MANILA, Philippines - National Artist for Literature Alejandro "Anding" Reyes Roces passed away on Monday, May 23, due to complications from pneumonia, The Philippine Star's Rosalinda Orosa reported.
Roces was education secretary from 1961-1965 during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal, and chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in 2001.
A columnist for The Philippine Star, he is also known for his essays and short stories, among them, "My Brother's Peculiar Chicken." He also wrote columns in Manila Chronicle and The Manila Times, and was former President of Manila Bulletin.
Roces wrote books such as "Of Cocks and Kites" (1959), "Fiesta" (1980), and "Something to Crow About" (2005).
He won a number of awards for his works: the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award, the Diwa ng Lahi Award, the Tanging Parangal of the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining, and the Rizal Pro Patria Award.
He was named National Artist for Literature in 2003.
Roces studied at Ateneo de Manila University for grade school and high school, and at the Arizona State University for his B.A. in Fine Arts degree. He finished his M.A. at the Far Eastern University.
Because of his campaign, the country's Independence Day was moved from July 4 to June 12. He also helped recover the manuscripts of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal which were stolen from the National Archives.
Roces is survived by his daughter Lizzie, and his brother Alfredo, a renowned artist and writer.
Photo from The Philippine Star