Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Writer Doctor Wins (Another) Award
Dr. Luis Gatmaitan MD, writer and doctor will be conferred the "Gawad Dangal Ng Wikang Filipino" by the Komisyon Ng Wikang Pambansa (Commission On The Philippine Language) for his contributions in children's literature, print and broadcast media on 28 August at the Century Park Hotel in Manila. Gawad Dangal Ng Wikang Filipno is an honor award given to a Filipino who has dedicated their life's work and craft to the promotion and growth of the national language.
Dr. Gatmaitan has been writing in Filipino since his early years as an essayist in local magazines. In 1994 his first story for children, Si Duglit, Ang Dugong Makulit(Duglit, the Pesky Blood Cell) won the prestigious Palanca Award. There's no looking back for Dr. Gatmaitan as he won Palancas one after another. Five Palanca Awards later, he joined the titans of the Palanca Hall of Fame.
Known in the local children's industry as Tito Dok (Uncle Doctor), he has fortified himself as the leading writer for children on health and hygiene issues. His Tito Dok Series is on its fifteenth book now. From asthma to sore eyes, colds and dengue fever, Tito Dok has educated, entertained and healed countless Filipino children from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It is no wonder that in 2003, he was proclaimed as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the nation. On top of these awards, Tito Dok is the representative for writers in the Philippine Board On Books for Young People and former Vice President of KUTING, the nation's premiere organization of Filipino children's book writers.
Having read his body of works, it is his family stories that I enjoy all the more. He has written about a young girl afflicted with leukemia; a grandfather whose senility has corroded his relationship with his grandson; and a father whose love for his handicapped daughter transcended death. Head on to OMF Literature and Adarna House for annotations of his children's books. Copies are on sale and can be ordered online.
Congratulatons once again to Dr. Gatmaitan! Mabuhay ang Filipinong manunulat! (Long live the Filipino writer!)