Award-winning writer Clinton Palanca dies

MANILA, Philippines – Award-winning writer Clinton Palanca, considered as one of the  best writers of his generation, has died. He was 45.

His wife Lourdes posted a tribute for Clinton on her Facebook page, saying: “Goodbye my gentle Clinton, as I lay you to rest today. You were the love of my life, and I will carry that love throughout this life and the next." She also asked their friends to give their family time to grieve, and said she will post wake details soon.

Clinton won two Palanca Awards for his short stories The Apartment and The Window, as well as another one for his essay, In Paris. His novelette, Identifications, was part of Anvil’s fiction anthology Catfish Arriving in Little Schools (1996), edited by Ricky de Ungria, who described Palanca as someone who “writes like no other in his age."

Landscapes (University of the Philippines Press), his collection of short fiction and earlier works for children, was published in 1996.

Clinton was also a food writer, having written about his culinary adventures for various publications including the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Town & Country.

He authored several books on Philippine cuisine, including The Gullet: Dispatches on Philippine Food, My Angkong’s Noodles, and The Malagos Book of Chocolate.

Beyond fiction and food, he wrote about Philippine politics and culture, and has been published in Esquire,  The New York Times, and Newsbreak. 

He had also shared his knowledge on food and food writing, teaching workshops and speaking at various events. 

He is remembered by his fellow writers including Sarge Lacuesta, Alicia Sy, and Ian Casocot, whose tributes were posted on Facebook, as well as published on Esquire and Town & Country.

In a Facebook post, author Miguel Syjuco wrote of Palanca: “He cast such an elegant sheen on everything he touched, and he touched on so many things – writing, food, all manner of arts, collectibles, every aspect of life. To me he showed how to live fully, how to appreciate what was finely wrought, how to love deeply and without hesitation – all of which prepared me to now appreciate and celebrate his life as it should be. There’s nobody like him and never will be.”


In an Esquire video from February 2018, Clinton mused on the idea of legacy, saying, "I think that legacy is the sum total of everything that you've learned, everything that you want to pass on, and so it's a kind of timeline that we're sliding along on."

"My own legacy would probably be a nice family, some works of fiction and non-fiction, and maybe a small collection of records and fountain pens. I'd be happy with that," he said. –