FRANCISCO V. PEÑONES JR.
Francisco V. Peñones, Jr., a Master of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in Teaching Literature (with distinction) graduate from the San Jose State University, California and De La Salle University, respectively, is an active advocate of “Artivism”, which brings art appreciation to the people, especially children, and uses art as an agent of social change.
He is the Information Officer of the local government office of Iriga City, Camarines Sur. He was a news editor and writer for several local and international publications such as the Bicol Standard, Balalong, Limelight Magazine, and Al-Nisr Publishing as well as for national radio stations such as the dzMM/dzRR of ABS-CBN, dzAM/dwFM of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), and for Radio Veritas Asia. He is editor of the weekly newspaper, Bikol Reporter based in Naga City and the quarterly magazine, Bicol Harvest.
He is the Executive Director of Bicol AHEAD (Advocates for Heritage Education and Development). He also sits as the Southern Luzon representative in the Executive Council of the Committee on Literature of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts; and the Board of the Philippine Chapter of the International PEN.
He is also a recipient of several local, national, and international fellowships, grants and awards such as the Sen. John Phelan Award for Poetry, the Dorrit Sibley Poetry Prize. He is a third prize Palanca awardee for Poetry for Children, and was named an Outstanding Bikolano Artist in Literary Arts in 2009 by the Bicol Regional Council for Culture and the Arts. He is also a two-time Outstanding Bikol Columnist and English Columnist awardee of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th St. Peter Baptist-Catholic Mass Media Award.
He has authored and presented several published papers, books, anthologies, journals and magazines and is currently engaged in a reading program called Pagbasa=Pag-asa, which aims at instilling reading habits among children. He is also involved in the Rincodana Dictionary Project, a three-year project that started in 2010.
He is a Bachelor of Arts (major in Political Science) graduate of Ateneo de Naga University in 1978, and earned his M.A.T.L and M.F.A in 2002 and 2009, respectively.