Ricaredo Demetillo (born 2 June 1919) is a Filipino poet, essayist and playwright. Using English and English metrics, he pioneered a linkage with the oral tradition which resulted in the award-winning Barter in Panay: An Epic, an epic about the life of Datu Sumakwel, the first datu and law-giver of Panay. The said epic is considered to be the first true literary epic of the Philippines.
Demetillo is married to Angelita Delariarte. Their daughter Becky Demetillo-Abraham is a singer while their son Lester is a guitarist.
Early life and education
Ricaredo was born on 2 June 1919 to Querobin Demetillo and Rebecca Delariarte. He studied at the Dumangas Elementary School, Iloilo High School, Central Philippine Colleges, and Silliman University.
He was a seminarian at the Protestant Central Philippine Colleges when the World War II broke out. There, he discovered his talent and passion for writing. He soon studied at the Iowa Creative Writing Center and the Indiana University. In 1952, he received his master of fine arts degree in English and creative writing from the State University in Iowa.
In 1952, he taught at Silliman and served as adviser of Sands and Coral. He started teaching literature and the humanities at the University of the Philippines (UP) in 1955.
His works first appeared in the Graphic in 1939. His poems, essays, and short stories have also come out in Sands and Coral, Literary Apprentice, Diliman Review, Comment Magazine, Poetry Magazine (USA), Iowas Workshop Brochure, and Botteghe Oscure (Rome). His works were also included in Katha I, 1953; Philippine Writing, 1953; and Philippine Poetry Annual: 1947-1949, 1950.
He published several collections of poetry. Among them were, No Certain Weather, 1956; La Via: A Spiritual Journey, 1958; Barter in Panay: An Epic and Daedalus and Other Poems, 1961; The Scarecrow Christ, 1970; The City and the Thread of Light, 1973; Lazarus, Troubadour, 1974; Masks and Signature, 1984; and First and Last Fruits, 1989.
His other works inlcude a play, The Heart of Emptiness is Black, 1975; a novel, The Genesis of a Troubled Vision, 1976; and literary criticism, The Authentic Voice of Poetry, 1962, and Major and Minor Keys: Critical Essays on Philippine Fiction and Poetry, 1987.
- Harper's Introductory Geography: With Maps and Illustrations Prepared Expressly for This Work By (Classic Reprint), 2012
- Six Filipino Poets, with Leonard Casper and Edith L. Tiempo, 1955
- My Sumakwelan works in the context of Philippine culture, 1976
- A Study of the Ideological, Religious and Moral Content of the Lyric Poetry of Ricardo Demetillo, Etc, with Manuel Prado Estevez, 1970
- Sun, Silhouettes, and Shadows: Photo Essay of Rural People and Places, with B. David Williams, 1975
- The Golden Jubilee Ode, for Narrator, Soloist, Speech Choir, Chorus and Orchestra, with Eliseo M. Pájaro, 1959
See Ricaredo Demetillo's available e-book at Vibe Bookstore.
Awards and recognition
- First prize for The Heart of Emptiness is Black, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, 1973
- Third prize for his poetry collection The City and the Thread of Light, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, 1975
- Second prize for the essay “The Sociopolitical Implication in the Fiction of F. Sionil Jose”, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, 1984
- UP Golden Jubilee Award for Art Criticism, 1958
- Jose Rizal Centennial Award for an essay on Rizal's relevance to the present, 1961
- Republic Cultural Heritage Award for Literature, 1968
- Southeast Asian Writers (SEAWRITE) Award, 1985
- Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL), 1992
- “Demetillo, Ricaredo” CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art: Volume IX Philippine Literature, 1994. 588-89. Print.
- “Ricaredo Demetillo”.amazon.(Accessed on 9 October 2013).
- “Ricaredo Demetillo”.goodreads.(Accessed on 9 October 2013).
- “Ricaredo Demetillo”.geocities.(Accessed on 9 October 2013).
- “Barter in Panay: An Epic”.Vibe Bookstore.(Accessed on 9 October 2013).
- “Ricaredo Demetillo”.Google Books.(Accessed on 9 October 2013).