Gilbert Luis Centina III, Augustinian priest and former V editor, succumbs to Covid-19 at 73

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Award-winning poet and novelist Gilbert Luis Centina III, the first seminarian to become editor of the Varsitarian‘s Literary section, died of Covid-19 on May 1, in Leon, Spain. He was 73.

Born on May 19, 1947, in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental, Centina entered the Augustinian Order in 1964.

He earned his ecclesiastical degrees, cum laude, from UST, where he was chosen to become literary editor of the Varsitarian in 1969 for winning top prizes in the Annual Rector’s Literary Awards in English fiction and poetry.

He was known for his Catholic poetry and was described by critics as “a leading Christian voice in contemporary literature.”

Centina received numerous citations for his work, including the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 1974 for English poetry.

In 1998, he received the Catholic Authors Award from the Asian Catholic Publishers under Jaime Cardinal Sin.

Centina wrote in Spanish and English, but was also fluent in Hiligaynon and Tagalog. His collection of his works was included in high school and college textbooks.

He will have a book published posthumously, titled “Recovecos: Crevices,” a 350-poem collection about self-discovery of his Spanish roots, written in Spanish and English.

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