Alfredo Salanga

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Alfrredo Navarro Salanga (13 September 1948- 15 October 1988) was a Filipino poet, fictionist, and essayist.

He was married to Alicia Loyola with whom he has three children.

Early life and education

Born in Manila on 13 September 1948, he was the eldest of 10 children of Alfredo Salang Sr., a rural physician, and Concepcion Navarro.

He studied at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) on a scholarship. He received the Mulry Award for Literary Excellence when he graduated with bachelor of arts in humanities. He wrote for The Guidon, the campus paper of Ateneo, and for Heights, its literary magazine. With Emmanuel Lacaba and other students of Ateneo, he wrote the watershed manifesto “Down from the Hill”. It advocated the Filipinization of the Ateneo curriculum and the colonial education system.

He won a scholarship from the Konrad Adanauer Stiftung to study politics at the Institute for International Solidarity for Bonn.


He wrote social and political commentary for a weekly news magazine upon his return.

After Martial Law was imposed, Salanga put out a mimeographed newsletter which caused his arrest in 1973. Upon his release, he returned to Mindanao and set up the Department of Communication of Ateneo de Davao. He also worked with a number of social development foundations and edited the San Pedro Express.

He was detained again by the military for protesting the extrajudicial killing of his friend, Emmanuel Lacaba. He was released a year after.

In 1979, he worked as a freelance journalist, book reviewer, and columnist in Manila. He co-founded the Philippine Literary Arts Council, the Manila Critics Circle, and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY).

As a known advocate of the Philippine children's literature, the award given by PBBY to the best story written for children annually was named after him, the Salanga Award.

PBBY is composed of sectoral representatives form the field of education, writing, publishing, illustrating, book selling and review, storytelling, research and media.


  • Commentaries Meditations Messages a Parable Cycles and Confessions
  • Poems, 1980-1988: Turtle Voices in Uncertain Weather
  • The Birthing of Hannibal Valdez, 1984
  • Chronicles and Dispatches
  • The Aglipay Question: Literary and Historical Studies on the Life and Times of Gregorio Aglipay, 1983
  • A Personal Chronicle, 1989
  • Editor, Rizaliana for Children: Drawings and Folktales by Jose Rizal, 1984
  • Editor, New Writing from the Philippines, 1985
  • Editor, Versus: Philippine Protest Poetry 1983-1986, 1986
  • Editor, Kamao: Panitikan ng Protesta 1970-1986 (Fist: Literature of Protest 1970-1986), 1987
  • Editor, Corpus: An Anthology of Poets in Search of God

Awards and recognition




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