Likhaan was founded in 1979 in recognition of the
important role of literature in the development of the nation.
Its twofold aim is: (1) to stimulate writers from all parts
of the Philippines to create and contribute to national cultural
development and (2) to assert the leadership of the University
of the Philippines in Creative Writing.
It was established under the office of
the U.P. President, but was later attached to the College
of Arts and Letters. Its founding Director was Francisco Arcellana,
National Artist for Literature (1979-1982). Poet Alejandrino
Hufana succeeded him from 1983-1985. From 1986 to 1995, the
Center's Director was University Professor Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio,
pioneer in the field of children's literature and founder
of the pioneering Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas, the only puppet
theater in the country. She was succeeded by one of the country's
most distinguished writers, University Professor, Dr. Gèmino
H. Abad, poet and literary scholar (1995-1998).
Over the years, the Center has played a
vital role in nurturing the country's literature, by drawing
to itself a stable community of writers who provide valuable
training for their young colleagues and strong peer support
for each other.
The Center's present Director is Prof.
Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Ph. D., fictionist and essayist
who has worked as a writer, editor, and teacher in Thailand,
Korea, Myanmar, New York, and the Philippines. The Associates,
chosen for their contributions to Philippine Literature (in
English and Filipino) in different genres are: from U.P. Diliman
Gèmino H. Abad, Ariel Agcaoili, Joi Barrios, Josè Y. Dalisay
Jr., Josè Neil Garcia, Anton Juan Jr., Domingo G. Landicho,
Carmelo Vim Nadera, Jun Cruz Reyes, Lilia Quindoza Santiago;
from U.P. Visayas, Merlie M. Alunan, and Leoncio P. Deriada;
and from U.P. Mindanao, Ricardo M. de Ungria. All Associates
of the Center have published many books and received numerous
literary awards. They are also all full-time faculty members
of the University of the Philippines.
The CWC has a Board of Advisers consisting
of National Artist Francisco Arcellana, University Professor
Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio, and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Bienvenido
Lumbera. These senior writers are also faculty members at
the U.P. The late NVM Gonzalez was also a member of the Board
Part-time faculty members with the same
credentials as the Associates are named Resident Fellows.
They are: Charlson Ong, Renè Villanueva, Marra Lanot, Josè
F. Lacaba, Carla Pacis and Ma. Lourdes Leviste Jacob.
Resident Fellows' Profiles