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07 November 2010

From Kalaine Nikka Kay C. Grafil, The Varsitarian: Funeral Mass for Dimalanta set

Updated November 7, 10:30 a.m. -- THE UNIVERSITY will hold a funeral Mass for its late writer-in-residence, Dr. Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta, on November 9, Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. at the UST chapel, ahead of a necrological service.

Rector Magnificus V. Rev. Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Arts and Letters Regent Rev. Fr. Joseto Bernadas, O.P., and Graduate School Regent Rev. Fr. Jose Antonio Aureada, O.P. will offer the Holy Mass.

Eulogies will be delivered by Professors Isagani Cruz of the Manila Critics Circle, Ramon Osorio of ABS-CBN Corp., Joselito Zulueta of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine P.E.N., Bong Lopez of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, and Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature.

The remains of the former Dean of Arts and Letters will be brought to UST on Monday afternoon for a vigil, as well as a tribute to be led by the University's literary community.

Dimalanta succumbed to stroke last November 4. She was 78.

The "love poet," as she preferred to be called, is regarded as the country's most important woman poet and one of the best Filipino writers in English.

Her celebrated poetry collection, "Montage," won an award from the Iowa State University and the Palanca in 1974.

She continued to influence the Philippine literary landscape with succeeding poetry collections such as "The Time Factor and other Poems" (1983), "Lady Polyester: Poems Past and Present" (1993), and "Love Woman" (1998). In 2004, UST published the "The Ophelia A. Dimalanta Reader," featuring a selection of her best works.

The literary matriarch realized her dream of bringing together UST's literati under one roof with the establishment of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies in 1999, serving as its director. She was named UST's writer-in-residence last year.

Dimalanta, born June 16, 1932 in San Juan, finished her bachelor of literature major in journalism and post-graduate studies in literature in the University. She became assistant editor of the literary section of the Varsitarian in her freshman year at UST.

Dimalanta started teaching right after college in the early 1950s and became dean of the Faculty Arts and Letters for three terms in the 1990s up to 2000.

She received numerous honors for her work, including the prestigious South East Asian or SEAWrite Award from the Thai royal family in 1999, the Catholic Authors Award in 1995, and The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Award in 2002.

Dimalanta was a founding member of Manila Critics Circle.

Her remains will be cremated at 3 p.m. on November 9 at La Funeraria Paz in La Loma, Quezon City. Kalaine Nikka Kay C. Grafil


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