ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rolando Santos Tinio (March 5, 1937 – July 7,
a Filipino poet, dramatist, director, actor, critic, essa
Rolando Tinio is a Philippine National Artist for
Theater and Literature.
He was born in Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila on
March 5, 1937.
As a child, Tinio was fond of organizing and
directing his playmates for costumed celebrations.
He was an active participant in the Filipino movie
industry and enjoyed working with Philippine
celebrities who he himself had admired in his
Tinio himself became a film actor and scriptwriter.
He is often described as a religious, well-behaved
and gifted person. Tinio graduated with honors (a
"magna cum laude" achiever) with a degree
in Philosophy from the Royal and
Pontifical University of Santo Tomas at age 18 in
1955 and an M.F.A. degree in Creative
Writing:Poetry from the State University of Iowa.
In Iowa, Tinio was known as a great writer that used
English as the medium of the Filipino writer.
He wrote his poetic collection: Rage and Ritual
which won an award from the University of the
Once, in a conference, an author delivered his
belief in the value of the Tagalog dialect in Creative
Writing. In response to this, Tinio published an
article in the scholarly journal Philippine Studies,
which contained parts of English poems translated
into Tagalog. The article’s purpose was to prove the
inadequacy of Tagalog as the writer’s medium.
In the mid-1960s, however, Tinio decided to try writing in
Tagalog and the product of this trial was the collection of
poems now called Bagay. Rolando Tinio was the sole
inventor of “Taglish” in Philippine poetry. Through this,
he gave an authentic tone to the poetry of the native
middle-class Filipino. In 1972, Tinio wrote another poetry
collection: Sitsit sa Kuliglig and this showed the great
contrast between his old and new advocacy. If in Rage
and Ritual, portrayals of art and the artist that are not
closely associated with the Filipino lifestyle are
communicated, Sitsit sa Kuliglig clearly portrays the
everyday experiences of a Tondo-grown individual now
living in Loyola heights. Heaven and earth; the gap
between Tinio’s works in English and those in
Tinio was also an actor, director, and a set and
costume designer. He served all these roles during
his stay with the Ateneo Experimental Theater. Tinio
chooses the plays, designs the stage, directs,
creates the costumes and determines the musical
score and other sounds.
His work with the Ateneo Experimental Theater
expresses the concept of the actor being merely
one of the director’s tools in shaping the stage;
communicate his vision through all aspects of the
He published four seminal books of poems between
1972 and 1993, in which, along with his longtime
friend, Bienvenido Lumbera, helped modernize the
traditionally sentimental Filipino style. He had also
worked on his own projects such as the Ateneo
Experimental Theater productions and other
serious dramas in Filipino.
Circa 1976, Tinio also wrote the lyrics for the six hymns
of the "Misa ng Alay-Kapwa" the music for which was
composed by Fr. Eduardo P. Hontiveros, SJ. (The most
popular of these hymns still sung in Churches
throughout the Philippines is "Buksan ang Aming Puso.)
These hymns were published in the now out of print, -
Mga Awiting Pansamba-.
Rolando Santos Tinio was directing a musical when he
suffered a heart attack in Manila on July 7, 1997. He
died on July 8, 1997 at age 60. His wife, theatre and film
actress, Ella Luansing had died some years before. He
was survived by his two children, Antonio and Victoria.
VALEDICTION SA HILL CREST
Pagkacollect ng Railway Express sa aking things
(Deretso na iyon sa barko while I take the plane.)
Inakyat kong muli ang N-311, at dahil dead of winter,
Nakatopcoat at galoshes akong
Nagright-turn sa N wing ng mahabang dilim
(Tunnel yatang aabot hanggang Tundo.)
Kinapa ko ang switch sa hall.
Sa isang pitik, nagshrink ang imaginary tunnel,
Strangely absolute ang impression
Ng hilera ng mga pintong nagpuprusisyon:
Individual identification, parang mummy
De-nameplate, de-numero, de-hometown
Antiseptic ang atmosphere, streamlined yet.
Kung hindi catacomb, at least
E filing cabinet.
Filing, hindi naman deaths, ha.
Remembrances, oo. Yung medyo malapot
Dahil alam mo na, I’m quitting the place
After two and a half years.
After two and a half years,
Di man nagkatiyempong mag-ugat, ika nga,
Siyempre’y nagging attached, parang morning
Mahirap mapaknit sa alambreng trellis.
At pagkabukas ko sa kuwarto,
Hubo’t hubad na ang mattresses,
Wala nang kutson sa easy chair,
Mga drawer ng bureau’y nakanganga,
Of course, tuloy ang radiator sa
Nasa New York na si Bob and the two
Yung mga quarterbacks across the hall
Pihadong panay ang display sa Des
Don ang Cosntance aren’t coming back at
Gusto ko nang magpaalam–
The drapes? The washbowl? Sa double-
Na pinaikot-ikot naming ni Kandaswamy
To create space, hopeless, talagang
Of course, tuloy ang radiator sa paglagutok.
(And the stone silence,
nakakaiyak kung sumagot.)
Bueno, let’s get it over with.
It’s a long walk to the depot.
Tama na ang sophistication-sophistication.
Sa steep incline, pababa sa highway
Where all things level, sabi nga,
There’s a flurry, ang gentle-gentle.
Pagwhoosh-whoosh ng paa ko,
The snow melts right under:
Nagtutubig parang asukal,