Award-winning author Edgardo B. Maranan, acclaimed by many of his peers as among the best writers of his generation for his creative works in different genres and languages, passed away on Tuesday. He was 71.
He died of complications from cirrhosis of the liver, a source told The Manila Times.
His death came days after National Artist for Literature Cirilo F. Bautista and architect and Philippine heritage advocate Augusto F. Villalon passed away.
Maranan was born in Bauan town, Batangas province on November 7, 1946. He and his family later moved to Baguio City, where he finished his elementary and high school education at Saint Louis University.
He graduated with a foreign service degree at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Quezon City in 1967. He started teaching and studying for a master’s degree in political science there in 1969, during which he became involved in activism.
Maranan went underground after Martial Law was declared in September 1972, but was arrested in 1976 and spent two years in detention in Bicutan. After his release, he taught graduate courses in Philippine studies at the Asian Center in UP.
The author later worked as foreign information officer at the Philippine embassy in London from 1993 to 2006. He returned to the country after his diplomatic stint and devoted himself to creative writing full-time until his death.
Maranan is regarded by many as the most honored writer in the history of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, having won a total of 35 prizes between 1971 and 2015.
Of these, five placed first by 2000, when he was inducted into the prestigious literary competition’s Hall of Fame: full-length play Ang Panahon ni Cristy (Cristy’s Time) (1978), poem Voyage: Poem (1984), children’s short story Pamana ng Bundok (Heritage of the Mountain) (1989), essay Island and Hitherland (1992), and poetry collection Tabon and Other Poems (2000).
He also won prizes from the National Book Awards, the Philippines Free Press Awards, the Philippines Graphic magazine’s Nick Joaquin Literary Awards, and the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) Writer’s Prize, among many others.
He published several books, mostly for children, including Passages: Poems 1983-2006 (2007), The Secret of the Cave and Other Stories for Young Readers (2011), and the Palanca Award-winning The Google Song and Other Rhymes for Our Times (2017).
Maranan is survived by Diego and Len, his children with former wife and Palanca Award-winning poet Aida Santos, and sister Luz “Luchie” B. Maranan, also a prize-winning writer.
His wake is at the Church of the Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman until late Thursday. In a Facebook post, Luchie said her brother would be cremated on Friday and his ashes brought to Baguio City.