Carmen Guerrero Nakpil

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Carmen Guerrero Nakpil (1922-2018) was a journalist, writer, historian, and government official.

Early years

Guerrero Nakpil is a child of Alfredo Leon Guerrero, a doctor, and Filomena Francisco, who is the first Filipino pharmacist.[1] She came from a family of writers and successful professionals. Her brother, Leon Ma. Guerrero III, is an essayist and fictionist.[2] Her uncle, Fernando Ma. Guerrero, is a poet and essayist.[3] Her cousins are Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero, who is a playwright and stage director; and Nilda Guerrero-Barranco and Evangelina Guerrero-Zacarias, who are poets.[4] Her paternal grandfather is Lorenzo Guerrero, who is a poet; while her maternal grandfather is Gabriel Beato Francisco, who is a fictionist.[5]

She first married Ismael Cruz, with whom she had two children, including Gemma Cruz, who is also a writer.[6] After her husband's death, she married architect Angel E. Nakpil, with whom she had three children.[7]

She studied at St. Theresa’s College, where she also taught literature.[8]


After the Second World War, Guerrero Nakpil went into journalism. She began working as a proofreader, before becoming a magazine editor and columnist.[9] She wrote columns for the Manila Chronicle for 12 years and a weekly column for the Sunday Times Magazine, Evening News Saturday Magazine, Weekly Women’s Magazine, Malaya, and other newspapers.[10]

Later, she became the chairperson of the National Historical Commission and the cultural committee of the Philippine commission for UNESCO.[11] She also worked as a representative elected by the UNESCO General Assembly in Paris from 1983 to 1986.[12]

Notable works

Guerrero Nakpil’s published works include Woman Enough and Other Essays (1963), Question of Identity (1973), The Philippines and the Filipino (1977), The Philippines: The Land of the People (1989), and a novel The Rice Conspiracy (1990).[13]

Awards and recognitions

Guerrero Nakpil received numerous awards, including the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas Award for English fiction in 1988 from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL); the Southeast Asian Writers (SEAWRITE) Award in 1990; and the National Book Award for anthology from the Manila Critics Circle for her The Philippines: The Land and the People in 1990.[14]


Guerrero Nakpil died on July 30, 2018 at the age of 96.[15] She was buried at Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City.[16]


  1. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil," Ateneo Library of Women's Writings, accessed January 6, 2020,
  2. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  3. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  4. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  5. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  6. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  7. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  8. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  9. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  10. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  11. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  12. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  13. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  14. "Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil."
  15. Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, "Carmen Guerrero Nakpil: ‘The greatest National Artist for Literature we never had’," Lifestyle.inq, July 30, 2018,
  16. Guerrero Nakpil, "Carmen Guerrero Nakpil."



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