Agapito M. Joaquin, Sr.
March 24, 1927 - July 19, 1981
Born in Caloocan, Rizal
(now Kalookan City) to Pedro Joaquin of Guiguinto, Bulacan and Agustina Marcos
of Polo, Bulacan on March 24th, 1927. He was the youngest of three brothers, Oligario and
Manuel. Their mother died when AMJ was about two years old leaving
his father and aunt, Emilya (Nanang Milya) Joaquin to care for him.
He studied at the
Mababang Paaralan ng Kalookan [Central, Kalookan Elementary School] up
to Grade Four. In 1941 he finished his elementary education at the Cecilio Apostol Elementary School
in Calaanan. He graduated as "Valedictorian" at the Caloocan High School
This is what his Caloocan Highschool (batch 1947) friends said about him:
"Student Government President, Senior Class President
Dramatic Club President, Chief Editor of "The Voice"
Cadet Corps Lieut. Colonel
Motto: There's no easy road to fame and success.
Ambition: To be a writer for arts sake, to be an actor for the fun of it, and a lawyer
Poet, playwright, journalist, actor, director, leader, officer -- these are among the titles by which
this all-around fellow from notorious Sangandaan can with right call
himself. Tall, wide and curly haired, he occasionally flares up but
his closest friends know that behind this periodical bursts of temper is a
heart capable of loving as well as any other. Seemingly
happy-go-lucky, he is nevertheless trusted with jobs of great
responsibility by his teachers and fellow students. Though obviously
not taking his lessons "too seriously" -- he somehow managed to
keep ahead and win this years top honors."
While studying Law at the University of
the Philippines, he was recognized as a "College Scholar" and as
"University Scholar" before he transferred to MLQ University in
1952. He took the bar exams in 1954 and passed with the mark of
89.85%. He was admitted to the bar January 25th, 1955. Click
here to his name listed on the Supreme Court of the Philippines' Lawyers
He was still studying when he was hired to be the
private secretary of the late Mayor Macario B. Asistio of Kalookan.
In 1958, he was hired as the municipal secretary of Kalookan and when
Kalookan became a city, he was chosen to be the Secretary of the Mayor.
Talambuhay ni Agapito M. Joaquin (Autobiography, 1969)
Isinilang si AMJ sa Caloocan, Rizal (ngayon ay Lungsod ng Caloocan) sa pag-asawahang Pedro Joaquin ng Guiguinto, Bulacan at Agustina Marcos, ng Polo, Bulacan, noong ika-24 ng Marso, 1927. Nag-aral siya sa Mababang Paaralang ng Caloocan at nagtapos bilang valedictorian sa Caloocan High School noong 1947. Nagsimula siya ng pag-aaral ng Batas sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas bilang entrance scholar, at naging college scholar at university scholar ng tig-isang semester sa nasabing pamantasan bago siya lumipat sa MLQ School of Law. Dito sa huling paaralan siya nagtapos ng Bachelor of Laws noong 1954. Pumasa siya sa bar nang sumunod na taon. Noong 1958, iniwan niya ang kanyang bupete upang maglingkod bilang kalihim ng Alkalde ng Caloocan, isang tungkuling hanggang ngayon (Hulyo, 1969), ay hawak niya.
Bagama’t si AMJ ay nagsusulat na sa panahon pa ng kanyang pag-aaral (naging Editor-in-Chief siya ng The Voice, pahayagang panghaiskul ng Caloocan), nagsimula lamang siyang maglathala ng mga kuwento at nobela sa Liwayway, Bulaklak at iba pang mga pambansang magasin noong 1961. Ang una niyang kuwento ay ang Tanikala ng Kamangmangan, na sinundan ng marami pang mga maiikling kathang pawing lumabas sa Liwayway. Ang una niyang nobelang nalathala ay ang Tulay na Buhangin, sinundan ng Sa Hukuman ng mga Anghel, Mga Sakim, Kuweba sa Anak Lindol, Moog sa Putikan, Mula sa Alabok, Nombre de Guerra, at iba pa. Nakipagdugtungan siya kina Dr. Fausto J. Galauran at Narciso S. Asistio sa isang nobelang lumabas din sa Liwayway, ang Tatlong Makasalanan.
Naglathala rin si AMJ ng nobela sa Free Press sa Pilipino noong 1965, ang Dingding na Karton at sa Bulaklak noon 1968, ang nobelang Mahal kong Taksil.
Noong 1963, inililathala niya bilang isang aklat ang kanyang nobelang Tulay na Buhangin, kasama ng ilang piling kuwento. Naubos sa loob ng dalawang taon ang 3,000 kopya nito. Sa kasalukuyan, ang Tulay na Buhangin at iba pang mga akda ay isinisalin ng UNESCO sa ibat-ibang wika sa Silangang Asya.
Dalawang ulit nagkamit si AMJ ng gantimpalang Palanca. Ang kanyang dulang Ang Taksil ay nagwagi ng ikatlong gantimpala noong 1965, at ang dulang Bubungang Lata ay nagkamit naman ng ikalawang gantimpala noong 1968.
Patuloy na nagsusulat sa Pilipino si AMJ.
Agapito M. Joaquin wrote for Liwayway, Bulaklak and Pilipino Free Press during his most productive writing years (1962-1969), as a hobby while serving as Secretary to the Mayor and later councilor of Caloocan City. In between pot-boilers (serials and short stories), he wrote two serious plays, Ang Taksil and Bubungang Lata which won Palanca Awards in 1965 and 1968. First produced by PETA in 1969, Bubungang Lata has been presented by various drama groups, including the prestigious Balitantaw series on pre-martial law Channel 5.
Joaquin is now engaged in the full-time practice of law, but hopes to go back to writing, especially for the stage and the movies, as soon as he has achieved some measure of economic stability. “I lost my shirt in the elections on 1971,” he says, “and that temporarily drove me away from the Muse. But I’ll bounce back.”
The Muse is waiting.
Isinilang noong Marso 24, 1927, sa Lungsod ng Kalookan, si AMJ ay nag-aral sa mga paarang publiko nang panahong Ingles ang wikang binibigyang-diin sa pagtuturo, subalit Tagalog ang ginamit niya nang magsulat siya ng mga kuwento, nobela at dula. Sa kasalukuyan (1976) ay mayroon siyang sariling bupete, Kagawad ng Board of Regents ng Kalookan City College, Miyembro ng School Board at Director ng Kultura at Turismo sa Lungsod ng
Naglathala si AMJ ng isang aklat ng nobela at mga kuwento noong 1964, ang “Tulay na Buhangin at iba pang mga akda”. Mahigit sa sampung nobela ang kanyang nasulat para sa Liwayway, Bulaklak at Pilipino Free Press. Nagtamo siya ng dalawang gantimpalang-Palanca, para sa dulang “ANG TAKSIL” noong 1964-65 at “BUBUNGANG LATA” noong 1967-68.
July 19th 1981, AMJ died at the age of 54 years.
1982, the City of Kalookan gave him a "Kagitingan Award".
A writer for arts sake.
An actor for the fun of it.
lawyer for livelihood.
was awarded the "Kagitingan Award" by the City of Kalookan in 1982
on the picture to see a bigger view.
of the Philippines
OF THE MAYOR
AGAPITO M. JOAQUIN
recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of literature as
evidenced by his having produced quality literary works notably "Tulay na
Buhangin" and "Bubungang Lata" which earned for him the
prestigious 1967-1968 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the
"Two Golden Decades", the half-finished "Kalookan: A Historical
Perspective" and several other articles projecting the Kalookan of
yesteryears, along with his Tagalog translations of the 1973 Constitution of the
Philippines and Dr. Jose P. Rizal's "My Last Farewell", all providing
later historians a wealth of materials and making the people of Kalookan prouder
of their notable heritage.
this 16th day of February 1982, on the occasion of the 20th Foundation Day
Anniversary of the City of Kalookan.