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Guillermo gómez rivera

Guillermo Gómez Rivera.jpg

"According to Spanish Radio and Television Corp. (RTVE), Guillermo is a 'writer, journalist, historian...[who] has tracked incessantly Hispanic legacy in the Philippines

and has recovered part of an endangered folklore.'”

Guillermo Gómez Rivera is a prize-winning author whose creative work intersects literature, music and dance. He is perhaps the most recognized contemporary Filipino writer throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

His sometimes strident advocacy for the preservation of the Spanish language in the Philippines has gained him both plaudits and criticisms. But he is unapologetic in his writings, stressing that Spanish is essential to Philippine national identity since the country’s Founding Fathers wrote mostly in Spanish to, at first, clamor for reforms and, later, for independence from over three hundred years of Spanish rule.

Spanish Radio and Television Corp. (RTVE) has hailed Guillermo as a "writer, journalist, historian...[who] has tracked incessantly Hispanic legacy in the Philippines and has recovered part of an endangered folklore.” La Vanguardia calls him "the last defender of  Spanish in the Philippines."

Born in Iloilo City in the Philippines on September 12, 1936, he holds a Ph.D in Filipino Spanish Literature and four undergraduate degrees in Spanish, economics, history and management. He worked in both the government and the private sectors.  At one point in his career, he served as honorary consul of Costa Rica in the Philippines while working as administrative assistant and minutes secretary of the board of directors of the food conglomerate San Miguel Corporation. From 1966 to 2002, he headed the Spanish Department of Adamson University in Manila.

He is an academic correspondent of the Royal Spanish Language Academy, sitting as the most senior member of the Academia Filipina de la Real Academia Española de la Lengua. His extensive research on several  Philippine languages made him a logical  choice as the secretary of the National Language Committee of the Philippine Constitutional Convention (1971-1973) that was convened to draft a new constitution. 

In 1975, he was awarded the Premio Zóbel, the Philippines' highest literary honor bestowed on the best works in Spanish, for his play El caseron. Besides plays, he writes poetry, novels and short stories and illustrates his own educational comic books on the Spanish cultural contributions to the Philippines. Until recently, he edited the only surviving Spanish weekly newspaper in Manila.

In the 1960s, he recorded rare Filipino compositions in Spanish, which were recently digitally remastered and re-released by Instituto Cervantes in Manila. Recognized as a flamenco dance master, he pioneered the teaching of flamenco in the Philippines and passed  this art form  to legions of Filipino students. He serves as consultant-researcher for Bayanihan Dance Company, considered the country’s premiere folk dance company.  He has choreographed hundreds of flamenco dances.

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