November 8, 11:20 p.m. — FORMER students, colleagues, and friends paid their last respects to Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta during a vigil for the literary titan in the campus where she mentored a whole generation of writers.

F. Sionil JoseDimalanta’s remains were transferred to the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church at around 3 pm. today, Nov. 8.

National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose mourned the demise of his “very good friend.”

“She’s a great loss because she’s a very good teacher,” said Jose, a former Varsitarian editor in chief.

Poet Vim Nadera stressed the importance of Dimalanta as one of the foremost icons of Thomasian literature.

“Take her away, Thomasian literature is incomplete,” said Nadera, also a Manila Bulletin columnist.

Amadeo Mendoza, a student of Dimalanta at the UST Graduate School and now a professor of the La Sallian Language Center at De La Salle University, said Dimalanta’s teaching style was very “calm and relaxed.”

“I will always remember her for the book raffles she used to hold in her class so that students won’t have to buy expensive books,” Mendoza said.

Glenda GloriaJournalist Glenda Gloria, also Dimalanta’s former student at Artlets, said “Lady Polyester” was an inspiration.

“She brought out the best in us as writers. She largely influenced my career path as a journalist. She was very patient with our weaknesses,” said Gloria, who is now the chief operating officer of the ABS-CBN News Channel. “We learned from her that the best way to learn life is through literature.”

Jose Wendell Capili, another former student who now teaches at the University of the Philippines, said he owed a lot to UST’s writer-in-residence.

“I graduated in Tokyo University, Cambridge of England, and Australian National University because of her. She’s always one of those who wrote my recommendation letters,” Capili said.

Wendell Capili“She encouraged and nurtured many people, and that alone made her a great teacher. On top of that, she had this career as a writer of national and international reputation. She did a lot of things,” Capili added.

Fr. Rodel Aligan, UST High School regent, meanwhile, thanked Dimalanta for her legacy.

“She had accomplished much because she loved UST very much. And such fruits of love we offer at the feet of God. ‘Dean Ophie’ has done enough. For this, we thank you very much,” said Fr. Aligan in his homily at a requiem Mass for Dimalanta.

Vim NaderaUST held two Holy Masses in between the funeral viewing, after Dimalanta’s remains were transferred to the University from Malabon.

Aligan remembered Dimalanta as a poet who knew the texture of human emotions, adding that she was a believer of Christian hope.

“Even as the Dean of Artlets, oftentimes, she would see administration as an ode, a sonnet, a ballad; sometimes an elegy,” said Aligan, who was regent for six years during Dimalanta’s stint as Arts and Letters dean. Justinne Chynna V. Garcia, Kalaine Nikka Kay C. Grafil, Charmaine Parado Darenn G. Rodriguez, Rommel Marvin C. Rio and Cliff Harvey C. Venzon


  1. “We learned from her that the best way to learn life is through literature.” — very passionate, no wonder a lot of her students who are now titans in their fields remember her as a great mentor / excellent teacher..

  2. Sir vim, parang ang laki ng itinanda mo since nung nakita kita sa Inkblots noon…

    mabilis tlaga tumakbo ang panahon pero astig ka pa rin sir… idol ko kayo nila sir wendell…

    Mam Ophie mamimiss ka naming mga thomasian writers! =(


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