Raymundo T. Pandan Jr. was born in Bacolod City, Philippines, on October 28, 1961. He was Valedictorian of his High School Class at the La Salle Bacolod High School in 1979. Greatly aided by an Insular Life Educational Foundation scholarship, he studied at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Guidon, the school’s newspaper. He graduated from theAteneo de Manila University in 1983 (AB Economics) and then went on to finish his law course at the top of his class at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (1989, Magna Cum Laude). He passed the 1989 bar examinations and has practiced law for 28 years. He was also a Fulbright Institute Fellow in American Culture at Duke University in 1996.
He was Dean of the College of Law of the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City from 1998 to 2010, where he is presently legal counsel and continues to teach several law subjects. He continues to do pro bono legal and advocacy work in human rights and the environment for the University. He has beenChairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Scholastica’s Academy, also in Bacolod City, for the last 14 years.
He has been in the active practice of law for 28 years, specializing in eminent domain, agrarian reform and labor cases, and is a partner in the Valencia Valencia Ciocon Pandan Rubica Rubica and Garcia LawOffices, Bacolod’s biggest law firm with 17 lawyers.
He has published his poetry in several national journals and publications, such as Focus Philippines, Philippine Panorama, Mithi, Caracoa, Versus, Philippine Studies, Sands & Coral, Raison d’Etre, Under the Storm: An Anthology of Contemporary Philippine Poetry, The Philippine Free Press, The Iyas Anthology, Bloodlust and the e-zines ppbPoetryPages, the electronic monsoon magazine and Asia Writesand his fiction in Focus Philippines and Handurao. His first book of poetry, Days of Grace: Selected Poems and New, 1984-2002 was a Finalist for the 2005 National Book Award.
He was a fellow at the 1984 University of the Philippines Writers Workshop and the 1984 Silliman University Writers Workshop and Senior Fellow at the University of St. La Salle Iyas Creative WritingWorkshop (2003). He was on the teaching panel of the renamed Iyas National Writers’ Workshop in
2006 and was its Project Director and Panelist in 2016 and 2018. In February, 2010, he was a delegate to the 2nd Philippine International Writers Festival in Cebu City. He is currently a member of the Philippine PEN.
He won Third Prize in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (English Poetry) in 2006 withhis collection, “Illuminations and Sonorities” and also Third Prize in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (English Poetry for Children) in 2012 with his collection, “The Ocelot and Other Poems.” His poem “An Explanation” received an Honorable Mention Award in the 2007 Meritage Press Holiday Poetry Contest.
In 2015, he won the inaugural Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for the Novel for “When Will This War End?”
He is also a social historian, having authored Land of Plenty, Land of Want, a social history of Negros Occidental. He has published works on agrarian reform and the sugar industry and has done research on alternative dispute resolution, democracy, local governance, health care and the environment. He was theResearch Director of the Supreme Court’s JURIS Project on mediation from 2004 to 2008.
He is married to the former Sally Dy, with whom he has three children, Anton, Raisa and Andre. Anton is married to Rowena, and has three children, Dean, Pep and Isabel.
List of Works
1. Bloodlust: Philippine Protest Poetry (from Marcos to Duterte) [published by Reyes Publishing, 2017];
2. When Will this War End? (Winner of the 2015 Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for the Novel) [unpublished]; 3. The Iyas Anthology [published by USLS Press, 2013];
4. Under the Storm: An Anthology of Contemporary Philippine Poetry [published by the .MOV International Film, Music, & Literature Festival, 2011];
5. Days of Grace, Selected Poems and New, 1984-2002, 2005 (Finalist, Poetry Category, 2006 National Book Awards, Philippines) [published by USLS Press, 2005];
6. Protest [published by the Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1994];
7. Versus: Philippine Protest Poetry [published by the Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1988].