National Artist for Literature and UP Professor Emeritus Bienvenido Lumbera passed away on Sept. 28 from complications due to a stroke. He was 89.
Dr. Lumbera was a Professor Emeritus at the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature in UP Diliman where he taught since 1976 after being imprisoned during Martial Law.
Lumbera was known for his courage in the face of fascism. In a 2015 interview, he said that “revolution can never be passé when you have an administration that is authoritarian.”
Beyond this, Lumbera was also a luminary in the fields of literature, journalism, and creative communication arts for which he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award. This was in addition to other accolades including multiple National Book Awards and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award.
In 2006, Lumbera was proclaimed National Artist for Literature in recognition for his “preeminent excellence, and of the national genius that contributes to the artistic heritage of the Philippines and the world.”
The UP Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts remembers his artistic contributions to Dulaang UP for which he has written plays like “Hibik at Himagsik nina Victoria Laktaw.” Lumbera, fondly remembered as ‘Lolo Bien’ by the department, was said to have been “an inspiration and mentor to many Filipino writers.” DZUP