RECOGNIZING and celebrating his contributions to the country, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) pay special tribute to National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose on May 18 at 5 p.m., at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).

The National Artist for Literature passed away on Jan. 6, at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined while waiting to undergo angioplasty. He was 97.

National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera will give tribute to his departed fellow artist, after the floral offering. Ambassador Delia Domingo Albert and Jun Cruz Reyes will then give their eulogies and talk about their encounters with Mr. Sionil Jose.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra will perform “Ti Ayat ti Maysa nga Ubing,” one of the late National Artist’s favorite songs. Tenor Tomas Umberto Virtucio, Jr. will sing “Dungdungwen Kanto,” with musical accompaniment by guitarist Ricardo Juanito Balledos.

Pianist Raul M. Sunico will play “The Falling Leaves,” with music by Joseph Kosma and English lyrics by Joseph Mercer.

Tanghalang Pilipino artistic director Fernando “Tata Nanding” Josef will do an excerpt from Balete, a theater play based on Tree, one of F. Sionil Jose’s Rosales Saga novels. The Rosales Saga narrates the stories of the different generations of the Samson family, intertwining their personal lives with the social struggles of the nation. Another novel from the saga, The Pretenders, has been brought to life by Tanghalang Pilipino, the CCP resident theater company.

Known for his novels and literary works espousing national sovereignty and social justice, F. Sionil Jose was one of the most revered and read Filipino writers. His works have been published and translated into various languages. He was the founder of the Philippine chapter of PEN.

The public is invited to join the tribute to National Artist F. Sionil Jose, following health and safety guidelines.