Danton Remoto Essayscorer
(After the Sandiganbayan decision on the Aquino assassination)
We are being fed a body of lies:
Dirt on the tips of toenails
that do not intend to die.
Toes that gingered a country’s dreams
into a brew more bitter than Macbeth’s witches’.
Dirt on the terrible corners
where thighs edge into crotch.
Dry spores seeding an archipelago’s sky,
slaking our thirst for a cloudless day.
Dirt on the tips of fingernails
that do not intend to wither.
Maggots fattening the fingers
splayed outward as Baudelaire’s flowers.
Dirt on the crag of mountain hair
down a mask of Ibaloi stone:
this bloom of blackest blood,
this nothingness finally
To Carlos Orchida
In the corner of page seven are
the details of your death.
Not in the middle
but buried in the corner,
as you must have run to the
of the barracks, fleeing the
sharp curses of the soldiers.
The letters are cold
like the sweat that broke
on your forehead,
the sweat that shivered
on the tip of your moustache
thin as the fur of a kitten.
The letters are mute
like your lips
after they broke your ribs
and split your skull in two.
Carlos, I could offer you only
balled fists, unshed tears,
and a string of words
that is no Jesus
to wake you up, O little Lazarus.
|Born||(1963-03-25) March 25, 1963 (age 54)|
Floridablanca, Pampanga, Philippines
Danton R. Remoto (born March 25, 1963) is a Filipino writer, essayist, reporter, editor, columnist, and professor. Remoto was a first prize recipient at the ASEAN Letter-Writing Contest for Young People. The award made Remoto a scholar at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. As a professor, Remoto teaches English and Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University. Remoto is the chairman emeritus of Ang Ladlad, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) political party in the Philippines.
Remoto was born in Basa Air Base, Floridablanca, in Pampanga province. His father, Francisco Sr., was a soldier while his mother, Lilia Relato, was a music teacher.
In 1983, Remoto obtained his AB in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Ateneo de Manila University. In 1989, while under the Robert Southwell scholarship, Remoto gained his MA degree in English Literature. In 1990, while under the British Council Fellowship, Remoto received his Master of Philosophy in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling in Scotland. In 2000, Remoto was given the Fulbright Scholarship for Rutgers University in the United States. He also taught Freshman English Composition and Creative Writing: Fiction at Rutgers University. In 2003, Remoto obtained a fellowship from the Asian Scholarship Foundation at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia). In 2004, Remoto obtained a fellowship from the Asian Scholarship Foundation at the National University of Singapore. In March 2009, Remoto obtained a PhD in English Studies with a major in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines Diliman.
From 1986, Remoto worked as a writer, reporter, editor, and columnist for the Philippine Press. In 1989, Remoto edited Alfredo Navarro Salanga's Buena Vista, a collection of poetry and fiction and was a co-editor of Gems in Philippine Literature. In 1994, Remoto became a Local Fellow for Poetry the UP Creative Writing Center. Together with J. Neil Garcia, Remoto edited the so-called Ladlad ("Out of the Closet") series, a succession of gay literature. He taught full-time at the Ateneo de Manila University from 1986-2009, and later worked as a Communications Analyst at the United Nations Development Programme and as Head of Research and News Desk Manager at TV5.
He appeared in Gloc-9's music video "Sirena", which depicts the life of a gay person who was maltreated by his father. The music video also featured Boy Abunda.
Remoto was the recipient of several cultural and literary awards and recognition. In 1979, Remoto won the ASEAN prize for essay writing. In 1983, he won the Galian sa Arte at Tula award for poetry. In 1986, Remoto won the PLAC award for poetry. In 1987, Remoto was a Palanca Awards winner for essay writing. He was a three-time Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) awardee for poetry. He was a two-time 1989 and one-time 1990 awardee of the Stirling District Arts Council Award for poetry and short story writing. In 1993, Remoto became the Procyon Prize winner for poetry. He received the Cultural Center awards for film and video for the screenplay of the documentary House of the Crescent Moon and for the film The Last Parian. In 2004, Remoto obtained the Philippines Free Press Award for essay writing. In 2006, he became an awardee of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts Award for poetry translation. In 2007, Remoto was granted the Philippine Graphic magazine's Nick Joaquin Award for short story writing.
Remoto's writings include the following:
- Skin, Voices, Faces (1991)
- Black Silk Pajamas / Poems in English and Filipino (1996)
- Pulotgata; The Love Poems (2004)
- padre faura witnesses the execution of rizal
- Seduction and Solitude
- Buhay Bading
- Rampa: Mga Sanaysay
- A Teacher's Tale
- Bright,Catholic and Gay
- Happy Na, Gay Pa