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No. 28 • Contributors

Robin Lim, also addressed as Ibu (grandmother), is a Certified Professional Midwife, a respected author and a world-class poet, with a passion for delivering babies with modern methods while at the same time respecting ancient rituals and traditions. Her Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Health Mother Earth) Foundation has for years operated a birthing and mother-baby health clinic in Bali, Indonesia. In 2004 her organization responded to the Indian Ocean tsunami, which inundated the coastal regions of Aceh province in Indonesia, which was one of the worst natural disasters of all time. Since then, she runs two mother/baby and emergency medical clinics, 1,000 miles apart. She has received regional and global recognition, and remains committed to changing the world through the gentle birth of one baby at a time. Ibu Robin traces the origin of her calling to a hilot (midwife) grandmother from Baguio City, in the Philippines, which city, she writes, is "the home of my heart, where I was most happy as a child." The volunteer support site for Robin Lim may be accessed at www.robinlimsupport.org.

Rogelio G. Mangahas, or Koyang Roger to younger Filipino poets, first made his mark as co-author and editor of Manlilikha, an anthology of poems, considered by some critics as a monumental in the history of the modernist movement in Filipino/Tagalog literature. He has since then been recognized as one of three (together with Lamberto E. Antonio and Rio Alma) cornerstones (tungkong bato) of modernist Filipino poetry. He finished his AB Pilipino at the University of the East, was jailed during Martial Law, and taught Filipino language and literature at De La Salle University, University of the East, UP Manila and St. Scholastica's College. Among his awards are the Palanca first prize for his poetry collection “Mga Duguang Plakard” and his critical essay on Edgardo M. Reyes’ novel, “Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag.” At present he is editorial consultant at C & E Publishing, after retiring as editor-in-chief of Phoenix Publishing House and of SIBS Publishing House. He has also served as a consultant for literature at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and country editor of Tenggara, a literary journal of Southeast Asia published in Malaysia.

Edgar B. Maranan is one of our regular contributors and early supporters of this little online literary project. He is also one of our most prolific, having won almost all of the Philippine literary prizes, from poetry to stories to drama and children’s literature, and in both the English and Filipino languages. These include the Palanca Hall of Fame, and the Philippines Free Press and the Philippine Graphic literary prizes. Having retried recently from a 15-year stint as information officer of the Philippine diplomatic mission in London, Ed’s latest project, A Taste of Home, Pinoy Expats and Food Memories, co-edited with his daughter, Len S. Maranan-Goldstein, was launched in 2008.

Marian Balcos writes us that she is an employee in a telecommunications company. “I write poetry and creative nonfiction pieces as a hobby. I don't have any formal education on creative writing or literature as my educational background is on accountancy and business management. I just read the works of both local and foreign writers to learn about their writing styles. I also read the blogs of local writers to learn more about the current situation of Philippine literature and the challenges and opportunities it faces.”

Lamberto E. Antonio is another Koyang, and the third, together with Rogelio G. Mangahas and Rio Alma, tungkong bato of modernist Filipino writing. Described by a critic as “the most persuasive voice” in contemporary Tagalog poetry, who speaks for the downtrodden without any affectation, Koyang Bert has published three books of poetry: Hagkis ng Talahib (1971), Pagsalubong sa Habagat (1986, National Book Award), and Pingkian at Apat Pang Aklat ng Tunggalian (1996, National Book Award). A consistent winner of the Palanca Awards, he has also won the Cultural Center of the Philippines Grand Prize for the Epic Narrative, the Poet of the Year of the Institute of National Language, the Manuel L. Quezon Prize, and the Writers Union of the Philippines Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas. His other works are in translation of such authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Leopold Senghor, Salvatore Quasimodo, Usman Awang , Rabindranath Tagore, and Renato Constantino. Apart form being a poet, Koyang Bert is a screenplay writer, whose Insiang, co-written with Mario O’Hara and directed by the late Lino Brocka, was the first Filipino film to be showcased at the Cannes.

Aileen Ibardaloza is one of the more anthologized Filipino-American poets. Her works have appeared in various online and print media, including the anthologies A Taste of Home edited by Ed Maranan and Len Maranan-Goldstein (Anvil, Manila, 2008) and The Blind Chatelaine's Keys by Eileen Tabios (BlazeVOX, New York, 2008). She is based in California.

Gémino H. Abad, poet, critic, and friend of young poets, mentor at literary workshops and co-founder of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC), has authored over a dozen books of poetry, fiction, criticism, and edited the landmark historical anthologies, Man of Earth (with Edna Z. Manlapaz,1989), A Native Clearing (1993) and A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, '60s to the '90s (1999). More recently, he has completed the first two volumes of Upon Our Own Ground, a historical anthology of Filipino short stories in English, and Our Scene So Fair, critical essays on early Filipino poetry in English. Jimmy has won numerous awards, including the Palancas and the Free Press, and has received local and foreign grants and professorships, among them the British Council (Oxford and Cambridge) and the Rockefeller (University of Chicago) fellowships. Dr. Abad has also served in various administrative capacities at the University of the Philippines, including University Secretary, Secretary of the Board of Regents, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Director of the U.P. Creative Writing Center (now Institute). At present he is University Professor Emeritus and Centennial Fellow at U.P.

Pablo Tariman, journalist, writer of stories, and impresario, runs his Music News and Features from home and is one of the few reliable purveyors of news and reviews about leading Filipino musical artists, virtuosos, soloists, conductors, and orchestras performing and gathering honors abroad and locally. Despite various odds, this comprovinciano persists in his love and passion, bringing artists and classical music to the provinces, not least of which is the internationally renowned pianist and his long-time Cecile Licad, at the risk of volcano eruptions, typhoons, mudslides, and untuned pianos in school auditoriums. These performances and concerts bring him great pleasure and friendships from appreciative local audiences, despite, of course, the nearly nonexistent box office returns.

Mario Mercado is a multimedia artist and designer who has been a long-time resident of the United States. He enjoys his retirement, with wife Joni and several dogs and cats, at Canopus Hollow, Putnam Valley, New York. Mario went to the School of Visual Arts for advertising design, and the prestigious Art Students League (for fine arts) of New York. He has designed and photographed for various clients worldwide, “various” meaning the likes of Volvo, General Motors, American Express, and Reader’s Digest, among others. As design director for Edward Fields, Inc., makers of hand hooked carpets, rugs and tapestries, Mario worked on orders from such clientele as Charlston Heston, Lawrence Harvey, The Waldorf Astoria, and Nixon’s Air Force One. Even in retirement, Mario maintains a full complement photography and computerized graphics studio, and concentrates on digital fine art and nature photography.

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"No. 28 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/05/no-28-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Monday, May 4, 2009, 8:54 AM.


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