National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose dies at 97

[by Rizadel S. Miras]

National Artist for Literature and prolific writer F. Sionil Jose passed away on Thursday, December 6. 

According to his wife, José,97  died in his sleep at the Makati Medical Center where he was supposed to undergo an angioplasty on Friday, Jan. 7. 

His family  confirmed the news through his Facebook account.

“Our father passed away peacefully this evening. The post read

“Many years ago, he told us this is what he wants written about him: He wrote stories and he believed in them.”   It added. 

Earlier, Jose posted his last words on his Facebook account. 

“Thank you brave heart. There are times when as an agnostic I doubt the presence of an almighty and loving God. But dear brave heart you are here to disprove this illusion, to do away with the conclusion that if you doubt Him, you kill Him. I cannot kill you dear heart; you have to do that yourself.” He posted

 “For 97 years you have been constantly working patiently pumping much more efficiently and longer than most machines. Of course, I know that a book lasts long too, as the libraries have shown, books that have lived more than 300 years. Now, that I am here in waiting for an angioplasty, I hope that you will survive it and I with it, so that I will be able to continue what I have been doing with so much energy that only you have been able to give. Thank you dear brave heart and dear Lord for this most precious gift.” He added. 

F. Sionil Jose conferred the title, National Artist for Literature in 2001. He was the owner of Solidaridad Bookshop and Publishing House in Ermita. #DM

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