Worth A Thousand Words

A Brief Info of the great man behind these poems


FERNANDO M. MARAMAG 
(1893-1936) 
Poet and Journalist 

Fernando  Maramag  was  an  excellent  poet  and  journalist  in  English.    He  had  a  rich  style 
and deep understanding of human nature – qualities which made his poetry appealing to all 
readers.  On the other hand, his editorial writings “exerted great influence on the various phases 
of the Filipino way of life, particularly in its government, economics, education and politics,” 
according to a critic. 

He was born on January 21, 1893 in Ilagan, Isabela, to Rafael Maramag and Victoria 
Mamuri, a Spanish mestiza.  His parents were wealthy landowners. 
At  age  seven,  he  was  enrolled  in  a  public  school in his hometown.  He finished his high 
school  in  1908.    He  was  15  when  he  entered  the  Philippine  Normal  School.    However,  at  the 
insistence of his father, he transferred to the University of the Philippines. 
At UP he started writing for the school organ.  A brilliant student, he later became its 
editor-in-chief.  Among his equally brilliant classmates, were Pilar Hidalgo-Lim and Jose Hilario.  
Together, they managed the school newspaper. 
At age 21, he was named principal of the Instituto de Manila, a prestigious school for 
gifted and well-off students.    Later,  he  became  an  English  professor  at UP. He  also  taught  at  San 
Juan de Letran.  During this time, he met and married Constancia Ablaza, by whom he had six 
children. 

In 1917, he became the editor of Rising Philippines, a daily read by almost every literate 
Filipino because of its nationalistic contests.   The Philippines Herald and the National Weekly
also benefited from his editorship. 
With his credentials, he started to work in the government as chief of the publications 
division of the Department of Justice.  Later, he became technical assistant to then Senate 
President Manuel Luis Quezon. 

Maramag published countless poems which were devoured and admired by the reading 
public, like “My Queen Tagala,” “The Atheist,” “A Christ Without a Cross,” “Jose Rizal,” and “The 
Presentation.”  He wrote about the history of the English language in the Philippines.  This 
enabled him to mine the secrets of English poetics, especially its techniques.  Leopoldo Y. Yabes, a 
noted literary historian, included seven of Maramag’s works in his book of Filipino essays in 
English, which has become a standard textbook in English in Philippine schools and universities. 
Maramag also wrote appraisingly of some eminent Filipinos in history like the Presidents 
Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmeña , Sr., not to mention Dr. Jose Rizal, neither understating nor 
over glorifying their qualities and achievements, but treating his subjects with sincerity and 
respect. 

He died on October 23, 1936. 
In his honor, a marker was installed in his hometown on January 21, 1983. 


References: Manuel, E. Arsenio and Magdalena Averin Manuel.  Dictionary of Philippine Biography  Volume 
3.  Quezon City: Filipiniana Publications, 1995. 
Mojares, Resil. Encyclopedia of Philippine Art Volume 9. Nicanor G. Tiongson. Ed.  Manila: 
Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1994. 
Valeros, Florentino B. and Estrellita V. Gruenberg. Filipino Writers in English.  Quezon  City: 
 New Day Publishers, 1987

(I'm so sorry If I can't provide any pictures of this noble guy. He's hard to find. I tried but failed to provide)

Stolen From: http://www.nhi.gov.ph/downloads/lt0025.pdf