Erlinda Panlilio

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Erlinda Enriquez Panlilio is a noted writer, painter, civic worker and businesswoman. She has led two very distinct lives.

Following her graduation from the University of the Philippines in 1959 with a degree of BSHE, Major in Foods & Nutrition, and further studies at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, she became a hotelier-restaurateur, working in the family business with her parents, Modesto and Trinidad Enriquez. Retiring early in her 50s, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion and went back to school to take her Masters in English Studies, major in creative writing, from the University of the Philippines, graduating in 2000. She turned her thesis into a moving biography of her mother entitled "Teacher to Tycoon--the Life and Times of Trinidad Diaz Enriquez", which was awarded the 2001 National Book Award for Biography by the Manila Critics Circle. The book was a landmark for its moving portrayal of her mother and the frank exposition of her struggles. She is active in the world of literature, editing several anthologies that were awarded by the Manila Critics Circle as "Best" in its category--From This Day Forward: Widows & Widowers Write, Comfort Food, The Manila We Knew; and two she coedited, Why I Travel & Other Essays by 14 Women (coedited with Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo), and Slow Food (coedited with Felice Sta. Maria). Her latest anthology, Belonging: Stories of Relationships was a finalist in the Manila Critics Circle-National Book Development Board awards of 2009. In the same year, her personal essay, "Saying Goodbye to the House," won for her the 2nd prize in the highly coveted Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. She gave a lecture on "The Manila We Knew" in March 2007 at the Ortigas Foundation Library, and earlier spoke on writing the biography in the auditorium of Silliman University and in the University of the Philippines-Mindanao.

She has taken lessons in oil painting at the Ayala Museum and under Angeli Hemandas; had one-woman shows in September 2003 and in 2008 at the lobby of the Hotel Inter-continental Manila.

Erlinda E. Panlilio is also active in civic work. She joined the Zonta Club of Makati in 1971 and has held several club and leadership positions, notably as club president (1984-86), District 17 Nominating Committee Chair, District Secretary, Newsletter Editor, and Chair for PR & Communications (2010-2012). She was Zonta International chairman for PR & Communications from 2006-2008. As president of the former Zonta Foundation Phils., she had worked to support livelihood training programs coupled with micro-credit assistance by Philippine Zonta clubs. She likewise supports programs to stop violence against women both in Zonta and in the United Nations Development Fund for Women (Unifem) Philippine Committee, of which she had been president and then chairman. (Unifem is now known as UN Women.)

Apart from English and Filipino, she speaks Spanish, French and Italian.

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