Excerpted from Biobibliography of Filipino American Writers: P. C. Morantte
(written in 1990)
© By Victor P. Gendrano
Slight in build and soft-spoken, P. C. Morantte, now nearing 80, exudes a thoughtful and philosophical mien. One of the best-kept secrets writers of Filipino descent who presently lives in the United States, Morantte keeps on writing since he published a poem in the Atlantic Monthly at the age of 16.
P. C. Morantte was born in Tanauan, Leyte, Philippines. He studied at the local school and attended the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. He later took courses at the University of Kansas at Lawrence.
On December 23, 1930, he arrived in San Francisco. He later moved to Los Angeles where he became accredited foreign correspondent of Manila-based Graphic. He worked afterwards at odd jobs like insurance, censor, and press officer.
In the 1940's, he worked with the Philippine government-in-exile in Washington, D.C. After World War II, he became Information Officer of the Civil Aeronautics Administration. He conducted the Annual International Air Shows in Manila for sixteen years until his retirement from government service.
In 1976, he went to Lompoc, California to research materials for a book about his personal friend and contemporary, Carlos Bulosan. He found the serenity and good weather of the place to his liking that he decided to stay for his "working retirement." He still lives there where he continues to write, read, and contemplate.
On Morantte's book "God is in the heart," these are what two writers say: According to Bienvenido N. Santos, Distinguished Resident at Wichita State University, Morantte's "writing is not only eloquent but lyrical. It is not at all sound, however, but meaning of the deepest kind, the truest. Before long, the reader realizes this is truth of the Bible or the truth of the human heart."
N.V.M. Gonzales, English professor at California State University, Hayward, characterized Morantte "as close as one can get these days to a secular contemplative. In this book, he deals with Beauty, Grace and Truthideas we have become accustomed to turn away from. P. C. Morantte invites us to pause and let the anxious world burn itself, if it must, as we discover Purpose and renew our faith."
P. C. Morantte is a recipient of national literary awards and prizes for his biography, poetry and essays. He is a prolific essayist with his works published in various magazines and newspapers both in the Philippines and abroad. It will take a lot of research to compile all his works, but in the meantime, here are some titles that we were able to trace. <click here for bibliography of works>
Addenda: PC Morantte passed away on April 19, 2001 in Lompoc, California. He just celebrated his 92nd birthday on April 11th. PC's last book is titled: "Brother to the Wind" published in 2000.
He has contributed essays and poetry in Heritage magazine,
1. About House Lizards (essay), Heritage magazine, Vol. III, No. 3, September 1989.
2. Spirit God (poem), Heritage, Vol. III, No. 4, December 1989.
3. Four Sonnets to Mary, Heritage, Vol. IV, No. 1, March 1990.
4. Spirit Shattered, Heritage, Vol. IV, No. 3, September 1990.
5. New Sonnets to Mary, Heritage, Vol. VIII, No. 1, March 1994.
6. Prologue from "My heart and eternity", Heritage, Vol. X, No. 3, Fall 1996.
7. Footnote To Old Age (essay), Heritage, Vol. X, No. 4, Winter 1996.
8. We Must Educate Our Heart (essay), Heritage, Vol. XI, No. 2, Summer 1997.
Victor Gendrano is a member of the RPLiterature Group. He is a haiku poet and editor of Heritage Magazine.
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