WATCH: Interview with Virgilio Almario, National Artist for Literature

MANILA, Philippines – In this interview filmed in 2011, Virgilio Almario – National Artist for Literature in 2003 and current chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts – talks about the factors that helped shape him into the writer and critic that he is.

Almario, who goes by the pen name Rio Alma, is a prolific poet who also wrote the first book on Philippine literary criticism.

For the Akdang-Buhay series, he was interviewed by poet and University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing director Vim Nadera.

During the Buwan ng Panitikan (National Literature Month), Rappler runs the series that features interviews with several national artists for literature and influential writers, conducted by young writers who have studied their works or whom they have mentored.

Akdang-Buhay is a joint project between the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Likhaan: The University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing, and the University of the Philippines Open University. Rappler obtained permission to republish the series.

Watch Almario's interview here. – Rappler.com