F. Sionil Jose

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F. Sionil Jose
Born 3 December 1924
Rosales Pangasinan
Died 6 January 2022
Spouse Maria Teresa Jovellanos
Parents Antonio Jose and Sofia Sionil
Other Name/s Francisco Sionil Jose

Francisco Sionil Jose, popularly known as F. Sionil Jose (3 December 1924-6 January 2022) was a journalist and fictionist. He was declared a National Artist for Literature in 2001. His most well-known work is the "Rosales Saga," a five-novel series that spans three centuries of Philippine history. As one of the most widely read Filipino authors in the English language, his works have been translated into 28 different languages.

Early life and education

Sionil was born in Rosales, Pangasinan to Antonio Jose, an Aglipayan minister and Sofia Sionil, a dressmaker. At a young age, Jose helped augment the family income by raising hogs and working as a farm laborer. He attended Rosales Elementary School and Far Eastern High School. After World War II, Jose took pre-medicine courses at the Manila College of Pharmacy and Dentistry, then took Liberal Arts at the University of Santo Tomas where he became the editor-in-chief of the university paper The Vasitarian.


Jose was assistant editor for the United States Information Service (USIS) from 1948 to 1949, and managing editor of Sunday Times from 1957 to 1960. Jose has also been an information officer for the Colombo Plan Headquarters in Ceylon and a correspondent for the Economist in London. He has worked for various publications including Comment, Commonwealth, and Asia Magazine.

In 1958, Jose founded the PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) Philippine Center.

In 1962, Jose was a lecturer at Arellano University, University of the East graduate school, and at the De La Salle University. He was also a writer-in-residence at the National University of Singapore, a visiting research scholar at Kyoto University's Center for Southeast Asian Studies, in Japan, and a consultant for the Department of Agrarian Reform.

In 1965, he was the publisher of Solidaridad Publishing House, and general manager of Solidaridad Bookshop in Ermita, Manila which he now runs with his wife. Since 1966, Jose was the publisher and editor of Solidarity magazine, and since 1967, he was the manager of Solidaridad Galleries.

He had a regular column "Hindsight" at The Philippine Star since 2011, where he wrote critiques on Filipino society, culture, and politics. In his last publication entitled "Small World", he narrated that he might need an angiogram and angioplasty.

Personal life

Jose was married to Maria Teresa Jovellanos with whom he has seven children.


Jose passed away on 6 January 2022 at the Makati Medical Center where he was supposed to undergo an angioplasty. He apparently died in his sleep and was declared dead at 9:30 P.M. He was 97.

Hours before his death, he took to own Facebook page to post what would become his final words. He thanked God and his "brave heart" for "this most precious gift" as he waited for his blood vessel procedure. He hoped to survive it and with it, be able to continue what he had been doing with so much energy.

Honorary degrees

  • PhD Honoris Causa in Humanities, Far Eastern University, 2000
  • PhD Honoris Causa in Humanities, De La Salle University, 1995
  • PhD Honoris Causa in Humanities, University of the Philippines, 1992


Jose's works have been translated into multiple languages including: Russian, Latvian, Ukranian, Dutch, Indonesian, and Ilocano.


  • Po-on. Manila, 1984. Jakarta, 1988; Lisbon, 1980.

a.k.a. DUSK, New York, 1998; Paris, 2001; Madrid, 2003.

  • Tree. Manila, 1978; Moscow, 1983

1st part of DON VICENTE, New York, 1999; Paris, 2002; Madrid, 2003.

  • My Brother, My Executioner. Quezon City, 1979; Moscow, 1983; Hanoi, 1989.

2nd part of DON VICENTE, New York, 1999; Paris, 2003; Madrid, 2004.

  • The Pretenders. Manila, 1962. Moscow (Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian), 1971; Jakarta, 1979; Amsterdam/Brussels, 1980; Prague, 1981; Tokyo, 1983.

1st part of THE SAMSONS, New York, 2000.

  • Mass. Amsterdam/Brussels, 1982; Manila, 1983; Sydney/London, 1984; Stockholm, 1986; Jakarta (Kompas), 1987; Taipei, 1988; Kuala Lumpur, 1988; Copenhagen, 1989; Bonn, 1990, Tokyo, 1991; Seoul, 1993; Thailand, 2000.

2nd part of THE SAMSONS, New York, 2000.

  • Ermita. Manila, 1988; Kuala Lumpur, 1991.
  • Gagamba. Manila, 1991.
  • Viajero. Manila, 1993; Paris, 1997; Italy, 2005.
  • Sin. Manila, 1994. Published as SINS, New York, 1996; Tel Aviv, 1998.
  • Ben Singkol. Manila, 2001.
  • Vibora! Manila, 2007.
  • Sherds. Manila, 2007.


  • Two Filipino Women. Quezon City, 1981; Bangkok, 1984.
  • Three Filipino Women. New York, 1992.

Short story collections

  • The God Stealer and other Stories. Quezon City, 1968; Bratislava, 1983.
  • Waywaya, Eleven Filipino Short Stories. Hong Kong, 1986; Manila, 1985.
  • Platinum. Ten Filipino Stories. Manila, 1983.
  • Olvidon and Other Short Stories. Manila, 1988.
  • Puppy Love and Thirteen Short Stories. Manila, 1998.
  • The Molave and the Orchid and Other Children's Stories. Manila, 2004.

Uncollected short stories

  • ”The Chief Mourner” serialized in Women's Weekly (Manila), 11 May-10 July 1953.
  • ”The Balete Tree” (serial), in Women's Weekly (Manila), 4 March 1954-6 July 1956.


  • Questions. Manila, 1988.


  • “In Search of the Word Manila”, 1998.
  • “We Filipinos: Our Moral Malaise, Our Heroic Heritage”. Manila, 1999.
  • “Soba, Senbei and Shibuya: A Memoir of Post-War Japan”. Manila, 2000.
  • “Why We Are Poor: Heroes in the Attic, Termites in the Sala”. Manila, 2005.
  • “This I Believe--Gleanings From a Life in Literature”. Manila 2006.


  • 1955 and 1960 - Asian Foundation grant
  • 1955 - Smilth-Mundt Leader Grant
  • 1957, 1961, and 1962 - First prize awards from the National Press Club
  • 1971 - Asian and Pacific Council fellowship
  • 1974 - Outstanding Alumnus Award from University of Santo Tomas
  • 1979 - Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award from the city government of Manila
  • 1979 - Fernando Ma. Guerrero Memorial Foundation Award for Literature from UST, Republic Cultural Heritage Award for “Tree”
  • 1979 - Second prize, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for “A Scenario for Philippine Resistance”
  • 1979 - Grand prize, CCP Literary Contest for “Tree”
  • 1980 - Tawid Award for Cultural Nationalism from the Ilocano Heritage Foundation
  • 1980 - Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts
  • 1980 - First prize, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for three short stories: “The God Stealer,” 1959; “Waywaya,” 1979; and “Arbol de Fuego” (Firetree), 1980
  • 1980 - Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts
  • 1981 - Grand prize, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for Mass
  • 1988 - Outstanding Fulbrighters Award for Literature, 40th Anniversary of Philippine Fulbright Scholars Association
  • 200 - Chevalier dans L' Odre des Arts et Letters, France
  • 2001 - National Artist for Literature
  • 2001 - The Order of Sacred Treasure (Kun Santo Zuiho Sho), Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, Japan,
  • 2004 - Pablo Neruda Centennial Awardee




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