Emeritus Professor Sylvia Mendez Ventura, 87

University of the Philippines (UP) Emeritus Professor of English and former UP Press Director Sylvia Mendez Ventura passed away last 25 August 2016. She was 87.

Mendez Ventura received her A.B. (English) from Barnard College and her M.A. (English) from Columbia University.

A Carlos Palanca prizewinning writer, she authored sixteen books, including biographies of well-known Filipinos for children and for adults (Benigno Aquino, Cezar Bengzon, Andres Bonifacio, Gilda Cordero Fernando, Mauro Mendez, Carlos P. Romulo), retellings of Philippine folk tales (The carabao-turtle race and other classic Philippine animal folk tales, The Termite Queen and Other Classic Philippine Earth Tales), creative nonfiction (Ragtime in Kamuning) and literary criticism (Feminist readings of Philippine fiction : critique and anthology).

A columnist for the now-defunct Manila Chronicle, she also wrote articles for other newspapers and magazines in the Philippines.

Mauro Mendez, Mendez Ventura’s father, was Philippine Ambassador to Japan (1962-1964) and Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs (1964-1965).

Paz Policarpio Mendez, Mendez Ventura’s mother, was a pioneering suffragist, and former Professor of English at the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas and Centro Escolar University, where she also served as College of Education Dean and English Department Chair. (JWP Capili)