Gilda Cordero-Fernando
(b. 1930)

Though Gilda Cordero-Fernando shied away from short fiction in the 1970s, her—The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker (1962), A Wilderness of Sweets (1973), and Story Collection (1994)—place her at its forefront. Her stories ring in the reader’s ears in well-turned English and fill the mind with curious characters—people in the war, sunburned Filipinos with the American twang, queer designers in the world of high fashion, the humble folk cooped in a bus, a Dust Monster, even the Anti-Christ.

Gilda Cordero-Fernando is Philippine culture’s towering figure, for the broad, impressive range of her accomplishments. She has written and illustrated children’s books. In 1978, GCF Books, her own nationalist imprint, began publishing a series of well-thumbed volumes on Philippine cultural history. The GCF titles include Streets of Manila (1977), Turn of the Century (1978), Philippine Ancestral Houses (1980), Being Filipino (1981), The History of the Burgis (1987), Folk Architecture (1989), & The Soul Book (1991).

Cordero-Fernando also edited major Filipiniana source books and has since picked up the paintbrush to complete a series of women portraits now sold as a vivid card set. She is an equal master of the personal essay, and in theater, the fearless producer of pop pageants, fashion shows, and glitzy plays. In 2001, Cordero-Fernando produced Pinoy Pop Culture, the book and the show, for the Bench Corporation. She alone could enthrall burgis society with her upbeat retro on local pop songs and komiks heroes—all for the love of things Pinoy.

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