National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera dies at 89


photo from the Cultural Center of the Philippines

NATIONAL ARTIST for Literature and Faculty of Philosophy and Letters alumnus Bienvenido Lumbera, 89, passed away on Sept. 28 due to “complications of stroke.”

Lumbera’s death was confirmed by his daughter Tala Lumbera through a Facebook post, while Metro Manila Film Festival spokesperson Noel Ferrer disclosed the cause of death.

Lumbera finished his Bachelor of Literature in Journalism cum laude in 1957 in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, now Faculty of Arts and Letters. He also served as a literary editor of the Varsitarian in 1953.

He was named National Artist for Literature in 2006. 

Lumbera was also a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communications in 1993, and Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in 1975.

He was known for his theatrical works “Tales of the Manuvu,” “Rama Hari,” and “Hibik at Himagsik nina Victoria Laktaw,” as well as his poetry collection “Likhang Dila, Likhang Diwa.”

He taught as a professor at UST, Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle University, and the University of the Philippines. 

Department of Literature professor Joselito Delos Reyes expressed his grief on Facebook as he bid the late national artist farewell.

“Paalam, Dakilang Tomasino at Pambansang Alagad ng Sining sa Panitikan, Bien Lumbera. Bukal ng karunungan at kabutihan. Hanggang sa muli,” Delos Reyes wrote. F

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