MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – National Artist for Literature Cirilo Bautista died at the age of 76, the De La Salle University’s literature department announced on Sunday, May 6.
Chris Millado, vice president and artistic director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), also confirmed this news on Facebook.
“It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of our beloved professor/mentor and perhaps the greatest poet in the annals of Philippine literature – Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista. Rest in peace, our Moses, Gandalf, Nero Wolfe, Obi Wan Kenobi. Till we meet again in Paradise,” said a statement on the DLSU literature department’s Facebook page.
In a separate Facebook post, Millado said: “It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Cirilo F. Bautista, National Artist for Literature. He peacefully passed away in the early hours of Sunday, May 6, 2018. Details of his wake and funeral will follow.”
No details have been given regarding the cause of his death.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) said Bautista’s wake is being held at the Heritage Park Chapels and Crematory in Taguig City. He will be cremated on Tuesday, May 8, at 7 pm.
“Final date and time for the necrological service and state funeral shall be announced soon,” said the NCCA.
Bautista, who is part of the Palanca Hall of Fame, was inducted by then president Benigno Aquino III as a national artist in 2014, but was only given the title in 2016.
Some of his major works include Summer Suns (1963), Words and Battlefields (1998), The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus (2001), and Galaw ng Asoge (2003).
Malacañang on Sunday sent its condolences to Bautista’s family and friends.
“We remember him as one of the country’s most passionate authors, whose devotion to the study of literature paved the way for more Filipinos to develop their creative talent,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement.
“Dr Bautista’s contribution to the continuous growth and progress of Philippine literature will always be inscribed in the pages of our nation’s history. His teachings and literary works will live on forever,” Roque added. – Rappler.com