Today in Philippine History, May 4, 1917, Nicomedes Joaquin was born in Paco, Manila

Thursday May 03, 2012 ()

On May 4, 1917, Nicomedes "Nick" Joaquin, historian, journalist and a National Artist of the Philippines for Literature who is also widely known with his nome de plume Quijano de Manila, was born in Paco, Manila.

   Nick Joaquín a painting by Benedicto Cabrera
   (Nick Joaquín a painting by Benedicto Cabrera)

Joaquin, widely considered the best postwar author in short stories and novels in the English language, started as a proofreader at the Philippines Free Press and eventually bloomed as one of the Philippines' greatest writer of his time.

He has written largely about the Spanish colonial period and the diverse heritage of the Filipino people.

Notably, Joaquín deeply admired Dr. Jose Rizal to whom he paid tribute to the national hero in his books 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!"

He received several awards in his essay "La Naval de Manila" which won in a contest sponsored by the Dominicans; "Guardia de Honor" was declared the best story of the year in 1949.

In 1963, he received the Araw ng Maynila Award, and in 1966 he was conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Literature, Broadcast and Journalism.

At that time of his death at age 86 on April 29,2004, he was editor of Philippine Graphic magazine and publisher of its sister publication, Mirror Weekly, a women’s magazine.

He also wrote columns (“Small Beer”) for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Isyu, an opinion tabloid.

Reference: Philippines News Agency


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