Rogelio R. Sikat
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|Born||Rogelio R. Sicat
June 26, 1940
Barrio Alua, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, Commonwealth of the Philippines
|Pen name||Rogelio Sikat|
|Alma mater||University of Santo Tomas|
|Genre||sociocultural background of the Philippines|
|Subject||social issues and land reform|
Rogelio Sicat (June 26, 1940 – 1997) sometimes referred to as “Rogelio Sikat”, was a prolific Filipino novelist, playwright and short story writer. Sikat is best known for his classic masterpieces particularly Impeng Negro, a short story based on a half-black, half-Filipino boy and Moses, Moses, a play in one act that depicts the social injustices and the abuse of the country’s oppressive politicians. He uses "Sikat" as a pen name to reflect on his Filipino identity (The Filipino alphabet originally does not have the letter c) as his real surname is "Sicat". Because of this, most articles and some books still refer to him as "Sikat".
Apart from being one of the Philippines’ finest modern literary figures, Sikat was also a distinguished educator. He was a former university professor and former college dean of the University of the Philippines’ College of Arts and Letters.
Sikat was born on June 26, 1940 in the town of San Isidro in the province of Nueva Ecija, as the sixth of eight children of Estanislao Sikat and Crisanta Rodriguez. For his college education, Sikat went to Manila to study in the University of Santo Tomas, one of the premier universities in the Philippines.
During his time at UST, Sikat served as a writer for the university’s official newspaper, The Varsitarian. Sikat’s love for literature further heightened and his writing skills flourished with his stint with The Varsitarian.
After finishing his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Sikat continued his love for writing. Despite the country’s love for western culture, Sikat took the path less traveled and wrote and succeeded with the Filipino language.
In 1962, Sikat’s Impeng Negro won the prized Carlos Palanca Award. The short story Impeng Negro catapulted Sikat into the upper echelons of Philippine literature. Impeng Negro touches critical social issues including racism and bullying.
Impeng Negro became Sikat’s most notable work. Due to its monumental success, Impeng Negro was adapted into a short film entitled, Impen, the Negro. The short 30-minute film won 1st prize in the Short Feature Film Category in the 12th Gawad CCP for alternative film and video.
In 1969, Sikat’s socio-critical play Moses, Moses won the Carlos Palanca Award, further solidifying Sikat’s position among the titans of Philippine literature.
Sikat wrote several other short stories during his lifetime including Tata Selo, a fictional narrative based on the real-life land reform issues and recurring political cruelties in the Philippines.
Sikat also worked in the newspaper and magazine industry, serving as a feature writer for the long-running Liwayway magazine.
In 1997, the distinguished writer and educator Sikat died of cancer. He received several posthumous awards including the Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Award for translation, a year after his death.
- Pagsalunga: Mga Piling Kwento at Sanaysay (1992)