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10 MOST POPULAR FILIPINO WRITERS OF ALL TIME

02/08/2012 Featured, Filipino Authors, Filipino Poet, Filipino Short Stories in English, Filipino Short Stories in
Tagalog, Filipino Short Story Reviews, Published Short Stories
The works created by these authors cited below have in one way or another touched and influenced the
lives of every Filipino people. It was made possible through their works to reflect the real condition,
beliefs, character, and in general, the culture of the Filipino nation. Furthermore, their works have brought
glory and honor to our country by winning numerous literary awards. Thus, they are considered to be real
gems of the Philippine Literature.

10. Martha Cecilia


Maribeth dela Cruz who’s more known under her pen name, Martha Cecilia, which was taken after her
daughter’s name, is one of – if not the most popular Tagalog romance pocketbook writer of today. Most of
her written works became best-sellers and her very popular Kristine pocketbook series which consists of
a total of 54 books was even turn into a TV series by one of the largest broadcasting network in the
country. She is best known for writing love stories with happy endings and she has released over 100
books under her current company, Precious Heart Romance.

9. Carlo J. Caparas
He was the man responsible for the creation of the undying story of Ang Panday (The Blacksmith). In
addition to that, he also created other great stories who later turned to movies and/or TV series such as
Gagambino, Bakekang, Totoy Bato, and Joaquin Bordado to name a few. Caparas was originally a comic
strip writer who later ventured in to film directing and producing. In July 2009, he was proclaimed as a
National Artist of the Philippines in the category of Visual Arts and Film.

8. Mars Ravelo
Like Caparas, Mars Ravelo is also a comic strip writer and creator who rose to popularity because of his
works such as Darna (a local version of America’s wonderwoman), Dysabel (a mermaid whose fate is a
little similar to Ariel of “The Little Mermaid”), and Captain Barbel (a local version of Superman) to name a
few. As you may have observed, Ravelo’s works are so much alike to some American fictional stories.
This is because he was born at the time when Philippines was still an American Territory. Thus, it’s
understandable that his writing is heavily influenced by the American literature. Ravelo started out as a
cartoonist who worked his way up until he became an editor-in-chief for several publications and film
companies before establishing his own company. During his time, he was the highest paid comic writer.

7. Gilda Olvidado
Sinasamba kita, Babangon ako at Dudurugin kita, and Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig are some of the
works done by Gilda Olvidado which made her popular. In fact, the screenplay Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-
ibig, became a blockbuster and was awarded Best Story during the 36th FAMAS Awards Ceremonies in
1987. Currently, Olivado is an in-house writer of GMA network, a popular broadcasting company in the
Philippines.

6. Nick Joaquin
He is one of the most renowned, well-respected, and highly admired writer in the Philippines. In fact he
was considered as the most important Filipino writer in English and in general the third most important
after Jose Rizal and Claro M. Recto. Nick Joaquin, also known by his pen name Quijano de Manila, was a
writer, historian, and journalist who used the English language in his works. He received so many awards
and recognition both local and international due to his brilliance in writing. As a journalist he was both
intellectual and provocative—which pave the way to increase the level of reportage in the country—
something that is unknown to the Philippines at that time. In 1976, he received the National Artist of the
Philippines for Literature, among any others.

5. Lualhati Bautista
Phenomenal novels such as Dekada ‘70, Bata, Bata, Pa’no ka Ginawa?, and Gapo are all written by the
multi-awarded Lualhati Bautista. She was one of the primary female writers in the history of contemporary
Philippine literature. Although a college dropout, her writing ability is praised and admired by many. As a
writer, she was highly commended for her honest realism and fearless exploration of Philippine Women’s
and Political issues. Bautista earned several Palanca Awards for her novels that exposed injustices and
portrays women activism during the Martial Law Period. Aside from being known locally, works by
Lualhati are also being recognized abroad. In fact, she was the only Filipino who got included in a book
on Foremost International Women Writers published in Japan in 1991. Lastly, excerpts from her novels
have been anthologized in a book of short stories written by Filipino women which was published in
Finland by the Finnish-Philippine Society.
4. F. Sionil Jose
Francisco Sionil Jose is a Filipino novelist, writer, and journalist. Like Nick Joaquin, most of Jose’s works
are written in English and he became one of the most read Filipino writers both in the local and foreign
scene. His creations portray the social condition of the Filipino Society under colonialism and since all of it
were written in English, it has been easily translated into 22 languages like Korean, Russian, Dutch, and
among any others. Jose’s writing has been deeply influenced by the life and works of Jose Rizal—having
found some similarities between his and Rizal’s life in terms of witnessing social injustices and poverty.
Thus, it’s no surprise that most of his works are all about promoting social justice, awakening social
awareness, and making the lives of the average Filipino people better. In 1980, Sionil Jose received a
Ramon Magsaysay Award for Literature.

3. Francisco Balagtas
Francisco Baltazar, also known as Francisco Balagtas is a legendary as well as a historical figure in
Philippine Literature. In fact, the Filipino Poetic Debate is termed as Balagtasan, a name taken in honor of
him. He was like a Filipino version of William Shakespeare. His life and works has even been
incorporated in the high school curriculum. His most famous work was the epic entitled Florante and
Laura, whose story was said to be taken after his personal tragic love relationship with Maria Asuncion
Rivera. To further signify his vast contribution to the Philippine Literature, an elementary school in Santa
Cruz, Manila and a city in Bulacan where he was born were named after him.

2. Bob Ong
Bob Ong is the most doted contemporary authors by the Filipino people of the recent times. He uses
conversational Filipino as his writing style to provide humor to his reader and to make his books more
interesting than others. Bob Ong is just a pseudonym of someone whose identity is left as a mystery to
the public. It was even stated in one of his books that he/she prefers his/her identity remained unknown
so he/she can still have a normal life and not be stereotyped according to his manner of writing.
ABNKKBSNLAko?, Bakit Baligtad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino?, and Alamat ng Gubat, are just
some of his best-selling books. He was one of the few authors whose release of next books are being
anticipated by many and to some being reserved in advance.

1. Jose Rizal
The country’s national hero is also known to be one of the greatest writers Philippines was blessed to
have. His writing caused the Filipino people to have the courage to fight for their Freedom against the
hands of the Spaniards. He was the man behind brilliant literary outputs such as Noli Me Tangere and El
Filibusterismo which are considered to be precious treasures of the Philippine Literature.

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