[Blueboard] Doreen G. Fernandez, M.A. '56, Ph.D. '77 (1934-2002)

Rona Valenzuela ronapres at admu.edu.ph
Mon Jul 1 15:51:23 PHT 2002

Clear Day
Ateneo de Manila University

                                                                                               1 July 2002
       FROM    :    The PRESIDENT
  SUBJECT    :     DOREEN G. FERNANDEZ, M.A.'56, Ph.D.'77
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In your prayers, PLEASE REMEMBER
Professor and former Chair: Departments of Communication,
English and Interdisciplinary Studies
            Many tributes have been written about Doreen following news of her death on June 24, 2002 at 8:00 P.M. (N.Y. time).  She passed away peacefully, surrounded by prayers from her sister Della Besa, Fr. Freddie Balinong, S.J. and other relatives in New York.  "Beloved friend to many, mentor, teacher, columnist, extraordinary inspiration." And so she is to us all.
            Fr. Balinong wrote the Jesuit community: “Fathers, it was a very peaceful ending. Some of us were around Doreen to pray the ancient prayers. Then the end came at 8:20 P.M., 24 June 2002.”

            On Friday, July 5, services will be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).  Fr. Rodrigo D. Perez, III (Dom Bernardo Ma. OSB), a co-CCP Board member, will be the Presider at the 2:00 P.M. Mass. 
            The University will offer our Funeral Mass for Doreen on Saturday, July 6, at 5:00 P.M. The venue and other details will be announced in a separate memo.
            Doreen G. Fernandez obtained her A.B., major in English and History in 1954 from St. Scholastica's College, Manila; she completed her M.A. in English Literature (1956) and Ph.D. in Literature (1977) from the Ateneo de Manila University. She started teaching in Ateneo de Manila in October 1972 and would have rendered 30 years service in October 2002.
            Her fields of interest have been Philippine Literature and Literary History, drama, cultural history, popular culture, journalism and culinary history, a treasure trove she generously shared with her students in her more than 29 years teaching in the Ateneo de Manila and readers of her columns in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
            A prolific writer, she authored:  the "Iloilo Zarzuela: 1903-1930" (1976); "In Performance" (1981); "Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture" (1994); "Face to Face: The Craft of Interviewing" (1995); "Palabas: Essays on Philippine History" (1996); "Fruits of the Philippines" (1997).
            With E. Alegre, she co-authored: "Writers and Their Milieu I and II" (1984, 1987); "Sarap" (1988); "Lasa" (1989); "Lasa: Dining in the Provinces" (1990); "Kinilaw: A Philippine Cuisine of Freshness" (1991); "Lasa: A Guide to 100 Metro Manila Restaurants" (1992).
            She also did video scripts: "Tikim," a video-documentary on Philippine Food, 1989; "Panitikan," a video-documentary on Philippine literature, 1989; "Dulaan," a video-documentary on Philippine contemporary theater, 1994.
            She was a member of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Board of Trustees and the Philippine Educational Theater Association Board of Trustees. Recently she was appointed Editor-in-Chief of Philippine Studies.
            She was married to the late interior designer Wili Fernandez in 1958; she is survived by her mother Alicia, and siblings Della and Ben Besa, Nil and Lyn Gamboa, nieces and nephews.
            Last Saturday, June 29, on coming back from a workshop with the Graduate School of Business in Davao, I found on my desk a letter from Doreen dated May 28, 2002 which begins: 
            “Dear Father Ben, The last time we met about this, you asked me to envision the book.”
            And she then wrote to me about the project we have been discussing for a year or two on the history of the Ateneo in preparation for our 150th anniversary in 2009.  In that note, she left an outline of the proposed book.
            She had a mind and passion for excellence and the higher arts.  But at heart she was always in touch with our people, our ways of cooking and eating and coming together. In her teaching and writing, she has left us a legacy of our culture and treasures as a people.
                                                                                    BIENVENIDO F. NEBRES, S.J.
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