National Artist F. Sionil Jose has always been an inspiration to generations of writers and journalists through his essays, as a publisher, his lectures, his iconic bookshop Solidaridad and his founding of the Philippine chapter of the PEN, an international organization of poets, writers and novelists.
Our conversations were enriching, unending, and extensive, characterized by our love for art, literature and for our culture. I remember consulting Manong Frankie on our cultural revolution, and how we can promote our unique Filipino culture. Upon his suggestion, I filed a bill on folk art museums, mandating regional museums to promote traditional folk arts and local treasures. He even invited me to join Academia Filipina, an association of luminaries and thought leaders whose main objective was to promote our culture. His love for culture knew no bounds. And so did his wisdom.
Years ago, when I was at the Senate, I filed a resolution commending Manong Frankie for his contribution to literature and journalism.
His passing leaves us frail, and yet, heaven now has gained another angel. Rest in power, Manong Frankie.