Palace mourns passing of national artist F. Sionil Jose

Malacañang on Friday offered its condolences to the family of National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose who passed away at the age of 97.

“Sa ngalan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte at ng sambayanang Pilipino, nakikiramay po kami sa pagpanaw kagabi ni F. Sionil Jose, Pambansang Alagad ng Sining sa Panitikan (On behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Filipino people, we extend our condolences over the passing of F. Sionil Jose, National Artist for Literature, last night),” acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said in a Palace briefing.

Nograles also expressed appreciation for Jose’s contributions to Philippine literature.

“Hindi lamang isang alamat na manunulat at storyteller, si F. Sionil Jose ay isang tunay na makabayang Pilipino (He’s not just a legendary writer and storyteller, F. Sionil Jose is also truly a patriotic Filipino),” he said.

The National Press Club of the Philippines also extended its sympathy over the passing of Jose.

“Th National Press Club joins the nation in grieving over the passing of National Artist, F. Sionil Jose,” it said in a Facebook post.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) described Jose’s writings since the late ‘60s as “epic”.

“Its sheer volume puts him on the forefront of Philippine writing in English. But ultimately, it is the consistent espousal of the aspirations of the Filipino – for national sovereignty and social justice – that guarantees the value of his oeuvre,” the NCCA said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page.

The commission highlighted that his five-novel masterpiece, the Rosales saga, captured the “sweep of Philippine history while simultaneously narrating the lives of generations of the Samsons whose personal lives intertwine with the social struggles of the nation.”

According to the NCCA, Jose was also a publisher, lecturer on cultural issues, and the founder of the Philippine chapter of the international organization PEN.

Among Jose’s awards were the CCP Centennial Honors for the Arts in 1999; the Outstanding Fulbrighters Award for Literature in 1998; and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts in 1980.

The Philippine government named Jose as National Artist for Literature in 2001.

Jose died on Thursday night at the Makati Medical Center where he was supposed to undergo an angioplasty.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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