Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nick Joaquin on Stamps

Nick Joaquin was a Filipino writer, historian and journalist, best known for his short stories and novels. He was also one of the National Artists of the Philippines for Literature. After winning a Dominican Order-sponsored nationwide essay competition for La Naval de Manila, the University of Santo Tomas awarded Joaquín an honorary Associate in Arts (A.A.) and a scholarship to St. Albert's College, the Dominican monastery in Hong Kong. However, he dropped out after only a year. Upon his return to the Philippines, he joined the Philippines Free Press, starting as a proofreader. Soon this two-time dropout was being noticed for his poems, stories and plays, as well as his journalism under the pen name Quijano de Manila. His journalism was markedly both intellectual and provocative, an unknown genre in the Philippines at that time, raising the level of reportage in the country. Joaquín deeply admired José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Joaquín paid tribute to Rizal by way of books such as The Storyteller's New Medium - Rizal in Saga, The Complete Poems and Plays of Jose Rizal and A Question of Heroes: Essays in Criticism on Ten Key Figures of Philippine History. He also translated the hero's valedictory poem, "Land That I Love, Farewell!"