“Leoncio P. Deriada”
March 21, 2013
Leoncio P. Deriada was born in Iloilo but spent most of his life in Davao. He went to school at the Davao City High School and graduated in 1955. He earned his BA English degree at the Ateneo de Davao University where he graduated cum laude in 1959. He later received his MA in English from Xavier University in 1970 and went on to receive his PhD in English and Literature with a specialization in creative writing from Silliman University in 1981 where he later on served as professor and chairperson of the English Department.
He is a multi-lingual writer having produced works in English, Filipino, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a and Cebuano. His thirteen Palanca awards include works in English, Filipino and Hiligaynon. Of these thirteen, five are first-prize winners, and these include “The Day of the Locusts” (Short Story, 1975), “Mutya ng Saging” (Dulaang May Isang Yugto, 1987), “The Man Who Hated Birds” (Short Story for Children, 1993), “Medea of Siquijor” (One-Act Play, 1999), and “Maragtas: How Kapinangan Tricked Sumakwel Twice” (Full-Length Play, 2001). He became a Palanca Hall of Famer on September 1, 2001. Aside from his Palanca awards, he has garnered other prestigious awards such as the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, Asiaweek, Gawad CCP, Graphic, Focus, Yuhum (Iloilo), and Blue Knight Award from Ateneo de Davao for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. In 2002, he was one of Metrobank’s Outstanding Teachers.
He is currently a professor at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas – Iloilo. Dr. Deriada heads the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino at the U.P. Visayas. He is also an associate of the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing.