MANILA, Philippines – Poet and journalist Ariel Dim Borlongan died on Wednesday, August 7, of heart attack. He was 60.
The news was announced by his daughter Zey Borlongan; and his partner, Mavic Ragudos, through Borlongan’s Facebook account.
While he took up AB English at Feati University, Borlongan wrote his literary works in Filipino. He also edited and wrote columns for a broadsheet (Diyaryo Filipino), a magazine (Filipino Magazin), and several tabloids in Filipino. His latest post was as associate editor of Balita.
The multi-awarded poet was also known for Bagong Lumipas 1 and Bagong Lumipas 2, his translation into Filipino of nationalist Renato Constantino’s two volumes of history books, A Past Revisited and The Continuing Past.
Borlongan’s poetry – which tackled the struggles of the working class, the oppressed, and the marginalized – have been anthologized in Unang Bagting (1988) and Parikala (1990), both by the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo or LIRA, the poetry group which he and other fellows of the Rio Alma Poetry Clinic formed in 1985.
He published his own collection of poems, Pasintabi sa Kayumanggi in a back-to-back volume with his friend and fellow LIRA founding member Vim Nadera’s Dalit, Galit, Halit, Malit, Ngalit, Palit, Salit (Anvil Publishing, 1993).
In 2018, Borlongan received the Gawad Balagtas from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas or Umpil. Before this, he had won the Gawad Galian (1984); Talaang Ginto (1985, 1987, 1988, 1989); and the Palanca Awards (1986, 1988).
He was also a fellow of the University of the Philippines Writers Workshop and of Ricky Lee’s Scriptwriting Workshop, both in 1984.
A mass will be offered for Borlongan at 7 pm on Friday, August 9, at the Blessed Heart Memorial Garden in Wawa, Balagtas, Bulacan, where fellow poets will pay him tribute. He will be interred on Saturday, August 10. – Rappler.com