Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature, dies at 89

News of the National Artist’s death was announced early Tuesday | IMG Source: Tala Lumbera’s Facebook Post

MANILA, Philippines –On a Facebook post by Tala Lumbera, the multi-awarded poet, critic, and dramatist died early on Tuesday. Details on the cause of death were not disclosed.

Recognized as one of the pillars of contemporary Philippine film, cultural studies, and literature, Bienvenido Lumbera was applauded as a National Artist for Literature in 2006. He was also a notable instructor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and University of Santo Tomas. He taught Literature, Creative Writing, and Philippine Studies.

Lumbera was arrested in January 1974 under the Marcos Regime; he was released in December of the same year. In 1976, he began teaching at the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literatures at UP. The following year, he served as the editor of Diliman Review –  a publication that was openly against the dictatorship. 

He also took on other creative projects such as librettos for musical theater, musical dramas, books, anthologies, and textbooks. Lumbera was lauded with prestigious literary distinctions. He received the Ramon Magsaysay Awards for Literature, Creative Communications, and Journalism. Alongside, he also won literary awards from the National Book Foundation and Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards. 

Outpour of prayers and condolences from organizations, students, and colleagues were posted on social media when news of his death was announced. 

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