Paz Marquez-Benitez

The writer of the first modern Filipino short story, Dead Stars, was Paz Marquez-Benitez. A pioneer in not only literature but education, she co-founded the Philippine Women’s College, possibly the first non-sectarian woman’s college of its time. One of her students, national artist Francisco Arcellana, even remarked that she was the ‘mother of us all’, which cements that she was a noted and beloved teacher of the first generation of Philippine writers (Ateneo Library of Women’s Writings, n.d.). With the emergence of education for Philippine citizens during the American occupation, aligned with the Philippine Women’s College’s (now University) goal of preserving cultural heritage and serving the country, more citizens (even a whole generation) participated in the effort to represent the country and even resist its oppressors.