Manuel Ortega Abis, or Nonoy, was born on July 5, 1966. Single, he is a resident of Quezon City.
In 1982, Nonoy became the high school literary editor of Feedback, the official publication of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, H.S. Dept. In 1990, he was invited as a Fellow of the 1990 University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop (UPNWW) for Poetry in English. In 2014, he became a member of Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA), Batch BigKis. From 1984 to the present, he was published in various magazines and anthologies, mostly for his poems in English, then, later on, for his poetry in Filipino and short stories in both Filipino and English.
A self-confessed recluse, Nonoy first took up in 1983 the course of B.S. Education, Major in Elementary Education at the University of the Philippine-Diliman campus. When former Senator Ninoy Aquino was shot dead, he stopped studying and decided he would be a poet. In 1984, his first suite of poems was published in the now-defunct Focus magazine, entitled “Identity.” Following a period of more than half a decade, Nonoy took odd jobs as a high school graduate during the day, and furiously played his manual typewriter at night to secretly hone his young literary voice. His early poetic influences were a mixed lot: Jose Garcia Villa, Alejandro Abadilla, Gemino Abad, Rio Alma, Jose Lacaba and Emmanuel Lacaba, Carlos Angeles, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, Rilke, and – strangely – Franz Kafka.
In 1992, Nonoy joined government service as a payroll clerk of a local city government. In 2014, after more than 20 years, he left the service to once again pursue his first love – writing. While trying to make ends meet as a call center agent, he vowed never again to turn his back from writing.
For Nonoy, his story as a writer is his only love story.
True to his being a recluse, never once did he attempt to publish a book of his works.
List of published works
Contributor of the following poems and short stories in English to the Philippines Graphic magazine:
- As They Say, poem in English, March 30, 2015 issue, p. 42
- Way Past Personal, short story in English, June 1, 2015 issue, p. 38
- In This Garden, short story in English, January 4-11, 2016 issue, p. 38
- Two Poems: Refugee, Fugitive, poems in English, November 21, 2016 issue, p. 43
- Resist, poem in English, March 13, 2017 issue, p. 43
- Hiyas, short story in English, June 19, 2017 issue, p. 36
- Nature, short story in English, February 24, 2018 issue, page info n/a
- Body Counts, poem in English, issue and page info n/a
- Respite, poem in English, February 29, 2020 issue, page info n/a
Contributor of the following poems and short stories in Filipino to Liwayway magazine:
- Pasaway, poem in Filipino, September 8, 2014 issue, p. 48
- Sestinami, poem in Filipino, December 1, 2014 issue, p. 48
- Palaman, poem in Filipino, June 1, 2015 issue, p. 48
- Ahas, short story in Filipino, June 22, 2015 issue, p. 20
- Jasmin, short story in Filipino, November 28, 2016 issue, p. 18
- Alon, short story in Filipino, January 16, 2017 issue, p.16
- Multo, short story in Filipino, March 5, 2018 issue, page info n/a
- Trapik, short story in Filipino, December 10, 2018 issue, p. 16
- Kalaro, poem in Filipino, July 1, 2019 issue, page info n/a
Works published online:
- A Star Called Failure, prose-poem in English, as retrieved from https://www.lifestyle.inquirer.net/manuel-ortega-abis/
- At Home, Breath of Senses, Marriage, String, and Grass People And Home Tombs, poems in English, as retrieved from https://www.asiansignature.com/world-poetry/manuel-ortega-abis/
- Matter of Murder, and Desperatus, poems in English, as retrieved from The Kill List Chronicles Facebook page
- Sapantaha, poem in Filipino, included in Tudla at Tindig: Mga Tulang LIRA laban sa Huwad na Bayani at Laksang Paglimot, November 2016, from Louie Sanchez
Contributor of poems in English and Filipino to the following anthologies:
- Early Caracoa anthology issues published by the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC) during the 80s
- I Love the Red, Love Is Too Thin, and Strike, included in Brown River, White Ocean: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Philippine Literature in English, Luis H. Francia, ed., Rutgers University Press, p. 265, 1993
- Versus: Philippine Protest Poetry 1983-1986, Ester M. Pacheco and Alfredo Navarro Salanga, eds., Ateneo Press, 1987
- BigKis, Likas, at Pag-Ahon, included in the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA), Batch BigKis anthology, unnumbered pages, 2014
- The Philippine Cross-Stitch Society, poem in English, included in Journeys Along The Silk Road, paperback poetry anthology, Lost Towers Publications, February 24, 2015
- Zipline, included in the Tatlong Dekada ng Makatang LIRA, Fidel Rillo, Jr., ed., Librong LIRA, Inc., p. 1, 2015
- Blood Curse, included in BLOODLUST: Philippine Protest Poetry (from Marcos to Duterte), Alfred A. Yuson and Gemino H. Abad, eds., Reyes Publishing, p. 19, 2017
- Ang Dakilang Inaasam, Filipino book translation of the classic novel Great Expectations written by Charles Dickens, Rowena P. Festin, translator, Aklat ng Bayan, under the auspices of the Komisyon Sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) with the support of the Pambansang Komisyon Para Sa Kultura At Sa Mga Sining, 2018