Quotes by: F. Sionil Jose
I write entirely in English; Tagalog chauvinists chide me for this. I feel no guilt in doing so. But I am sad that I cannot write in my native Ilokano. History demanded this; if it isn't English I am using now, I would most probably be writing in Spanish like Rizal, or even German or Japanese.
The heart of the theater is the play itself, how it dramatizes life to make it meaningful entertainment. To achieve depth and universality, the playwright must subject himself to intense critique, to know human character and behavior, and finally to construct art from the most mundane of human experience.
I do not want to be bored listening to music that is muffled and known only to the poet himself.
Our appreciation of folk art will strengthen our identities, our pride in belonging to a community. People trained in the creative use of their hands soon acquire skills, excellent craftsmanship which will be the most important measure of how well we can industrialize.
Class - or the economic status of individuals - is evident in all societies, some very well stratified by a rigid caste system determined by birth.
We are shallow because our media are so horribly shallow. Every morning, I peruse the papers, and there is so little to read in them. It is the same with radio - all that noise, that artifice.
Cultural values are, in themselves, neutral as well as universal, and so much depends on how individuals or ethnic groups use them. Values are influenced by so many factors such as geography, climate, religion, the economy and technology.
Indeed, the existence of class, of social hierarchy, is as old as man himself. It prevails in the jungle where strength determines hierarchy; among men, it has also been savagely the same, whereby rulers vested with power through personal combat, or through lineal heritage as in the case of royalty, ravage their subjects.
All through history, a nation or a civilization's enduring glory is articulated by its mega constructions - the pyramids, the lofty cathedrals of the Christian world.
You can't have integrity for breakfast, but try and keep it because it is perhaps the single most important word that defines not just writers but all human beings.
Poetry is emotion, passion, love, grief - everything that is human. It is not for zombies by zombies.
I have always admired teachers because teaching, like the priesthood, medicine and writing, is a vocation. You don't become a teacher because you want wealth. It is the same with writing.
I find it always pleasurable talking with young people, particularly those aspiring to be writers, out of nostalgia, and because I've always felt that we oldies can learn so much from them and draw from them inspiration in our flagging and rickety years.
Industrialization starts with the formation of capital - it does not matter how. It can be created by saving, by the state enforcing its will on the people, by the very rich themselves.
All dictators, the rich and famous, to the lowest security guard who holds a gun, easily forget that power is transitory.
Always remember: the alleviation of poverty is never a political or economic issue - it is moral.
The Japanese covet important symbols - their heroic past as enshrined in Yasukuni, the Imperial family which has never been sullied by scandal.
The ethnic differences among Filipinos are very real. The paucity of arable land, for instance, explains the industry of the Ilokanos and the Cebuanos.
The Japanese bureaucracy is unique. It is also very powerful, although it is now the object of so much criticism. Many of Japan's brightest made it a pillar of strength and continuity.
I said that if I were an industrialist or entrepreneur, I would invest in agriculture-based enterprises, for there is so much that can be done in manufacturing, in food preservation.