Luzon Delegates

Priscilla Supnet Macansantos writes poetry and nonfiction in English and Filipino.  She has won prizes for her poetry from Home Life and Focus magazines, and was awarded for her essay “Departures” in the 1998 Don Carlos Palanca Awards for Literature.  She was head of the NCCA Committee on Literary Arts from 2011 to December 2013, and was Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Baguio until April 2012.  She has served in the panel of the Cordillera Creative Writers’ Workshop, the Western Mindanao Writers’ Workshop, and Lamiraw.  She holds a PhD in Mathematics.  

Francis C. Macansantos was born in Cotabato City, grew up in Zamboanga City, and has been a resident of Baguio City since 1981.  He earned his MA (Creative Writing) from Silliman University in Dumaguete City and is a five-time Palanca award winner in English Poetry.  He won the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) Writer’s Prize for Epic Poetry in 2003, and has three books of poetry: The Words and Other Poems (UP Press 1997), Womb of Water, Breasts of Earth (NCCA 2007), and Balsa: Poemas Chabacano (NCCA 2011).  Balsa is a collection of 31 poems in Chabacano, with translations into English.  It was finalist in the National Book Awards in 2012 for Poetry in English.  Macansantos has taught at several universities, including Mindanao State University and the University of the Philippines, and has served in panels of critics in creative writing workshops throughout the Philippines.

Carlos A. Arejola is the outgoing Southern Luzon representative to the NCLA, holding the post for two 3-year terms from 2008 till 2013. This stint has resulted to a number of initiatives, including book publications, literary exchanges and festivals.  Arejola's works have won prizes and citations from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the Madrigal-Gonzales Best First Book Award, the Gawad Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and other national literary prizes. He has authored a book of plays, an illustrated children's storybook, and a forthcoming book of poetry and an essay collection.   

H. Francisco (frank, fpj) V. Penones Jr., helped organize KABULIG in 1991 to promote Bikol literature, now in sustained resurgence and growth.   He is also active in the local visual arts, community journalism, and indie-film scene, having appeared in at least four films in 2013.  He works as Information Officer of the city government of Iriga and sits as a member of the National Board of Trustees of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement.

Elizabeth M. Raquel, educator, fictionist, poet, playwrite, essayist, composer/executive producer of Ilokano songs by Dhan Langaman Soundtrack Production and lead GUMIL Ilocos Norte.  A Leona Florentino awardee, Raquel was the first woman president of GUMIL Filipinas and the first woman president also of GUMIL Ilocos Norte.  Her first novel Sirmata ti Balligi was serialized in the Bannawag in 1998.  Her writing forte puts her into thick schedules as lecturer on Iloko writings in the district, division, regional, national and international levels respectively.  She has lectured on different topics foremost was when she delivered her research on Ilocano Women Writers at University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2006 and lectured in the first and second GUMIL Filipinas International Convention hosted by GUMIL Oahu in 2006 and 2009.

In 1985, GUMIL Ilocos Norte awarded her as the Most Prolific Poetry Writer and in 1989, her short story Daton bagged First Prize in the short-lived Angelo Barba Awards for Iloko Literature of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte; first Prize, short story writing contest "TAWID" sponsored by Dakilang Ugat Awards of Amado Yoro; 2nd place winner in Song Writing Competition about ABLAN HYMN; Composer/writer of Currimao Hymn; Composer/Writer of NLTC Batch '71 March and Waltz; composer/writer of Ilokano Songs for children and her drama was included in "ANI" published by CCP.

As educator, Raquel finished her Master of Arts in Education specialized in Nonformal Education (NFE) at Northern Christian College.  She also finished her Doctor of Education (academic requirements) in the same school.  She was awarded a scholarship grant in Nonformal Education by the UNESCO Japan in Indonesia.  She published her first book in NFE Pagbasaan: Nonformal Education para iti Levels II ken III in 1998.   As of now, she is busy writing textbooks for use in the primary grades in connection with the implementation of Mother Tongue-Based Multi Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) of the Department of Education.

Her husband, Marianito F. Raquel, Chief, Alternative Learning System of DepEd Region I.   Maria Eileen and Master Jovanne Bryan, both are now professionals, are the fruits of their marriage.

Premyadong piksyonista, kinikilala si Estela Bisquera-Guerrero bilang reyna ng humorous fiction sa Ilokano.  Nakapaglathala na ng tatlong maikling nobela, at dalawampung maikling kuwento sa Bannawag na karamihan ay humorous at satiriko. Siya ang auditor ng GUMIL Filipinas, ang samahan ng mga Ilokanong manunulat. Tubong Manaoag, Pangasinan, nakatira sila ng kaniyang kabiyak at dalawang anak sa Itogon, Benguet.

Johnny B. Buhay is currently a research coordinator teaching literature at PLT College, Bayombong, NuevaVizcaya.  He is the first and only Ifugao writing Iloko essays, poetry and fiction stories for commercial publication since the early 90’s.  He is an awardee in Iloko Literature and a member of the UP Diliman Creative Writing Fellowship, Batch 1997.  He loves reading Cummings poetics, Oriental poetry, Cartesian, Kantian, to Derrida’s philosophy.

Crispin Nacpil Cadiang (“Amung Cris”) served as a Catholic priest for more than fifteen years (1987 to 2003) in the Archdiocese of San Fernando (Pampanga). He completed his Philosophy and Theology degrees from the Mother of Good Counsel Seminary, CSFP. He has obtained a Certificate of Competency in Pastoral Liturgical Music from the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.  He has attended workshops and conferences in Church Music both locally and internationally.  To date, he has composed 486 songs; 394 of which are Pampango liturgical songs and the rest English Inspirational and Event songs.  He has also composed quite a number of commercial jingles and school hymns.  He has gone around the country composing music for festivals like: Bamabanti Festival (Isabela), Tabak Festival (Tabaco City), Tigaon Festival (Camarines Sur), Gaway-gawayan Festival (Cauyan City), Panagbenga Festival (Baguio City), and others.  Immediately after the acceptance of his resignation from the priesthood, he got involved in various projects like the establishment of Clark Polytechnic as a skills training school in the Clark Freeport Zone, and most recently he directed the setting up of Nayong Pilipino sa Clark Expo.  Most of the concepts and designs of the said Cultural Village are his creations. Amung Cris as many would still call him, has recorded and produced 3 CD Albums out of his musical compositions, and has staged series of concerts and musical plays.  He has also  published his songs and other creations in book series (DALIT-KAPAMPANGAN SERIES, 4 Volumes).  His advocacy as an individual is to promote the spirit of creativity and creation spirituality. His book “Gale at Gosu” (a book about All Saints’ Day and the Patron Saints of the Churches in Pampanga) was a winner in the 32nd National Book Awards (2013) as best book in NON-FICTION PROSE (Kapampangan Language).

Rosalie V. Calpito graduated from the University of the Philippines Baguio with a degree BA Language and Literature.  She was a fellow of the 2nd Pasnaan Ilokano Writers Workshop (2011) for Ilokano Poetry.  Born and raised in Camiling, Tarlac, she writes poetry in Ilokano, Filipino and English.  Her Ilokano poems were published in Bannawag Magazine, the widely-circulated Ilokano magazine.  She is currently taking up her Master of Arts in Language and Literature at the same University.  She is an Instructor at Tarlac College of Agriculture. 

Eden D. Elizan-Velarde is a native of Naga City.  One of the  Fellows of the 9th Juliana Arejola-Fajardo Workshop sa Pagsurat-Bikol, First Prize Winner of Osipon Pan-Aki (Children's Story) and 3rd Prize Co-Winner-Osipon (Short Story) of the  2012 Premio Tomas Arejola sa Literaturang Bikolnon.  A self-professed eco-feminist. 

Christine Flores was born and raised in Baguio and has taught at the University of the Cordilleras and Saint Louis University.  She was a fellow to the 38th National Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City.  Her poetry has appeared in the International Library of Poetry and the Igorota Magazine.  Writing, for her, is an ode to this earthly life—the only thing she believes is certain.  To her, words have lives of their own so she chases them around, mulls over them then shapes them into what she calls her own version of things.

Io Jularbal was born and raised in Baguio City to a Baguio-Iloko father and a Bontoc mother, Iö is currently a faculty member of the College of Arts and Communication under the Department of Language and Literature in U.P. Baguio.  He is also the head of the University’s Program for Indigenous Cultures (PIC) and researcher for the Cordillera Studies Center.  Writing poetry, short stories, and essays in his native Baguio-Iloko language as well as in English, Iö is a fellow for both the Cordillera Creative Writing Workshop and the Literary Workshop for Iloko Writers.  At present, he is a contributor for the UP Baguio faculty newsletter Ti Similla and publishes the Tangguyob a monthly newsletter for the UP-PIC.  

Melvin Magsanoc was raised in a small community at the foot of Mt. Pulag in Kabayan, Benguet.  He is an Ibaloy by ethnicity; he traces his ancestry on the maternal side from Tuba, Benguet and Baguio City, and paternal side from Kabayan.  He was a fellow at the First and Second Cordillera Creative Writing Workshop.  He is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Language and Literature program of the University of the Philippines - Baguio.  He is also the current president and one of the founding members of Ubbog Cordillera.  He writes poetry in Ibaloy and English.

Cyrilla Manglicmot is the Dean of the College of Education at Subic Bay Colleges. She is a retired District Superintendent in Zambales.  She is also instrumental in writing the history of Iba, Zambales which is showcased at the museum of San Narciso.

Jay P. Mendoza Jr. is currently the Chief of Staff of the largest Ship Management and Port Operations Firm in the Philippines. He graduated with a degree in Psychology from the University of the Philippines in Clarkfield Pampanga and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law. He owns a flower shop in downtown Olongapo.  He has worked as a researcher for several NCAA projects in 2000 and 2001 under the tutelage of Dr. Juliet C. Mallari who was then the Director of UP Clark Campus.  He is also a Freemason, a blogger, a photographer, a husband and a father.  And he lives on a mountain near the sea… a place where it’s always warm and wet.

Malou M. Nicart graduated from UP Diliman BS Education major in Social Studies, Master of Management major in Educational Management (UP Diliman Extension Program in Olongapo).  Ms. Nicart has been an online writer for various health and fitness websites since 2008.  She has also written technical articles for Microsoft CRM software last 2013 for an Australian distributor.  Currently, she is the Vice President for Academic Affairs of Subic Bay Colleges.

Eduardo J. Piano is a public servant, cultural worker, film maker, film professor, journalist – Olongapo City Councilor Eduardo J. Piano finished his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film Directing at the prestigious Russian Institute of Cinema (VGIK), the first Film Institute in the world established in 1919. He completed 18 units, PhD Creative Writing in Filipino, at the College of Arts and Letters (CAL), UP Diliman.  Councilor Piano likewise finished his Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from Lyceum of the Philippines.  Professor Piano taught Film subjects for 15 years at the University of the Philippines Film Institute.  He was elected as City Councilor last May 2010, re-elected and garnered the 2nd highest votes in the last 2013 election.

Tec Sanchez-Tolosa is a mother of three, Kapampangan language advocate, medical and creative writer, poet and book author. A Doctor of Medicine by education and dermatologist by specialty, she is a Fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society and maintains private practice in Pampanga and Quezon City. The author of “Ing Bie kung Delanan, Ing Bie kung Balikan" and awarded as a Poet Laureate of the Kapampangan Language, Tec has co-authored the memoir "My Story to Tell," and has been published in various anthologies such as NCCA's Tuglung 2, Kasapunggul a Sampaga Vol. 2 and 3, and Sleepless in Manila.  A member of Dinsulan and Parnasong Kapampangan, she is also an online columnist for electronic kabalen (

Irmina V. Torres (of Naga City and Bula, Camarines Sur) A Court Stenographer of Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur,  is taking her masters degree on Language and Literature (MLLP) at Ateneo de Naga University.  Studied Law at University of Nueva Caceres.  A fellow of Juliana-Fajardo Workshop para sa mga Parasurat-Bikol in 2012.  A fellow of 9th Lamiraw Creative Writing Workshop in Calbayog City, Samar in November 2012.  A panelist in the Ika-3 Saringsing Writers Workshop: Hunglonan nin Parasurat Bikolnon in Feb. 2013, sponsored by LGU Naga City and Parasurat Bikolnon.  Has been involved in literary school activities sponsored by the UP Harong (October 2013) and storytelling for pre-and gradeschoolers in Naga City (December 19, 2013). She is also a co-founder and member of Hagkos Bikolana, a group of women writers in Camarines Sur.  She writes in English, Bikol Naga, Partido and Rinconada.