Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio

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Lapeña-Bonifacio in 2005

Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio, also known as Tita Amel, is a playwright, writer, and a set designer. She is dubbed The Grande Dame of Southeast Asian Children’s Theater.


She started receiving awards and editorships for her writing as early as high school and college. Her set designing began in the University of the Philippines where she earned a Fulbright-Smith Mundth Scholarship to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She became Research Fellow of several local and international grants. In 1977, she founded and managed "Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas," an official UP children’s theater and puppetry troupe.

She worked for the recognition of more women writers. She also held workshops on children’s literature which gave birth to two important organizations: KUTING (writers for children’s books) and INK (illustrators for children’s books).

At present, she is Professor Emeritus of the UP where she also serves as Professor of English. Now in her mid-70s, she is still active in theater, performing for child and for adult audiences, writing plays, designing and creating puppets, costumes and sets, and setting the direction of children’s literature and children’s theater in the country.

On July 7, 2005 President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to theater.


  • Chairperson, UP Creative Writing Program
  • Director, UP Creative Writing Center, 1986-1995
  • President, UNIMA-Pilipinas (Union International dela Marionnette)
  • President, ASSITEJ-Philippines (International Association of Theater for Children and Young People)



  • Sepang Loca (1957)
  • Rooms (1958)
  • Ang Paghuhukom
  • Sita & Rama: Papet Ramayana
  • Papet sa Pasko (1987)
  • Papet pasyon (1992)


  • American Biographical Institute World Lifetime Achievement Award
  • ASEAN Award for Literature
  • Ford Foundation Fellow
  • TOYOTA Foundation Award
  • ASPAC Fellow
  • Gawad ng Maynila (para sa Dula)
  • Winner, First National Zarzuela Writing Competition
  • U.P. Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award
  • PBBY Lifetime Achievement Award (2005)


"Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio". Panitikan. (accessed 20 November 2007).



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