Isabelita Orlina Reyes was born on 4 April 1962 in Manila. Her three degrees were all obtained at UP: BS Architecture, 1986; AB English, cum laude , 1992; MA Creative Writing, 1997. She is presently teaching at the UP Department of English and Comparative Literature. Reyes was a copy editor of Philippines Free Press in 1997. She had earlier worked as senior investment manager, Supreme Commodities and Equitiworld Stockbrokers, 1988-89, and as marketing communications manager and direct marketing division director, Platinum Plans Inc., 1988-89.
Her book of poems, Stories from the City, was published by the UP Press in 1998. “I hope,” she says, “one of the things that comes across [in Stories ] is my awareness of my subject position. Being Filipino and constantly confronted by my middle class guilt, I feel the need to get in touch with what is Filipino. Yet, I cannot return to roots I have no affinity for. I cannot return to roots I do not have, period. I have no experience with what is ethnic, and I have never lived in a Philippine province. So what do I write of? The neon city outside my sliding door.” (From her essay, “Neon Lines,” in Stories : p. 110)