Quantcast
Latest Stories

Memorial pays tribute to author Norma Miraflor

By

Norma’s students: Rosalie Roth, Evelyn Romero, Concepcion Dalupan, Brenda Reyes, Elenita Porciuncula, Evelyn Opilas

Friends, colleagues and former students gathered for a memorial recently in Makati, paying tribute to the wit, passion and delightful quirks of the late writer, author and mentor Norma O. Miraflor who wrote “30” in Sydney on May 2.

Miraflor, 69, succumbed to breast cancer at Mona Vale Hospital in Sydney’s northern suburbs, leaving behind her war-historian-journalist-publisher husband Ian Ward; sisters Zenaida, Araceli and Yolanda; brother Demetrio Jr.; in-laws, nephews, nieces, and her faithful assistant, Lot.

The memorial started with the 6 p.m. Mass at Don Bosco Chapel, after which the attendees congregated at the Bel-Air Makati home of journalist Elizabeth Reyes and her husband Hans Springer.

On the menu were Miraflor’s favorite Spanish cuisine of paella, callos and chorizo; dimsum and Australian red wine.

NORMA O. Miraflor

A Powerpoint presentation from her sister Araceli Miraflor Reyno and photos from her brother Jun provided an insight into Miraflor’s family life, favorite songs and achievements.

No-nonsense approach

 

Writer Gregorio Brillantes recalled that his first conversation with Miraflor at Sunburst Publications in the early ’70s was to remind her of the magazine’s deadline, to which she retorted, “BS!”

“We know, of course, that there was nothing ‘BS’ about Norma,” Brillantes said, noting her straightforward manner, no-nonsense approach and integrity.

Being both Palanca awardees,  Brillantes said he could reread  Miraflor’s short stories and enjoy them each time.

“She was the best produced by UST’s Philets,” he said, referring to the University of Santo Tomas’ Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, from which  Miraflor graduated magna cum laude in 1966.

The Miraflor siblings Yolanda,Norma, Zenaida, Araceli and Demetrio Jr.

Food editor and journalist Norma Olizon-Chikiamco remembered   Miraflor disliked people who were pretentious, citing examples  the attendees seemed to agree with.

No turning back

Chikiamco recalled that for  Miraflor, there seemed to be no turning back when she left the Philippines for Singapore in the mid-’70s to take up her post as editor of Female, the island republic’s most prestigious magazine for women, and subsequently as editorial director of the magazine’s publisher, MPH Publications.

In Singapore,  Miraflor met businesswoman Emma Matias, with whom she shared regular contact.  Matias would be instrumental in bringing the biggest change to  Miraflor’s private life.

“I introduced Ian, who happened to be a friend, to Norma,”  Matias proudly beamed.

MIRAFLOR with Lot and her paella

(Another friend, at the time in Singapore and now based in Amsterdam, Elsa Buenaventura noted in an e-mail of how  Ward and  Miraflor seemed to complement each other—“They were inseparable.”)

Cherie Mijares and EmmaMatias

Book editor Elizabeth Reyes also worked in Singapore for Diners Club and she recalled that, between her and  Miraflor, they were running the best-quality magazines on offer then.

Poetry teacher

 

Her former students at St. Theresa’s College-Quezon City—Concepcion Dalupan, Elenita Porciuncula, Brenda Reyes, Evelyn Romero, Rosalie Roth and Evelyn Opilas—remembered their teacher in Poetry for her long red nails; her mastery of the subject; and her fashion sense.

STC-QC had just opened its college department in 1966, and as freshmen they were among  Miraflor’s first students on her first year of teaching on campus.

Elizabeth Reyes

They recalled that no one in their batch seemed to cut Miraflor’s Poetry class; that her favorite phrase, “in other words,” in hindsight, referred to her favorite song, “Fly Me to the Moon”; and that she was deeply engaged with her students, even with their seemingly naughty interpretations of poetic lines.

Gregorio Brillantes

Roth, who is president of Makati Medical Center, linked  Miraflor’s choice to go the way she did with the philosophic discussions on death many years ago between 16- to 17-year-old college freshmen and their 19- or 20-year-old teacher, little realizing the impact poetry would have on their future lives.

Miraflor notched second place in the 1972 Palanca Memorial Awards for her short story in Filipino, “Kumpisal”; and in 1979 for her short story in English, “The Other Woman.”

Her books include “Available Light (The Life of Ela Cruz)”; “Remembered Songs and Other Stories”; and “Island of Wives.”

She co-authored books with her husband: “De La Salle: The Tradition, The Legacy, The Future”; and “Slaughter & Deception at Batang Kali.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Lifestyle , Norma Miraflor , Obituary , People



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  3. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  4. Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  5. Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  6. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  7. A tale of two Priscillas: my mother Prissy and Chona Recto Kasten
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  • Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  • Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  • Tagle: Hope comes with warning on Easter
  • New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  • Sports

  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Rain or Shine drops Ginebra in big hole
  • Ateneo whips CSB; Davao debuts with win over FEU
  • PH pug Hipolito Banal decisions Colombian in Aiba
  • Former Pacquiao sparmate Porter keeps IBF title
  • Lifestyle

  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Entertainment

  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
    Marketplace