Text and photos courtesy of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Remembering National Artist for Literature, F. Sionil José, who passed away on 06 January 2022 (Thursday). He was 97.
According to his wife Tessie Jovellanos Jose, he passed away at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined while waiting to undergo angioplasty.
The founder of the Philippine chapter of PEN, F. Sionil José was one of the most revered and read Filipino writers whose works have been published and translated into various languages.
Known for his novels and literary works espousing national sovereignty and social justice, his notable works include the Rosales saga, a five-novel series consisting of The Pretenders, Tree, My Brother, My Executioner, Mass and Po-on. The novels narrate the stories of the Samsons in different generations, intertwining their personal lives with the social struggles of the nation.
Through his prolific writing since the 1960s using vernacular English, the late National Artist received various accolades including the CCP Centennial Honors for the Arts in 1998, the Outstanding Fulbrighters Award for Literature in 1988, the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts in 1980, as well as several Palanca Awards.
He was bestowed the National Artist Award in 2001 for his outstanding contributions to Philippine literature.