Donel Pacis was born on 26 July 1945, Vintar, Ilocos Sur. He obtained his BS Education, cum laude , from the Divine Word College in Laoag City. He was a fellow at the Silliman University and UP Writers Workshop in 1968 and 1969, respectively. He worked as literary editor of Asia International and Weekly Nation, and served as information writer in USIS [United States Information Service] before he migrated to the USA in 1972. He also wrote stories in English and Iluko [Ilocano].
His works are My Name Is Sadness, 1970 and The New Filipino , 1969 [with Cesar Mella].