Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín, or Nick Joaquín was born in Paco District Paco, Manila. He dropped out of high school and did odd jobs on Manila's waterfront and elsewhere. He taught himself by reading widely at the National Library of the Philippines and the library of his father, Leocadio Joaquín, who had been a lawyer and a colonel in the Philippine Revolution. This developed further his interest in writing. His mother was named Salome Marquez Joaquin. Joaquín was first published in the literary section of the Pre-World War II Tribune under writer and editor Serafín Lanot. After winning a Dominican Order-sponsored nationwide essay competition for La Naval de Manila, the University of Santo Tomas University of Santo Tomás awarded Joaquín an honorary Associate in Arts (A.A.) and a scholarship to St. Albert's College, the Dominican monastery in Hong Kong. However, he dropped out after only a year. Upon his return to the Philippines, he joined the Philippines Free Press, starting as a proofreader. Soon this two-time dropout was noticed for his poems, stories and plays, as well as his journalism under the pen name Quijano de Manila. His journalism was markedly both intellectual and provocative, an unknown genre in the Philippines at that time, raising the level of reportage in the country. Joaquín deeply admired José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Joaquín paid tribute to Rizal by way of books such as The Storyteller's New Medium - Rizal in Saga, The Complete Poems and Plays of Jose Rizal, and A Question of Heroes: Essays in Criticism on Ten Key Figures of Philippine History. He also translated the hero's valedictory poem, "Land That I Love, Farewell!" Joaquín served as a member of the Philippine Board of Censors for Motion Pictures under President Diosdado Macapagal and President Ferdinand E. Marcos. According to writer Marra PL. Lanot, Joaquín was untouched by Marcos' iron fist. Joaqun's first move as National Artist was to secure the release...
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