MatuteAWARD-WINNING Tagalog writer Genoveva “Aling Bebang” Edroza Matute passed away during her sleep last March 21. She was 94 years old.

Matute, a UST BS Education graduate, was famous for her work “Kuwento ni Mabuti,” which won the first ever grand prize for Tagalog short story category during the maiden staging of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 1951. Her teachers in UST, where she also took up her masters and doctorate, included Jose Villa Panganiban, the founder of the Varsitarian; Paz M Latorena, a top fictionist of the first generation of Filipino writers in English and the second literary editor of the Varsitarian; and journalist-diplomat Mauro Mendez.

In 1998, Matute received the Varsitarian’s Parangal Hagbong, given to Thomasian literary figures who have contributed to the flourishing of Philippine letters. It was also in that year when the UST Publishing House published Matute’s collection of short stories and essays in English titled None of the Bitter.

Matute had taught for a long time at the Philippine Normal University, where she served as head of Filipino department and dean of instruction. Her other recognitions included the Republic Literary Awards from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 1995; the Gawad Cultural Center of the Philippines (1992); and the St. Scholastica College’s St. Hildegarde of Bingen Award for women-pioneers of Philippine media in 2007.

Matute was the wife of the late Epifanio Matute, who created “Kuwentong Kutsero,” the popular radio and TV program during the 1950’s to 1960’s.

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