Dominador Ibarra Ilio was born on November 5, 1913, in Malinao, Aklan. He used a number of pen names, including Isaias Topacio Domingo, Basilio, Crisostomo de la Cruz, and J.D. Ibarra. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and geodetic engineering from the University of the Philippines, as well as a master’s degree in hydraulics from the State University of Iowa. He also studied groundwater development at the University of Minnesota. Ilio became part of the faculty of the University of the Philippines and the East Central Colleges, Pampanga; he was also dean of engineering of the Laguna College in San Pablo City.

A poet and fiction writer, Ilio attended Paul Engle’s Poetry Workshop in Iowa and received citations at the UP Golden Jubilee Literary Contest and Republic Anniversary Poetry Contest. In addition to becoming editor of The Vigil of Freedom magazine, he was a widely anthologized poet, with such poems as “The Vigil of Freedom” and “Icarus in Catechism Class” appearing in various publications. His books include The Diplomat and Other Poems (1955) and Collected Poems of Dominador I. Ilio (1989).