Manuel Principe Bautista

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Manuel Principe Bautista (b. 20 June 1919 - d. 18 May 1996) is a multi-awarded Filipino poet and author.



Bautista was born in Tondo, Manila, on 20 June 1919.

Education and career

Bautista earned a degree in commerce from the Far Eastern University (FEU). He served for a long time as the division head of the Philippine National Bank branch in Escolta, Manila, starting as a rank-and-file employee and working his way up the ranks until he became the bank branch’s head. Though most of his life was spent as a bank employee, he had another life—that of an author and poet.

His Poetry

Bautista’s only collection of poems remained unpublished during his life. In 1997, the Ateneo de Manila University Press posthumously published the collection and gave it the title Himig ng Sinag: Mga Piling Tula. Roberto T. Añonuevo edited the work and wrote the introduction. The collection shows Bautista's growth as an innovative modernist writer in Tagalog during the 1940s until the 1990s. One critic wrote of Bautista’s poetic achievement as “distinguished in the handling of idiom, imagery, symbolic structure, and tone.”

Ateneo de Manila University Press announced plans to include 18 of Bautista’s creative short stories in a yet-unpublished anthology entitled Ang Bahay sa Kabila ng Daan (Mga Katha). Roberto T. Añonuevo said that in his short stories, Bautista never wasted words and used the discipline of poetry to shape a unique way of narrating.

In 1998, the University of the Philippines Press published Bautista's poetry along with essays by his wife, Liwayway Arceo, that were published in Isyu from 1995 to 1996. The title of the collection is 2 Tula: Manuel Principe Bautista, Sanaysay: Liwayway A. Arceo.

Tulaan sa Tren

“Baguio,” a poem by Bautista, was one of the works included in Tulaan sa Tren 2, a poetry reading project organized by the National Book Development Board (NDDB) and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA). Recordings of Filipino celebrities reading Bautista’s poem aloud, along with verses from other Filipino poets, were played over the public address system of the Light Rail Transit (LRT). The project was intended to raise the train-riding public’s awareness of Philippine literature. “Baguio” is also included in Off the Beaten Track: Tulaan sa Tren 2, a compilation of poetry from established poets such as Bautista and from lesser-known poets who joined the poetry writing contest for Tulaan sa Tren 2.

Awards Won

Among the awards that Bautista received during his lifetime are the following:

Personal life

On 31 January 1946, Manuel Bautista married Liwayway A. Arceo, another author, whom he met while he was writing for Liwayway magazine in the 1940s. They had six children: Florante, Isagani, Celia, Flerida, Ibarra, and Jayrizal.


  • website Bautista, Manuel Principe. Himig ng Sinag. Lungsod Quezon: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1997. Customer Images for: 2: Tula by Bautista / Sanaysay by Arceo. (accessed on March 22, 2010)
  • Bulawan Online blog Bulawan Online. (2009). “Rio Almanac: Hunyo-Hulyo 2009,” (accessed on March 22, 2010)
  • The Ateneo de Manila University Press website Ateneo University Press. (2002). "Himig ng Sinag: Mga Piling Tula" [book info]. (accessed on March 22, 2010)
  • Alimbúkad blog Añonuevo, R. (July 13, 2008). "Matulaing Katha ni Manuel Principe Bautista," (accessed on March 22, 2010)
  • POC Philippine Online Chronicles website Philippine Online Chronicles. (January 7, 2010). "About Tulaan sa Tren". (accessed on March 22, 2010)
  • Philippine Daily Inquirer website (August 30, 2008). "Celebrities read poetry in Tulaan sa Tren project". (accessed on March 22, 2010)
  • National Book Development Board websiteNational Book Development Board. (2008). "Winners of the Tulaan sa Tren 2 Poetry Writing Contest". (accessed on March 22, 2010)



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