Liwayway Arceo
(1924 - 1999)

When multi-awarded Liwayway Arceo decided to donate the typescripts of her novels to the University of the Philippine some years ago, she deliberately held on to one of them. This was the typescript of her first novel, Titser (1952). Though she conceded that it was not a masterpiece, she nevertheless wished to keep it because “nais naming ingatan at laging makita, ang aming unang hakbang sa larangan ng nobela.” (“I want to treasure and to always keep before me, my first step in the field of novel writing.”) She also said she wished to measure her progress against this “first step”—if indeed, she coyly added, she had made any progress at all. Literary scholars will undoubtedly protest her modesty and point to the great strides she has made in the world of fiction.

Arceo went on to write hundreds of short stories (including the classic “Uhaw ang Tigang na Lupa”) over fifty novels, numerous essays and articles, dramas for radio and television (including what is arguably the first and longest-running radio soap opera, “Ilaw ng Tahanan”), and religious biographies. Through her column “Bagong Dugo,” which ran from 1959 to 1963 in Liwayway magazine, she also helped launch the careers of many young writers—among them Rogelio Sikat and Dominador Mirasol.

Soledad S. Reyes, literary critic of Tagalog novels, calls Arceo “one of the best female fictionists of her generation, for her expert mining of emotions attending domestic and familial relationships.”

©Ateneo Library of Women's Writings
3/F-Rizal Library Annex
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights,1103 Q.C., Philippines

The Major Collections
Filipino Writers in Filipino





  Frequently Asked Questions
  Contact Information
  Prize Exhibits
  Recent Acquisitions
  Writers in English
  Writers in Filipino
  Paz Marquez-Benitez Lectures
  Vernacular Literature Lectures
  Special Programs
  Book Launchings
  International Women's Month
  The Helenica Lectures
  The CITADEL Lectures
  Public Readings