National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera has died at age 89.
According to a post on his daughter Tala’s Facebook page, he died on Tuesday, September 28.
Lumbera, who was named National Artist for Literature in April 2006, is known for his theatrical works including the librettos for Tales of the Manuvu, Rama Hari, and Hibik at Himagsik nina Victoria Laktaw as well as his poetry collection Likhang Dila, Likhang Diwa.
As a professor of literature, he authored several critical books, including Revaluation: Essays on Literature, Cinema, and Popular Culture, and the textbook Philippine Literature: A History and Anthology.
He also received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts in 1993.
Figures from the literary scene mourned Lumbera’s passing.
“Ang sakit ng pagyao ng Artista ng Bayan. Maraming salamat, Bienvenido Lumbera (The death of a National Artist hurts so much. Thank you, Bienvenido Lumbera),” wrote fictionist and professor Rolando Tolentino in a Facebook post.
Poet and fellow National Artist Virgilio Almario wrote a short verse for Lumbera, while poet Marne Kilates shared his English translation of Lumbera’s poem, “Mga Kulay ng Lumbay.”