Alberto Florentino

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Alberto Florentino is a Filipino playwright and book publisher. His plays in English center on the conflicts in the everyday lives of ordinary Filipinos. The most famous among his works is The World is an Apple which earned him his first Palanca Award in 1954 and remains one of the most performed plays in the Philippines.

His books of plays include: The World is an Apple and Other Prize Plays; The Portable Florentino; Memento Mori; Sangyugto; Panahon ng Digma; From Book to Stage; among others.

He published/edited 75 books under his imprints from 1959 to 2001. Among them were the early works of his colleagues like Jose Garcia Villa (Poems 55, A Doveglion Book of Philippine Poetry, Poems in Praise of Love, Selected Stories from Footnote to Youth, The Essential Villa) Nick Joaquin (Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, Laval de Manila and Other Essays, The Song of Maria Clara and Other Poems, San Eustaquio, martir, Saint Eustachius, martyr)and Francisco Arcellana (Selected Stories, 15 Stories by Francisco Arcellana, The Essential Arcellana)among many others.

He was also the main scriptwriter for the television show Balintataw and was recently honoured by Radyo Balintataw for his role in the award-winning drama series of the early 60s and 70s. The show, spearheaded by producer Cecile Guidote (now Alvarez), directors Lupita Concio (now Kashiwahara)and Nick Lizaso and Florentino was noteworthy for adapting short stories by Filipino writers like Amador T. Dagiuo, Nick Joaquin, Jose Garcia Villa, Wilfrido Nolledo, Bienvenido Santos among others.

He was one of the 1960 TOYM Awardees for Literature, an honor he shared that year with Benigno Aquino Jr. (for Public Service). In 2008, he was given a Presidential Medal of Merit for being a distinguished literary figure by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Also in 2008 he was presented with a Dakilang Pilipino Award by the Consulate General in New York. In 2011 he was among the honorees in a Tribute to the Living Legends of Philippine Theatre. On Oct 1, 2011 Florentino was one of 12 honored at the Tribute to Filipino Literary Laureates, a highlight of the first Filipino American International Book Festival (FilBookFest) held in San Francisco, CA.

He migrated to the U.S. in the early 80s and lived in New York where his third daughter Leila took over the role of Miss Saigon on Broadway after Lea Salonga. He recently moved to Portland Oregon.




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