I have to say my fave Pinoy author hands down has to be no other that ARTHUR ROTOR. An accomplished medical doctor who was born more than 100 years ago (yup, no typo there!), he used to be the Dean of the U.P. Post-Grad School of Medicine. He wrote the one of the first Pinoy love stories (albeit short story) in English, ZITA, almost 80 years ago. Francisco Arcellana, himself a Titan in the Phil. Lit scene, once wrote that ZITA "...is one of the finest love stories in Filipino Literature in English." He also wrote THE MEN WHO PLAY GOD, a collection of short stories about life in the medical profession; the ORCHID OF FIVE WOUNDS is a classic! Juggling his passion for writing and healing people, I believe he was a true renaissance man! Sadly, not too many people know about him these days Tried to google him but his name doesn't even come up Oh well, check out ZITA at the Palanca Awards Website; last time I checked, it was still posted there!)
Let's not forget NICK JOAQUIN too. MAY DAY EVE and CANDIDO'S APOCALYPSE are must reads!
I am a Phil. Children's Lit fan, so my list goes this way
In no particular order:
-Russel Molina (for his poignant yet funny stories--sounds so natural) -Grace Chong (for her insightful stories and blog entries--read her blog! She's very masipag in posting!) -Rene Villanueva (fell in love with his Butsiki ) -Luis Gatmaitan (for his lengthy weaving of narratives and expository texts)
My favorite Pinoy Author (being an impossible winner from an unknown and less popular background) is still Mes De Guzman. He is now an international award-winning indie film maker and a farmer in his native Nueva Ecija. Way before Bob Ong's ABNKKBSNPla Ako?, and Zafra's Manananggal Terrorizes Manila, Mes De Guzman wrote BARRIOTIC PUNK. It was years later to finally see his work and I enjoyed it up to countless rereading sessions. It also helped if you're an 80s-90s kid. Most of the stories are comedy but the genres are complete in that book be it historical, pop culture, tibak, homage, or parody stories.
The best Filipino poet for me is Jose Garcia Villa. Sylvia Plath, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot and other Western poets will appear lame in Villa's shadow. I also love Emman Lacaba's poetry. Unbelievable talent and political depth I should say. As for fictionists, Francisco Arcellana, F. Sionil Jose and Nick Joaquin are must reads. Arcellana's short stories are supreme: "Trilogy of the Turles", "The Yellow Shawl", and his more 'experimental' works made me proud of our own literature.