The UE Community condoles with the family of the late Rogelio G. Mangahas, a 1965 UE Bachelor of Arts, major in Filipino graduate and a former Filipino professor of the UE College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)-Manila, who passed away this Wednesday, July 4, 2018. He was 79 years old.
One of the country’s renowned and multi-awarded poets, he is described by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) as a “prize-winning poet, writer, critic, teacher, activist, nationalist and a promoter of Filipino literature and language.”
As a UE student, Mr. Mangahas was the Filipino editor of the Dawn, UE’s official student newspaper, from 1963 to 1965. It was during that time that the literary triumvirate of Mr. Mangahas, Mr. Virgilio S. Almario and Mr. Lamberto E. Antonio ushered in the second successful modernist movement in Filipino poetry, and the Dawnbecame known as a home for modern poets in the local language.
Mr. Mangahas won back-to-back First Prizes in poetry in literary competitions sponsored by the Kapisanang Aklat, Diwa at Panitik (Kadipan), an inter-university organization of Filipino student writers, in 1963 and 1964.
Upon his graduation from UE in 1965, the young Roger was a recipient of the President’s Achievement Award as one of UE’s 10 Most Outstanding Students. He worked as a Filipino instructor at the UE CAS Manila from 1965 to 1972. In 1970, he was awarded First Place in a literary contest by the Surian ng Wikang Pambansa and, along with this win, was bestowed the title Makata ng Taon by the agency.
He won First Place in poetry at the 1971 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (or the Palanca Awards) for his work, Mga Duguang Plakard at Iba Pang Tula, and in essay in the 1986 Palanca Awards for his critical essay Si Edgardo M. Reyes: Ang Manunulat, Kanyang Akda at Panahon.
He taught at De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines-Manila and St. Scholastica’s College in the 1980s up to the early 1990s. It was also around this time that he served as Consultant for Literature of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He also was the Country Editor of Tenggara, a Southeast Asian literary journal published in Malaysia.
Mr. Mangahas served as the Editor in Chief of Phoenix Publishing House in 1992. In 2001, he was the Textbook Writing Specialist and Developmental Editor of Sibs Publishing House. He was C & E Publishing Inc.’s Editorial Consultant in 2006, before working freelance starting in 2012. He served as a consultant, editor, lecturer and translator at the KWF at the time of his passing.
He was awarded the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) in 1997. In 2007, he was awarded the Patnubay ng Kalinangan sa Literatura award by the City of Manila, in celebration of its Founding Anniversary. He was awarded Gawad Taboan by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. In 2013, he was given the Gawad Pagkilala by the KWF. In 2015, the KWF bestowed upon him the Gawad Dangal ni Balagtas.
Mr. Mangahas would also be remembered as one of UE’s 69th Yearend Commencement Rites speakers on April 24, 2017, at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, specifically for the joint graduation of the UE Colleges of Arts and Sciences-Manila, Computer Studies and Systems, Education, and Engineering-Manila.
Sir Roger is survived by his wife, Professor Fe Buenaventura-Mangahas. His remains lie in state until July 6, 2018, at the St. Peter Memorial Chapel in Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. His remains will be transferred to his hometown of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, on July 7, 2018.
Rest in Peace, Warrior Poet, and thank you for your service to Lualhati and the country…