Why The Arts Should Matter

Dr. Jose Dalisay, Jr.

Dr. Jose Dalisay Jr. (Butch Dalisay to readers of his “Penman” column in the Philippine STAR) was born in Romblon, Philippines in 1954.

He has published over 30 books of his stories, plays, and nonfiction in both English and Filipino, with six of those books receiving the National Book Award. More than 20 of his screenplays have also been produced. In 1998, he was named to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Centennial Honors List as one of the 100 most accomplished Filipino artists of the past century.

He graduated from the University of the Philippines in 1984 (AB English, cum laude), and then received an MFA from the University of Michigan (1988) and a PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1991) on a Fulbright-Hays grant. He teaches English and Creative Writing as a full professor at the University of the Philippines, where he also serves as Director of the UP Institute of Creative Writing. After serving as chairman of the English Department, he assumed the post of Vice President for Public Affairs of the UP System from 2003 to 2005.

Among his literary distinctions, he has won 16 Carlos Palanca Awards in five genres (entering the Palanca Hall of Fame in 2000), five Cultural Center of the Philippines awards for playwriting, and Famas, Urian, Star and Catholic Film awards and citations for his screenplays. He was named one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of 1993 for his creative writing by the Philippine Jaycees. In 2007, his second novel, Soledad’s Sister, was shortlisted for the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize in Hong Kong.

He has been a Hawthornden Castle, British Council, David TK Wong, Rockefeller, and Civitella Ranieri fellow, and has held many professorial chairs and the Artist III and Natatanging Guro awards at UP.

About The Author
- TVUP is an Internet television (webcast) network operated by the University of the Philippines which delivers free content for information and educational purposes.