

LUCHIE MARANAN is a past president of the Baguio Writers Group and presently the Vice-Chairperson of the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera, an alliance of progressive cultural workers and organizations and artists in the Cordillera region. She writes poetry, essays, short stories for children, and does translation. She is also a book editor, and her works have been anthologized. Her poem, “A Summer Poem for Baguio” was published in the May 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

Joseph Anthony Montecillo S.s. The Centurion
Joseph Anthony Montecillo

JOSEPH ANTHONY MONTECILLO, currently works as a content head in an advertising company. His short fiction has been published in Philippines Graphic, Horror: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults, the Philippine Speculative Fiction, and The Sunday Times Magazine. His short story, “The Centurion” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in July 2023.

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Diana B. Noche

DIANA B. NOCHE, 77, worked as an Accountant for nearly 35 years. She studied Professional Photography at the New York Institute of Photography in 1996. She submitted short stories and poems to the Philippines Free Press, What ’s Up, Health News, Panorama, Daily Tribune, and Liwayway Magazine. She currently writes articles for the Motoring Section and photo essays for Lifestyle, Manila Standard. Her short story, “Letting It Be” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in August 2023.

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Homer Novicio

HOMER NOVICIO is a freelance writer and a full-time father. He has been a resident of Tagaytay for nearly two decades now and he hopes to do a historical book on this city by the ridge. His short story, “Eight Legs is All” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in January 2024.

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Jeric Olay

JERIC TINDOY OLAY hails from Macrohon, a small town in the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines. He is a public school teacher. When he does not teach, especially at night and on weekends, he turns his ruminations into poetry. His goal is to publish a collection of poems for his barrio, Ahag (Sto. Niño). His work has appeared and is forthcoming in TLDTD, Philippines Graphic, Mekong Review, Paris Lit Up, The Bayou Review, Nebo Literary Journal, Quadrant Magazine, Acta Victoriana Journal, Poetry Salzburg Review, Ragaire Magazine, and elsewhere.

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Carla M. Pacis

CARLA M. PACIS is a teacher, writer and painter.  She was a faculty member of the Literature Department of De La Salle University and of the Department of English and Comparative Literature of the University of the Philippines.  She has written many books for children and young adults, some of which have won awards, and has published several scholarly essays on literature, food, and history. In retirement, she has begun a new career as a book packager. Carla has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award for Children’s Literature in English by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipnas (UMPIL) for her work and advocacy. She lives in a cottage in Laguna with her three fur babies Tobi, Rosy, and Bouncy, where she writes, paints and practices the art of gardening in her small garden that is always a work in progress. Her short story, “The Sweet Odor of Love” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in March 2023.

Ana Celia A. Ver Papa Poem Stella Loves Saluyot
Ana Celia A. Ver-Papa

ANA CELIA A. VER-PAPA is inclined to write poems and essays, and chats with family and friends while envisioning a good world and doing her bit to help mitigate global warming and extreme climate events or climate change for the sake of all the young ones. In July 2023, her poem, “Stella Loves Saluyot” was published by the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Aurelio A. Peña

Based in Davao City, AURELIO A. PEÑA started as campus editor at the University of Mindanao during his college days, followed by stints as industrial editor for Dole fruit company. He worked for JICA in later years, after working for a French news photo agency Sipa and the defunct Asiaweek news magazine as correspondent. Now retired, Peña spends his time as an artist, his first love, while reviving his writing passion by writing historical fiction. His historical short story, “San Rufo” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in June 2023.

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Kannika Claudine D. Peña
 

KANNIKA CLAUDINE D. PEÑA, 36, lives in Bataan. She is the author of the novel All the Lonely People, published by Milflores Publishing. Her short story, “Super Blue Blood Moon” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in June 2023.

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E. Agnes Puerto

E. AGNES PUERTO, 22, is currently an undergraduate student at De La Salle University-Manila, taking up AB Literature, major in Creative Writing, as well as taking up a minor in Education. She loves to read books, watch TV shows and movies, and write derivative and original stories to her heart’s content. She is inspired by her own desires, feelings, and experiences, as well as by what’s around her. Her short story, “The Ship” was published in the September 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Zosimo Quibilan Jr.

ZOSIMO QUIBILAN, JR. is a Los Angeles-based writer and musician. He won the National Book Award for Fiction and the Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award for Pagluwas (trans. Going to the City)-University of the Philippines Press, 2006. Quibilan wrote the music and libretto of 2Bayani, a rock musical about Andres Bonifacio, the leader of the 1896 Philippine Revolution against Spain. He has released music under the moniker Zosimo. His short story, “Beloved” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in April 2023.

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Ria Rebolledo

Born in Baguio City, RIA REBOLLEDO is a writer-editor for a university-based research journal in Benguet. She writes literary works in English and Ilokano. Her poem, “A Study on Four Artists” was published by the Philippines Graphic Reader in June 2023.

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Danton Remoto

DANTON REMOTO has published Riverrun: A Novel and The Heart of Summer: Stories and Tales with Penguin Random House Southeast Asia. He is currently at Miami University in Ohio on a writing fellowship. He has also translated Banaag at Sikat (Radiance and Sunrise) by Lope K. Santos as well as Mga Ibong Mandaragit (The Preying Birds) and Luha ng Buwaya (Crocodile’s Tears) by National Artist Amado V. Hernandez for the Southeast Asian Classics series of Penguin. Remoto has just finished a book of nonfiction, and is now writing his next novel. His short story, “The Fireflies (This tale is for Mark Brownrigg)” was published in December 2023 in the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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D. M. Reyes

D. M. REYES teaches university-level English, Literature, and Creative Writing. He keeps track of today’s exciting poetic expressions while teaching creative writing and through occasional duties at the various national writing workshops. He is completing a book of personal essays on Southeast Asia and Japan where he researched on traditional iconography and territorial symbols. Three of his poems were published in the Philippines Graphic Reader—”Chopin’s Valse de L’Adieu” (March 2023), “Bread of Heaven” (May 2023) and “Shutter” (October 2023).

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Raymund Reyes

RAYMUND P. REYES currently lives in Ottawa, Canada. He has published his short stories in various literary journals, including Your Impossible Voice, Torrid Literary Journal, Entrada, Ani, and Tomas. His short story, “The Cleaner and the Nice Woman,” was published in the May 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Ninotchka Rosca

NINOTCHKA ROSCA is both a literary writer and journalist, and a feminist organizer. She is published worldwide and has received many awards for her writings and activism. Anvil Publishing House recently brought out a collection of her short fiction under the title, Stories of a Bitter Country.  Her short story, “The Visible Part of the Brain (For Victor Barnuevo Velasco, who does Spanish so elegantly)” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in September 2023.

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Melissa Salva

MELISSA SALVA enrolled in a year-long class on how to build a collection of short fiction at Hugo House, a literary arts organization based in Seattle, Washington. Part of this collection is her short story, “Examination,” published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in November 2023. Through classes and writing retreats—organized by Women Writing, a partnership between Reni Roxas and children’s book author Carla Pacis— Melissa continues to learn about the craft of writing as well as a new approach to workshopping. She also writes poetry and books for children.

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Angelo Suarez

ANGELO V.  SUAREZ is the author of Philippine English: A novel and Ariane: A stock epic, among other books. He is a founding member of Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo (SAKA), a multi-disciplinary group of creatives advocating for genuine agrarian reform and food sovereignty. He volunteers for Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA). His poem, “Seven out of ten farmers have no land” was published in the September 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Ramón C. Sunico

RAMÓN C. SUNICO is a bilingual writer with two books of poetry and three books for children. He edits, translates, designs book covers and manages book projects from concept to finished book. A publisher in his past life, he teaches literature and humanities at Ateneo de Manila. His short story, “The Rainbow” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in February 2023.

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Gil Marvel Tabucanon

GIL MARVEL TABUCANON is currently teaching jurisprudence and legal theories at Macqaurie University, Sidney. His short story, “The Summoner” was published in the Philippines Graphic in January 2024.

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Yvette Tan

YVETTE TAN is an agriculture editor and a horror writer. She’s always asked how she reconciles both interests, and she always answers that both involve staving off the apocalypse. Her short stories that were published in the Philippines Graphic Reader include, “Horror Vacui” (June 2023) and “Three Baggies, One for Each of Us” (November 2023). “Horror Vacui” won third place at the NJLA 2024.

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Tristan Dyln Tano

TRISTAN DYLN TANO is a 24-year-old independent writer and published author. Under 8Letters, he was able to publish his debut novel, Wondering Paradise on November 12, 2022. He has been included in anthologies such as Kadiliman: Mga Kwentong Mitolohiya Sa Pilipinas and Silakbo: Real Stories of Love and Heartbreak. He graduated magna cum laude, earning two undergraduate degrees of AB Psychology and BS Business Management at De La Salle University, Manila. He was president of the Business Management Society, a founder of the first Lasallian in-reach volunteer organization the Student Care Initiative. He hosts his own podcast: “The Meaning of Life Podcast.” His short story, “Time in a Shell” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in February 2023.

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Rochit Tañedo

ROCHIT I. TAÑEDO wrote features for weekly magazines and for GMA7 and ABS CBN. As founding director of Creative Collective Center, Inc, she produced the “Who Owns Women’s Bodies?” (WOWB) art exhibit that traveled to seven cities nationwide and abroad.

Tañedo wrote a musical on HIV&AIDS; and directed the radio series titled Pag-ibig, Sekswalidad, at Relasyon (PSR) for UNICEF in 2000-2004. She won an EMMY Award for her production work on the documentary, The Philippines: Life, Death and Revolution (1986) aired on NBC Today. A National Book Development Trust Fund grantee in 2016, her book entitled Come Back to Me (Mothers Lost in Reproductive Health Delay) is published by Ateneo de Naga University Press (2023). Her poem, “Maternity Ward Woes” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in October 2023.

Fullsizerender.jpg Merlita Lorena Tariman
Merlita Lorena Tariman

MERLITA LORENA TARIMAN writes poetry in three languages: English, Filipino, and Bikol. Some of her previous work appeared in Focus, Sunday Times magazine, Inquirer magazine, Woman Today, Filmag, Diyaryo Filipino, and other periodicals. Her poetry has appeared in three anthologies, namely, Ang Silid na Mahiwaga by Soledad S.Reyes (1994), Hagkus by Paz Verdades M. Santos (2003), and Sagurong by Paz Verdades M. Santos and Kristian Sendon Cordero (2011).

Her first Bikol-Filipino poetry collection, Pinatubo At Iba Pang Tula, was published in 2014, through a grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Most of her poems were published under two by-lines, M.M. Lorena Tariman and Merlita Lorena Tariman. In 2023, the Philippines Graphic Reader published three of her poems: “Arc of Our Voice” (March 2023), “Passion of Waterfalls” (June 2023), and “A Celebration of Cycles” (December 2023).

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Pablo A. Tariman

PABLO A. TARIMAN is author of a first book of poetry, Love, Life and Loss–Poems During the Pandemic. He was one of 160 Asian poets world-wide in the Singapore-published anthology, The Best Asian Poetry 2021-22. His poem, “Ode to Frontliners” is now a marker in Plaza Familia in Pasig City, unveiled by Mayor Vico Sotto on December 30, 2020. A two-time Graphic Reader Salute awardee in poetry, Tariman was born in Baras, Catanduanes and has three daughters and six grandchildren. His second book, Encounters in the Arts, chronicles 48 years of covering the performing arts for various publications.

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Grace Torrecampo

GRACE TORRECAMPO is a 24-year-old Creative Writing student at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She studied in U.P. Baguio and settled back in her native Quezon City after a year. She dyed half of her hair blue during that time and she regrets it to this day.

Her poem, “Santan” was published in the August 2023 issue of the Philippines Graphic Reader.

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Joel H. Vega

JOSE H. VEGA lives in Arnhem, the Netherlands, where he works as a medical copyeditor. His debut poetry collection Drift, published by the UST Publishing House, won the National Book Award and the Philippine Literary Arts Council prize for Best Poetry Book in English in 2019. He was also the recipient of the Carlos Palanca Literary Memorial Awards for poetry and the essay. A visual artist, he had solo exhibits with Art Informal Philippines, Dutch galleries, and joined group exhibits at The Hague Municipal Museum (GEM), Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven), and the Fundatie (Zwolle) in the Netherlands. His short story, “Night Addict” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in November 2023.

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Kelly Baños Vergel de Dios
 

KELLY BAÑOS-VERGEL DE DIOS is a 60-year-old freelance creative writer. A Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communication) graduate of Ateneo de Zamboanga University, she has accumulated 37 years’ experience in media (TV, radio print, and online) in various capacities as manager, editor, and content producer in both English and Filipino. She writes short stories and poetry as a hobby. Her short story, “Thy Fearful Symmetry” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in April 2023.

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Achinette Villamor

ACHINETTE VILLAMOR is a film producer and screenwriter. She co-wrote the films Alipato, Bamboo Dogs, and Balangiga: Howling Wilderness. Her short story, “Wakwak” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in October 2023.

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Niccolo Rocamora Vitug

NICCOLO ROCAMORA VITUG teaches at the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of the Philippines. He is also currently taking up a PhD in Music at U.P. His book of poems, Enter Deeply, was released by U.P. Press in 2022. His poem, “Story with My Grandfather” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in February 2023.

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Criselda Yabes

CRISELDA YABES is a journalism graduate from the University of the Philippines Diliman, covering major events in the 1980s for foreign news agencies. Her first book, The Boys from the Barracks, chronicles the coup attempts against the new democracy of that era. She moved to Paris, France, in the early 2000s, later returning home to write more about the military and Mindanao, where she grew up in Zamboanga City. Her first novel, Crying Mountain, which is on the Sulu uprising of the 1970s, won the U.P. Centennial Literary Prize in 2008 and was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2010. Her second novel, Broken Islands, set in the Visayas with the super typhoon Yolanda, in 2013 as backdrop, was published in 2019. Her most recent book, Battle of Marawi, is a full account of the five-month siege in 2017 of the Islamic capital of Lanao del Sur.

In 2023, her short story, “Barcelona Is My Name,” published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in March 2022, won second place at the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards (NJLA) 2023. She repeated the feat the following year when her short story, “Near Paradise” (March 2023) won second place at NJLA 2024.

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Hope Sabanpan-Yu

HOPE YU is a poet, essayist, and fictionist. She is currently the director of the University of San Carlos Cebuano Studies Center and the chair of the Division of the Humanities of the National Research Council of the Philippines. Her poem, “Illumination” was published in the Philippines Graphic Reader in April 2023.

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