Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.

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Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.
JoseButchDalisay Photograph 3 Commons.jpg
Other Name/s Butch Dalisay

Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.(a.k.a. Pinoy Penman), also known by his pen name Butch Dalisay, is a writer, poet, columnist, playwright, and teacher whose works are always insightful, entertaining, and hilarious. He was born in Romblon on 15 January 1954.


He completed his primary education in 1966 at La Salle Greenhills. In 1970, he finished his secondary education at the Philippine Science High School. He graduated from the University of the Philippines with a bachelor’s degree in English, cum laude. He later received a M.F.A. from the University of Michigan in 1988 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1991 as a Fulbright scholar.


He dropped out of college to work as a journalist after a period of imprisonment during the time of Martial law. He wrote scripts mostly for Lino Brocka after his release as a political detainee. He is a professor at the University of the Philippines where he teaches English and Creative Writing. He also serves as coordinator of the creative writing program and as an Associate of the UP Institute of Creative Writing. After serving as chairman of the English Department, he became Vice President for Public Affairs of the UP System from May 2003 to February 2005.

He also writes for the Philippine Star in his "Penman" column, as well as political and social commentary for the newsmagazine, "Newsbreak" and the San Francisco-based "Filipinas magazine".



Listed below are some of his works:

Short Stories

  • Old timer and Other Stories, 1984
  • Sarcophagus and Other Stories, 1992
  • Penmanship and Other Stories, 1995
  • The Island, 1997
  • Selected Stories, 2005


  • Killing Time in a Warm Place, 1992


  • Madilim ang Gabi sa Laot at Iba Pang Mga Dula ng Ligaw na Pag-Ibig, 1993
  • Pagsabog ng Liwanag/Aninag, Anino, 1996
  • Ang Butihing Babae ng Timog/Mac Malicsi, TNT, 1997


  • Tayong Dalawa, 1994
  • Miguelito, 1995
  • Saranggola, 1999


  • The Best of Barfly, 1997
  • The Lavas: A Filipino Family, 1999
  • Man Overboard, 2005
  • Among My Souvenirs,

Honors and Awards

  • David T.K. Wong Fellowship for Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
  • Chamberlain Award
  • Milwaukee Fiction Award
  • American Poets Prize
  • Fulbright- Hays Scholarship
  • Hawthornden Castle Fellowship, Scotland
  • British Council Fellow to Cambridge
  • Word Festival (Australia)
  • Asia 2000 (New Zealand)
  • Centennial Honors for the Arts, Cultural Center of the Philippines
  • Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines
  • Cultural Center of the Philippines Awards for Literature
  • National Book Awards from the Manila Critics Circle
  • FAMAS Award for Best Screenplay
  • Catholic Mass Media Award for Best Screenplay
  • URIAN citation for Best Screenplay
  • Star Awards citation for Best Screenplay
  • Palanca Awards for Literature
  • Palanca Hall of Fame Winner
  • 7th Department of Tourism Kalakbay Award for Best Travel Writer
  • Fellow, Standard Chartered International Literary Festival, Hong Kong
  • Philippine Graphic Awards
  • U.P. President's Award for Outstanding Publications
  • Writing fellow, 20th Dumaguete National Writers' Workshop (1981)
  • Henry Lee Irwin Professorial Chair, Ateneo de Manila University
  • Jose Joya, Jorge Bocobo, and Elpidio Quirino Professorial Chairs at the U.P. Diliman
  • Rockefeller Fellowship in Bellagio, Italy
  • Premio Cervara di Roma, Italy
  • Has lectured at the University of Michigan, University of Auckland, Australian National University, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, St. Norbert College, University of East Anglia, University of Rome, and the London School of Economics and the University of California, San Diego

Synopsis of his works

The following are synopsis of some articles that Mr. Dalisay wrote:

Animating Philippine Literature (Penman for February 4, 2008)

In this article, the Penman said he was in Singapore for the past week with poet Vim Nadera and publisher Karina Bolasco for a British Council-sponsored seminar on “Animating Literature: Bringing Texts to Life.” He was asked to make a presentation on animating literature in the Philippines --- an overview of what Philippine professors had been doing to make literature part of the lives of students. He introduced the problems in promoting Philippine Literature like expensive literary works and economics. He then showed what some Filipinos have done to combat such problems. For example, for six years now, the National Book Development Board—a government agency with a self-explanatory name—has run a program called Booklatan sa Bayan that promotes readership in underserved regions by holding seminars on the establishment and administration of libraries and reading centers, storytelling training, and a workshop for reading trainors.

This Old House (Penman for January 21, 2008)

In this article, Mr. jose Dalisay shared with the readers a glimpse of life during the late 70’s. Thirty years ago, as a young couple with a three year-old daughter, Beng and the Penman moved into a two-bedroom bungalow on the fringes of San Mateo. The village was literally hacked out of a hillside. Real estate developers keep latching on to something giving their projects gauzy English names like “Juniper Estates” and “Westbrook Hills”. Mr. Dalisay said that he gave up the chance to live in Fairview (during the time) because his father decided to live in “Modesta Village”. Being a good Filipino boy that he was, he figured that the best compromise between independence and filial piety was to take the house next to his father’s. His and his father’s house were the only ones colored white.

An Asian Democrat (Manileno for April 2007)

In this article, Mr. Butch Dalisay introduces a remarkable man—someone who, at 85 years old, still goes to his office at seven in the morning, carries his own briefcase, and goes abroad on business trips for half the year, following an itinerary that would cripple a man 40 years younger. The man’s name is Washington Z. SyCip, the founder and longtime head of what in its prime was the largest and most prestigious accounting firm in Asia, SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co., better known by its initials, “SGV”—a marque that for decades stood for Good Financial Housekeeping in the Philippines and much of the rest of Asia. He has deeply held ideas about what’s wrong with the Philippines, and what could and should be done to set things right. He believes in democracy—Asian-style. By that he means the “benevolent authoritarianism” of our economically more successful neighbors like Singapore and Malaysia—whose humble origins he can personally remember from their backwater days in the 1960s.

Reality Bites (Manileno for February 2007)

In this article, the Penman shared with the readers his life in the wintry woodlands of Wisconsin (as a professor teaching Philippine culture and society). He said that the memory imprinted onto his taste buds that brings hot tears to his eyes in the dead of a Midwest winter in Wisconsin is the Philippines, which is considered as the mother of all Asian food stores and Asian restaurants. However, considering the sad reality of our country, he found many reasons to fly right back to the wintry woodlands of Wisconsin. For example, President Arroyo hastily turned a convicted rapist over to the Americans even before our own courts had decided on the jurisdiction issue, and then went on TV to plead for her countrymen’s understanding and palace chief of staff Mike Defensor is running for the Senate on a “Free Erap” platform, pleading the cause of “national reconciliation.”



  • Some of the articles were made and edited by Bryan Audrey Bautista and Lorenzo Angelo Santos from the Ateneo High School class 4M batch 2008. (Biography, Career, Critiques and Insights from interviewers, Synopsis of his works, and Reference)



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