Monday, May 30, 2011

NCCA & CCP pay tribute to Alejandro Roces

Alejandro Reyes Roces
(July 13, 1924 - May 23, 2011)
He was 86 years old.

THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will pay homage to the late National Artist for Literature Alejandro Reyes Roces in “Pagdadalamhati ng Bayan” (necrological services) on Friday, June 3, 2011, 9:00 a.m.  at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater).

Roces, short story writer and essayist, was the country’s best writer of comic short stories. His widely popular anthologized “My Brother’s Peculiar Chicken” taken from his short story collection entitled “Of Cocks and Kites”, painted a portrait of a Filipino as a noble person endowed with innate intelligence, patience and compassion.  

He was also the author of the short story, “Something to Crow About.” Roces also brought to public attention the aesthetics of the country’s local fiestas such as Pakil’s “turumba” Marinduque’s “moriones”, Aklan’s “ati-atihan”, Naga’s “Penafrancia”, among others, in his book Fiesta (1980). 

He led the campaign to change the Philippine Independence Day from July 4 to June 12, and recovered Jose Rizal’s manuscripts when they were stolen from the National Archives.  He received numerous awards and honorary degrees from the Tokyo University, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the People’s Republic of China, among others. 

His column entitled “Roses and Thorns” first appeared in The Daily Mirror in the 1950s, then Manila Times and later in the Philippine Star, always focused on the neglected aspects of the Filipinos’ cultural heritage.

Roces passed away last May 23, 2011 at the Makati Medical Center.  He was 86 years old. He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth and brothers Jose, Francisco, Marcos and Alfredo and three grandchildren.

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