Genoveva Edroza-Matute
(b. 1915)

In 1992, the Cultural Center of the Philippines conferred on Genoveva Edroza-Matute the CCP Gawad Para Sa Sining “for her valuable contributions in elevating the standards of the Tagalog short story and in forging a national identity through the active promotion of Filipino.” Fondly read for her stories and essays, Matute was born on 3 January 1915. A devoted educator, she spent many years as head of the Philippine Normal University’s Department of Filipino.

“Ang Kanilang Mga Sugat” is Matute’s first novel. In 1995, Anvil Publishing released the title. Soon after, Matute saw it fit for ALIWW to keep the typescript draft of her masterpiece. It reveals vital corrections in the writer’s own hand, an old woman’s eye for missing lines and mispelled words, or for what demanded rewording as the desktop turned her story into press-bound pages. Oddly enough, the novel’s first copies enjoyed only a brief run. A fire razed the Anvil stockhouse thereafter and financial constraints delayed the work’s prompt reprint.

Two years later, ALIWW honored Matute with a public lecture. The critic Nenita O. Escasa engaged a young if alert audience with her perceptive take on the novel’s motifs of honor and redemption. At the program’s close, a grateful Matute came on stage to confess that she had to blink back tears, moved by Escasa’s lucid reading. With characteristic humor she added: such one-of-a-kind critic thrilled her—for obliging to find profound depths and grace in her modest piece.


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