Schooled in the public education system, Alice Tan Gonzales cut her teeth on Si Pepe kag si Pilarin the 60s and fed on Hiligaynon Magazine in late grade school for scant reading materials within her reach. After Grade II, Alice reconnected with the language in her study of the Hiligaynon ballad called komposo for her Master’s thesis at the Ateneo de Manila in the early 1980s. She started writing in Hiligaynon at the prodding of the “Father of Contemporary West Visayan Literature” Leoncio P. Deriadain 1988. Born of a Filipina and a Chinese and speaking Hiligaynon at home, it is no wonder she should write her first short story in Hiligaynon and discover her deep connection with the language in the process.
Alice has found a home in the Humanities Division, College of Arts and Sciences, UP Visayas where she teaches literature and communication. UPV sent her to school at UP Diliman where she finished her Ph. D. in English Studies: Creative Writing in 2008. UPV has all this time recognized her and supported her specialization and expertise in Creative Writing in Hiligaynon without prejudice or condescension, for which she is constantly thankful. She writes poetry, drama and fiction in Hiligaynon, and her area of study includes Hiligaynon folk literature.
She was awarded the Carlos Palanca Hall of Fame for Literature in 2014 for winning five first places in the Hiligaynon Category of Maikling Kuwento.
LIST OF WORKS
- Istoryahan Ta Ka Uli, Kasingkasing Press, 2016, a collection of stories for older children
- Ilongga: Madamo nga Guya, Seguiban Press, Iloilo, 2014 — a collection of poems on woman
- May Isa ka Kuring nga Hari kag Iban pa nga Sugilanon, Kasingkasing Press, Iloilo, 2010, a collection of seven stories for children
- Sa Taguangkan sang Duta kag Iban pa nga Sugilanon, Seguiban Press, Iloilo, 2009 — a collection of short stories in Hiligaynon