By ZYSA MEI ELLORAN
MANILA – Various groups have paid tribute to the late novelist and critic Lualhati Bautista who passed away last Sunday, Feb. 12.
“A generation of writers were awoken to the various realities that the country is facing due to the stories Bautista penned,” said the Concerned Artists of the Philippines in a statement.
Lualhati is known for her novels and screenplays.
In 1976, her first screenplay titled Sakada, referring to seasonal sugarcane workers was shown in the cinema. This was later banned by the military. She also authored the novel Dekada ‘70, which tackled state-perpetrated violence during the martial law years of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
Among her equally noted works include “Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa?” and ‘GAPÔ, which exposed the violence of the Marcos regime and how the people, women in particular, suffered from the hands of US soldiers around the time.
“Up until his last day, she used her voice and influence to fight the facism that is still present today,” said CAP.
The Philippine Center of International PEN also paid tribute to Bautista, saying that the sharpness and strength that the characters she created in her novels and screenplays inspired the resolve of ordinary folk.
Meanwhile, Fides Lim, spokesperson of Kapatid, a group of families and supporters of political prisoners, said she asked Bautista to write a review of their publication “Saloobin,” a compilation of women political prisoners’ literary works in collaboration with Gantala Press.
“She just had to be part of a book to shine a light on people whose fervor and activism put them behind bars and whose stories have populated her own writings,” Lim said in a statement. (JJE, RVO)