Clodualdo del Mundo

delMundo

Short story writer, novelist, playwright, essayist, journalist, teacher, critic. And for the many readers of Liwayway and the pioneering komiks of Ace Publications, a prolific writer.

CLODUALDO DEL MUNDO was born on September 11, 1911 in Sta. Cruz, Manila. His parents were Mariano del Mundo, a sculptor from Bocaue, Bulacan; and Remigia Legaspi of Sampaloc, Manila. A graduate of Mapa High School, del Mundo obtained a degree in Associate in Arts from Far Eastern College (now Far Eastern University), and a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from the National Teachers’ College. Del Mundo spent a few years studying law at the Philippine Law School, and fine arts at the University of the Philippines.

Del Mundo’s life as a writer was a constant struggle between literary writing and popular writing for the mass media, particularly radio and komiks. This life was also characterized by his constant battle for the defense of Pilipino, our national language.

Del Mundo was at the forefront of literary organizations. In 1936, he co-founded and became president of Panitikan, an avant-garde group of college writers in Pilipino. He also became president of Ilaw ng Bayan in 1937, and a member of Ilaw at Panitik in 1938. He provided an active voice in the name of the national language when he became member of TANIW (Taliba ng Inang Wika) in 1955, and its president from 1967 to 1972.

As early as 1936 up to his later years in the seventies, Del Mundo’s name was associated with various magazines as associate editor, managing editor or editor. Among these magazines were Alitaptap, Orient Digest, Nautilus, Halakhak, Mabuhay, Aliwan, Paru-Paro, Daigdig and Liwayway. He was editorial director of Liwayway when he died on October 3, 1977.

In literature, Del Mundo is remembered for his major contribution in criticism. In 1936, he co-edited with Alejandro Abadilla a compilation of the best short stories from 1925 to 1935, entitled Mga Kuwentong Ginto. Del Mundo continued to publish his critical articles in Taliba and Liwayway; and in 1969, he came out with his book of criticisms, Mula sa Parolang Ginto.

In radio, del Mundo is remembered for his Prinsipe Amante, which was aired from 1949 to 1953. Prinsipe Amante, a costume play rooted in folklore and the komedya, was made into a film by Lamberto Avellana and became a box-office success. Del Mundo wrote countless other plays on radio, including biblical plays during Lenten seasons; however, nothing surpassed the popularity of Prinsipe Amante.

In komiks, del Mundo is remembered as one of the prolific writers during the Golden Years of komiks in the country. These Golden Years happened with the entry of Ace Publications in 1947 with the publication of Pilipino Komiks. Through the fifties, Ace Publications komiks – Pilipino, Hiwaga, Espesyal and Tagalog Klasiks – reached an unprecedented height in popularity. Together with del Mundo during those years were Mars Ravelo, Pablo S. Gomez, and Francisco V. Coching. Leading illustrators at that time were Coching himself, Nestor Redondo, Alfredo Alcala and Fred Carrillo. Most of the komiks stories by del Mundo were illustrated by Fred Carrillo. This long collaboration produced memorable works – from social drama, like Malvarosa and Kadenang Putik; to costume drama, like Kapitan Bagwis and Pitong Sagisag; to action stories like Ripleng de Rapido, Paltik, Asintado; and to science-fiction like Tuko sa Madre Kakaw and Zarex.

For about two decades, del Mundo provided a rich resource of stories for movie producers. Many of his stories were produced by LVN and Premiere Productions. In 1960, Kadenang Putik, produced by Premiere, was awarded the FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences) trophy for best story.

Also noteworthy among del Mundo’s works in komiks medium was his adaptation of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere.

During the height of the popularity of komiks-magazines, del Mundo and his colleagues formed an organization to oversee the komiks industry and to underscore the responsibility of this mass medium. In 1956, the APEPCOM (Association of Publishers and Editors of Philippine Comics Magazines) was formed. In the sixties, del Mundo also functioned as its president.

Together with his popular works, which he saw an opportunity to reach the masses, del Mundo continued to write his more literary pieces. During his later years at Liwayway, he focused his work on the tanaga, a form of Pilipino poem, with four verses and seven syllables for each verse. A small space in Liwayway was reserved for del Mundo’s Makabagong Tanaga, and he produced a total of 283 of these short poems – a legacy, perhaps, of del Mundo’s constant struggle to lead his readers toward a different level of literary experience. [1]

Published Works