In Memoriam: Leoncio Deriada

(Leoncio P. Deriada, Palanca Hall of Famer, Polyglot, and Father of Western Visayan Literature, has passed away. Those who follow this blog will know what a profound influence sir Leo was to me. I paid tribute to him in this week’s Lifestyle section of the Manila Bulletin. Special thanks to Sass Rogando Sasot and Krizette Lauretta Chu for making it possible)

2012-09-24 11.02.18

With sir Leo at Yellow Fin

Leoncio Deriada wrote about Mindanao, and he wrote about it a lot.

His large body of fiction and drama depicts the Davao region he explored as a young boy— Philippine eagles still hovering over the vast, virgins forests of towering Lawaan trees, squirrels still spiralling up Durian trunks before digging their teeth into the fruit’s tough shell, and downtown Davao still full of coconuts and carabao water holes—a Mindanao long gone, but which has been captured for all time in the vivid settings of his stories.

Although he migrated from Iloilo with his family to Davao after the Second World War, Deriada was a settler. He became the person he was in Mindanao, in the truest sense of the Cebuano term, he was “natawo” here. The place dominated his imagination all his life.

(read the rest of the article on The Manila Bulletin website)

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