Who is Tony Perez, you might ask? Well, as an artist, he is many in one. Perez is a Filipino creative writer, playwright, poet, lyricist, painter, portraitist, fiber artist, sculptor, game designer, fashion photographer, and psychic journalist.
As an established individual, he holds an M.A. degree in Religious Studies, an M.A. candidacy in Clinical Psychology, and an A.B. in Communication; he also holds certificates in Publication Design and Production from the Department of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin and Fundamentals of Graphic Design from the University of California at San Francisco. He taught as an adjunct lecturer at Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Saint Scholastica’s College, Maryknoll College, and the Philippine High School for the Arts.
Perez has been actively involved in playwriting since he started. He has authored full-length trilogies of plays in Tagalog, some of which have been translated into English and Polish. His full-length play “Trip to The South” was performed in New York and in Singapore. Another of his full-length play, “On The North Diversion Road,” was performed in Melbourne and in Singapore. Here is a list of some of Perez’s plays:
- “Hoy, Boyet, Tinatawag Ka Na, Hatinggabi Na’y Gising Ka Pa Pala“
- Anak ng Araw; “Gabún“
- “Alex Antiporda”
- “Sierra Lakes”
- “Biyernes, 4:00 N.H.“
- “Sacraments of the Dead”
- “The Wayside Café”
- Ang Panginoon sa Driod
- Isang Pangyayari sa Planas Site
- “Ang Prinsipe Ng Buwan“
For more than decades through his writing, Perez has been dissecting Filipino psyche. Following several volumes of published works, his plays incisively tackle adult themes like intense love, betrayal, separation, poverty, and hunger. He expressed and elaborated his thoughts on being a playwright in a GMA News Online article on September 2011:
“I don’t like pointless things. The reason why I write for people 30 and above is that a number of writers write for high school and college students so that their works will be canonized. What does this mean? So that the Department of Education will sell their works. This is very sad”.
“The role of a playwright, for me, is to be a catalyst in society, to make people think and then take action. If you watch a play, the message may not hit you immediately, or prompt you to immediate action. But at least the message is there. Maybe it will hit you three years later. This is good enough for me”.
Other than creating plays, he has also written a slew of books. Encouraged by his teachers, Perez started writing in grade school. “They told me I should be a writer when I grow up. As a young child, it sort of stuck to my mind. I did end up as a writer,” he says in an interview with PressReader on April 2010.
Perez’s master’s thesis, titled Pagsubok sa Ilang: Ikaapat na Mukha ni Satanas was published by Anvil Publishing Inc. in 2005 and was awarded the National Book Award for Theology and Religion by the Manila Critics Circle in 2006. Along with that publication and under the Filipino Theology Series, he co-authored a children’s book, Inang Bayan’s New Clothes as well.
On top of that, Perez actually had many other variations and series of published books. One being the Anvil Transpersonal Psychology Series which includes the following:
- The Calling: A Transpersonal Adventure
- The Departed: Encounters of the Spirit Questors with Spirits of the Deceased
- Beings: Encounters of the Spirit Questors with Non-human Entities
- Stories of the Moon: Further Adventures of the Spirit Questors
- A Young Man Cries for Justice beyond His Grave Volume I
- Songs of Sunset: Incantations and Spells by the Spirit Questors
- Mga Panibagong Kulam
- Mga Panibagong Tawas
- Mga Panibagong Orasyon
- Mga Panibagong Orasyon sa Magica Cantada
- Mga Panibagong Ritwal ng Wicca
- Mga Panibagong Kulam sa Pag-ibig
- Maligayang Pagdating sa Sitio Catacutan (New Series)
- Malagim ang Gabi sa Sitio Catacutan (New Series)
In sequence, from left to right:
Perez has also published several plays, fiction, poems and illustrations in various anthologies, textbooks, and magazines. These works are composed of the following:
- This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from around The World (edited by Naomi Shihab Nye, Macmillan Publishing Company)
- Tenggara 23: Journal of Southeast Asian Literature (Jabatan Persuratan Melayu, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia)
- New Writing from the Philippines, Volume 33 (Philippine Studies Series)
- Modern ASEAN Plays: Philippines (edited by Nicanor G. Tiongson, ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information)
- A Habit of Shores: An Anthology of Poems, 1965-1974 (edited by Gemino H. Abad, Bureau of National and Foreign Information)
- Building Communication Skills 6 and Gems of Philippine Literature (Department of Education, Culture, and Sports)
- Rogue Magazine
- The Philippine Star
- The Philippines Free Press Magazine
- The Sunday Times Magazine, Mr. & Ms. Magazine
- Woman’s Home Companion Magazine
After having more than 40 books published in the Philippines, he is devoting the rest of his life to posting his new and forthcoming books in cyberspace. They can be accessed through his main blog.
Perez is one of the 100 Filipino recipients of the 1898-1998 Centennial Artists Awards of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. His other awards are included below:
- The 13 Artists of the Philippines
- The Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas from the Writers Union of the Philippines
- Four National Book Awards from the Manila Critics Circle
- FAMAS Award for Best Story
- Five prizes from the Cultural Center of the Philippines Playwriting Contest
- Three prizes from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature
- The National Fellowship for Drama from the Creative Writing Center of the University of the Philippines
- The Irwin Chair in Creative Writing from Ateneo de Manila University
- A prize in photography from the Children’s Museum and Library, Inc.
Still want to know more about Tony Perez? Then here is your chance! Sign up for our Writing from The Heart playwriting workshops 2017. Head over to our Writing & Community blog for more details on the workshop itself!
Don’t wait any longer, here’s your chance to be inspired and guided by Tony Perez himself! Register with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and book your slot now! Limited spaces available!