The Panelists

The Southridge National Writers Workshop is organized in collaboration with the UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies. Hence, the panelists come from the Officers and Staff of the UST CCWS:

Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta was born on June 16, 1934 in San Juan, Rizal. She obtained her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Santo Tomas, where she has been teaching literature and creative writing since 1953. She has been the recipient of numerous honors, including fellowships from the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii, The United States Information Service and the International Writers' Program of the University of Iowa; Poet and Critic Best Poem Award from Iowa State University (1968); Palanca Awards for Poetry (1974, 1983); Fernando Maria Guerrero Award (1976); Focus Literary Awards for Fiction (1977, 1981); Cultural Center of the Philippines Literature Grant for Criticism (1983); the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas from the Writers' Union of the Philippines (1990) and the South East Asia (SEA) Write Award from King Bhumibol of Thailand (1999). 

Dimalanta is also Full Professor of English and has held the position of Dean of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters. She has been very visible as a panelist in the UST, UP, Dumaguete and Iligan writers' workshops and as judge in prominent literary award-giving bodies such as the Manila Critics' Circle, Free Press, and Palanca. This status, alongside her vast teaching experience, has enabled her to reach and influence generations of journalists and creative writers like Recah Trinidad, Arnold Azurin, Cirilo Bautista, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Eric Gamalinda, Jose Neil Garcia, Mike Coroza, and Lourd de Veyra.

A much anthologized poet, Dimalanta has published a number of books, including the multi-awarded collection of poems, Montage.



The UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies

Ophelia A. Dimalanta

Cirilo F. Bautista
Senior Associate

Eros Atalia
Lourd de Veyra
Nerisa Guevara
Carlos Luz
Junior Associates

The UST-CCWS is at the First Floor, St. Raymund's Building, University of Santo Tomas

Telefax: 406-0611 local 8281

What We are

Established in September 1999, the UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies (CCWS) is a haven for creative activity in the University. In particular, it aims to provide a hospitable climate where writers, alumni or not, can thrive.

Toward this, the Center employs the expertise and know-how of its associates and writers in fostering excellence in creative writing in and outside of the campus.

The Center's Vision and Mission

The UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies aims to conserve, enrich and reaffirm the fertile foundation of Thomasian letters by nurturing the proper creative ecology that is meant to contribute to faculty development and excellence in literary and humanistic studies.

The CCWS will sustain this tradition of excellence in writing and research with the aim of galvanizing the nation, forming its soul and carving its worldview through its pool of writers and researchers.

Thus, the Center intends to reflect the University's mission in the modern world by fostering a continuous dialogue between research and creative inspiration, and between faith and reason.

The Center's Objectives

The Center seeks to provide the proper environment to make writers and literary scholars stay and thrive in the University. Specifically, the Center's main objectives are as follows:

. Consolidate the gains made by the University in the humanities through a forward-looking program of conserving, developing, and propagating the literary arts.

. Enhance the faculty tradition of excellence in creative writing and literary studies which can sustain the humanistic tradition of the University.

. Foster a creative school that will best reflect the University's mission.

The Center's Strategies

To pursue its objectives, the Center employs the following strategies:

. The CCWS maintains a manpower complement of established and potential writers and literary scholars, Thomasians all.

. It organizes creative writing workshops mainly among University students and faculty members as well as non-Thomasians within the school year and during summer (in its annual Summer National Writers Workshop, the centerpiece of the Center's activities).

. It publishes TOMAS, the CCWS literary journal, which has gained distinction throughout the country and even outside it and includes works of Thomasian as well as non-Thomasian writers, critics and scholars. It contains creative pieces as well as scholarly research studies.

. It intends to offer scholarships to deserving campus writers who plan to pursue graduate studies in Creative Writing, especially those who have already published works and won awards.

. It holds literary forums and discussions, lectures and seminars in its traditional USTINGAN (CCWS' own trademark, a Filipino term meaning informal talks and discourses on particular timely and relevant topics usually participated in by an audience).

. It encourages and supports the Thomasian Writers Guild, an organization of handpicked student writers from different colleges in the University.

. It regularly holds features, like Associates Lectures where the associates take turns in holding a major lecture along the line of their expertise.

. It publishes a quarterly newsletter, the CCWS Update, to disseminate information on the Center's projects and activities.

. It has recently launched a yearly literary contest, the Tomas Student Literary Awards, which involves College students all over the country focusing on fiction and poetry in Filipino and English.

. It handles research projects for the University whenever called for as well as engages in cultural activities specially along the line of the creative arts.