Jose Dalisay Jr.

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Jose Yap Dalisay Jr.
JoseButchDalisay Photograph 3 Commons.jpg
Born (1954-01-15) January 15, 1954 (age 65)
Romblon, Philippines
Pen nameButch Dalisay
Alma materUniversity of the Philippines
University of Michigan (M.F.A.)
GenreFiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction and screenwriting

Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. (born January 15, 1954) is a Filipino writer. He has won numerous awards and prizes for fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction and screenwriting, including 16 Palanca Awards.

Early life and education[edit]

Dalisay was born in Romblon in 1954. He completed his primary education at La Salle Green Hills, Philippines in 1966 and his secondary education at the Philippine Science High School in 1970. He dropped out of college to work as a newspaper reporter. He also wrote scripts mostly for Lino Brocka, the National Artist of the Philippines for Theater and Film. Dalisay returned to school and earned his B.A. English (Imaginative Writing) degree, cum laude from the University of the Philippines in 1984. He later received an M.F.A. from the University of Michigan in 1988 and a PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 1991 as a Fulbright scholar.

Literary career[edit]

Dalisay has authored more than 30 books since 1984. Six of those books have garnered National Book Awards from the Manila Critics Circle. In 1998, Dalisay made it to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Centennial Honors List as one of the 100 most accomplished Filipino artists of the past century. Among his numerous books are Oldtimer and Other Stories (Asphodel, 1984; U.P. Press, 2003); Sarcophagus and Other Stories (U.P. Press, 1992); Killing Time in a Warm Place (Anvil, 1992); Madilim ang Gabi sa Laot at Iba Pang mga Dula ng Ligaw na Pag-Ibig (U.P. Press, 1993); Penmanship and Other Stories (Cacho, 1995); The Island (Ayala Foundation, 1996); Pagsabog ng Liwanag/Aninag, Anino (U.P. Press, 1996); Mac Malicsi, TNT/Ang Butihing Babae ng Timog (U.P. Press, 1997); The Lavas: A Filipino Family (Anvil, 1999); The Best of Barfly (Anvil, 1997); The Filipino Flag (Inquirer Publications, 2004); Man Overboard (Milflores, 2005); Journeys with Light: The Vision of Jaime Zobel (Ayala Foundation, 2005); Selected Stories (U.P. Press, 2005); and "The Knowing Is in the Writing: Notes on the Practice of Fiction" (U.P. Press, 2006).


Dalisay has also worked extensively as a professional editor. He served as Executive Editor of the ten-volume Kasaysayan: The Story of the Filipino People (Manila: Asia Publishing/Reader's Digest Asia [1], 1998). His clients have included the Asian Development Bank, the Ayala Foundation, SGV & Co., the National Economic and Development Authority, the Office of the (Philippine) President, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Airlines, and the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation, among others.


The writer at the Vatican.

Dalisay has won 16 Palanca Awards in five genres. For winning at least five First Prize awards, he was elevated to the Palanca Hall of Fame in 2000. He has also garnered five Cultural Center of the Philippines awards for playwriting; and FAMAS, URIAN, Star and Catholic Mass Media awards and citations for his screenplays. He also chaired the 1992 ASEAN Writers Conference/Workshop, in Penang, Malaysia. He was named one of The Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of 1993 for his creative writing. In 2005, he received the Premio Cervara di Roma in Italy for extensively promoting Philippine literature overseas. In 2007, his second novel, Soledad's Sister, was shortlisted for the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize in Hong Kong.

He has received Hawthornden Castle, British Council, David T.K. Wong, Rockefeller (Bellagio), and Civitella Ranieri fellowships, and has held the Henry Lee Irwin Professorial Chair at the Ateneo de Manila University; and the Jose Joya, Jorge Bocobo, and Elpidio Quirino professorial chairs at U.P. Diliman. He has lectured on Philippine culture and politics at the University of Michigan, University of Auckland, Australian National University, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, St. Norbert College (Wisconsin, U.S.), University of East Anglia, University of Rome, London School of Economics, and the University of California, San Diego, where he was named Pacific Leadership Fellow in 2015..

After serving for three years as English and Comparative Literature Department Chair, Dalisay assumed the post of Vice President for Public Affairs of the U.P. System from May 2003 to February 2005; he returned to the post in February 2017. He is currently a Professor of English and creative writing at the College of Arts and Letters, U.P. Diliman, where he also coordinated the creative writing program. He was Director of the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing from 2008 to 2017. Aside from his weekly Arts & Culture column for the Philippine Star, he wrote political and social commentary for the newsmagazine Newsbreak and the San Francisco-based Filipinas magazine.

In 2017, the One UP-Jose Yap Dalisay Jr. Professorial Chair in Creative Writing was endowed in his honor by an anonymous donor at the University of the Philippines.

Notable works[edit]


  • Killing Time in a Warm Place, 1992
  • Soledad's Sister, 2008
  • "Soledad: Rocambolesco Romanzo Filippino" (Italian edition), 2009
  • "In Flight: Two Novels of the Philippines" (a combined US edition), 2011
  • La Soeur de Soledad," (French edition), 2013


  • Madilim ang Gabi sa Laot at Iba Pang Mga Dula ng Ligaw na Pag-Ibig, 1993
  • Pagsabog ng Liwanag/Aninag, Anino, 1996
  • Ang Butihing Babae ng Timog/Mac Malicsi, TNT, 1997


More than twenty produced screenplays, including

  • Tayong Dalawa, 1994
  • Miguelito, 1995
  • Saranggola, 1999


  • The Best of Barfly, 1997
  • The Lavas: A Filipino Family, 1999
  • Man Overboard, 2005
  • "Power from the Deep: The Malampaya Story", 2005
  • "Unleashing the Power of Steam: The PNOC-EDC Story", 2006
  • "Portraits of a Tangled Relationship: The Philippines and the United States" (with Jose Ma. Cariño et al.), 2008
  • "Wash: Only a Bookkeeper", 2009
  • "The Voices of the Mountain: The People of Mt. Apo Speak", 2009
  • "Decade of Reform, Decade of Innovation: The GSIS Under PGM Winston Garcia, 2001–2010", 2010
  • "Builder of Bridges: The Rudy Cuenca Story," 2010

Other books[edit]

  • (as editor) Kasaysayan: The Story of the Filipino People, 1998
  • The Filipino Flag, 2004
  • "Selected Stories," 2005
  • Journeys with Light: The Vision of Jaime Zobel, 2005
  • "The Knowing is in the Writing: Notes on the Practice of Fiction," The UP Press, 2006
  • "Pinoy Septych and Other Poems," UST Publishing House, 2011

Honors and awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References and external links[edit]