F. Sionil Jose, at 90, Receives “Officer” in the French Order of Arts and Letters

F. Sionil Jose, at 90, Receives “Officer” in the French Order of Arts and Letters



F. Sionil Jose(Photo credit: French Embassy)

According to the statement from the French Embassy, National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose was promoted to the rank of Officier or Officer in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). He was named Chevalier (Knight) in the French Order of Arts and Letters in 2001.

French Ambassador Gilles Garachon bestowed the award to Jose at event in the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The award was given on December 3, which coincides with the writer’s birthday. He is 90 years old.

The embassy’s statement also mentions that seven of his books have been translated into French, including five novels in the Rosales Saga, which are “Po-on,” “The Pretenders,” “My Brother, My Executioner,” “Mass” and “Tree”, and the books “God Stealer” and “Viajero”.

The Order of Arts and Letters has three grades Chevalier, Officier, and Commandeur.

It is bestowed on both French citizens and foreigners for significant achievements in the fields of arts or literature. Prominent Filipinos who have received similar distinction are composer Lucrecia Kasilag, artists Arturo Luz and Juvenal Sanso, designer Lulu Tan-Gan, historian Ambeth Ocampo, director Brillante Mendoza, and former National Museum Director Corazon Alvina.

Last December 9, Resolution 1045 was adopted.

This resolution, introduced by senator Loren Legarda, honored Jose’s distinctive contribution to literature and journalism.

The resolution stated:

“He has been an inspiration to several generations of writers and journalists through his essays, his role 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.”

Jose is known as one of the most esteemed writers in the English language. Many of his works have been translated in different languages.

He is a decorated writer and journalist. Some of his notable recognition include the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the Pablo Neruda Centennial Award, Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature.


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F. Sionil Jose, at 90, Receives “Officer” in the French Order of Arts and Letters