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REGION 2 - Writers

Le Chantal F. Caparas
Fernando Maramag was born to wealthy landowners on
January 21, 1893 in Ilagan in the Philippines. His father
was Rafael Maramag and his mother was Victoria

He finished high school in 1908 and at the age of 15, he

entered Philippine Normal School. However, due to the
insistence of his father, he transferred to the University
of the Philippines where he started to write for a school
At age 21, he was named principal of the Instituto de
Manila, a prestigious school for
gifted and well-off students.
Later, he became an English professor at UP.
He also taught at San Juan de Letran. During this
time, he met and married Constancia Ablaza, by whom
he had six children.
In 1917, he became the editor of Rising Philippines, a
daily read by almost every literate Filipino because of
its nationalistic contests. The Philippines Herald and the
National Weekly also benefited from his editorship.
With his credentials, he started to work in the
government as chief of the publications
division of the Department of Justice.
Later, he became technical assistant to then
Senate President Manuel Luis Quezon.
Maramag published countless poems which were
devoured and admired by the reading
public, like My Queen Tagala, The Atheist, A
Christ Without a Cross, Jose Rizal, and
The Presentation.
He wrote about the history of the English
language in the Philippines. This enabled him
to mine the secrets of English poetics,
especially its techniques.
Leopoldo Y. Yabes, a noted literary historian,
included seven of Maramags works in his
book of Filipino essays in English, which has
become a standard textbook in English in
Philippine schools and universities.
He died on October 23, 1936.
THE RURAL MAID By Fernando Maramag
Thy glance, sweet maid, when Forgive these words that love
first we met, impart,
Had left a heart that aches for And pleading, bare the poets
thee, breast;
I feel the pain of fond regret And if a rose with thorns thou
Thy heart, perchance, is not for art,
me. Yet on my breast that rose may
We parted: though we met no
I know not what to name thy
My dreams are dreams of thee,
Thou art half human, half divine;
fair maid;
And if I could hold thee in my
I think of thee, my thoughts
I know both heaven and earth
The hours my lips on thine are
were mine.
Edith was born was born on April
22, 1919 in San
Nicolas, Bayombong, Nueva
Her parents are Salvador T.
Lopez, an auditor for the
government, and Teresa Cutaran.
During her childhood, Tiempo's
family frequently had to move
from one province to another
because of her father's different
assignments and postings.
She went to high school in Bayombong, and then went to
take pre-law at the University of the Philippines. In 1947,
she would graduate magna cum laude from Silliman
University with a Bachelor of Science degree in
Education, majoring in English.
Her graduate studies led her to the State University of
Iowa, from which she gained an international fellowship
which lasted from 1947 to 1950. She also took part in the
State University of Iowa's creative writing workshop
which was headed by veritable American poet Paul Engle.
She received a scholarship grant from the notable United
Board of Christian Higher Education in Asia and attained
a doctorate degree in English from the University of
Denver, Colorado in 1958.
From 1964-1965, Tiempo was part of the
faculty at Wartburg College, Iowa. She also
taught at Western Michigan University from
1965 to 1966, and at the Chinese University of
Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist College
from 1978 to 1979. In 1978, she received the
Elizabeth Luce Moore Distinguished Asian
Professor Award. She also held the L.T. Ruiz
Professorial Chair in English from 1981 to
Gifted in the use of the English language,
Edith Tiempo is proclaimed as one of the
Philippines' foremost writers in English
alongside other seminal writers like Jose
Garcia Villa.
Her poetry is hailed for its witty and
complex wordplay. This characteristic is
most evident in two of her most famous
poems, Bonsai and The Little
Marmoset. Literary scholars often refer to
either of these poems in their studies of
Tiempo's work
In 1962, Edith Tiempo and her husband, Edilberto
K. Tiempo, started the Silliman National Writers
Workshop in Dumaguete City. Patterned after the
State University of Iowa's Creative Writing
Workshop, the Silliman National Writers
Workshop has churned out many of the country's
finest writers.
Filipino literary scholars recognize the Tiempos
as the forerunners of literary criticism and theory
in the Philippines
Bonsai By Edith L. Tiempo
All that I love Its utter sublimation
I fold over once A feat, this hearts control
And once again Moment to moment
And keep in a box To scale all love down
Or a slit in a hollow post To a cupped hands size,
Or in my shoe.
Till seashells are broken
All that I love? pieces
Why, yes, but for the moment ---
From Gods own bright teeth.
And for all time, both.
Something that folds and keeps
And life and love are real
easy, Things you can run and
Sons note or Dads one gaudy tie, Breathless hand over
A roto picture of a young queen, To the merest child.
A blue Indian shawl, even
A money bill.