Jolico Cuadra, poet, painter, art critic; 74

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MANILA, Philippines—Multi-awarded poet, painter and art critic Jolico Cuadra (aka Juan Jose Jolicco Cuadra or A.Z. Jolicco Cuadra) died of acute infection after battling pneumonia for a week at Pamana Medical Center in Calamba, Laguna, early on April 30. He was 74.

He suffered a stroke early last month and had been afflicted with Parkinson’s disease since 2009. The wake was held at Biñan Memorial Home. He will be buried Thursday at 8 a.m. at Binan’s Forest Lake Memorial Park.

In 1962, Cuadra was acclaimed for his lyric poem “Dogstar,” which has been anthologized in books on contemporary Philippine poetry. He was said to have been influenced by the late Filipino poet Jose Garcia Villa.

His awards include a Carlos Palanca Memorial Award in poetry for his “Dogging Years” in 1978; a Southeast Asia Write Award for his “Poems of Poison Pawn” in 1979; and a Cultural Center of the Philippines honorable mention in literature for his “Possibilitarian Poems” in 1983.

He received the Art Association of the Philippines’ art criticism award in 1967, for articles written for the Manila Chronicle in the mid-1960s. He wrote art-criticism articles for various publications, including WHO Magazine in the mid-1980s, and the Manila Bulletin’s Lifestyle section in 2010-2011.

In the early 1990s, he dabbled in painting, producing canvases inspired by Swiss artist Paul Klee.

He studied at the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the East, as well as art schools in Barcelona and in Paris.

He and poet Chiqui Gomez (aka Augusta de Almeidda) became partners in the late 1970s. They were into writing poetry and articles, mysticism, and unidentified flying objects, and were members of a group in Southern Luzon that believes in the divinity of national hero Jose Rizal.

Cuadra married Joan Edades, daughter of National Artist Victorio Edades and American UP professor Jean Garrott, in Barcelona in 1960. They separated in the early 1970s.

He is survived by his children Christopher and Jason (with Edades), and Rajnna, Earl and Cristina (with Gomez), and children-in-law Stella, Sharon, Gino and Erwin.

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  • Jeroen

    Thanks for this article, one minor remark: According to several sources he was born in 1937, meaning he was 75 or 76. See for example the books UMPIL directory of Filipino writers, 1991; Filipino writers in English, 1987 or the website http://panitikan.hostingsiteforfree.com/authors/c/jcuadra.htm

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