Conrado de Quiros’ courageous, no-nonsense, gut-wrenching words
Yesterday, veteran journalist Howie Severino posted photos of Conrado de Quiros on Instagram with the caption: “Perhaps the most important writer of our time.” I couldn’t agree more. I first heard the distinct sound of the man’s intelligence when I was 13 years old (that was exactly 20 years ago!).
I still remember that day. I chanced upon a copy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer from our United States Armed Forces veteran neighbor. During that time, I wasn’t into broadsheets because of their innate ability to be as highfalutin as possible. My younger self couldn’t process what the columnists were talking about. But then, as I cruised through the terrain of never-ending English words, I chanced upon a Conrado de Quiros piece. His words gripped me from the get-go as he painstakingly explained the state of Philippine politics. His use of language was impeccable and impactful to my being that right then and there, I told myself that I must be a writer just like him.
Conrado de Quiros was in a league of his own. His integrity and principles—peppered with his genius—traversed not just the political but also the social and economic landscape of the Philippines and their significance from a universal perspective.
While I never met him in person and didn’t agree with everything he said and wrote about, I’ll forever be grateful to him for his no-nonsense writing, courageous opinion pieces, and gut-wrenching essays. His flesh may have died but not his words.
To a generation of writers and readers who looked up to him since childhood, he’ll forever be someone to strive for.
He showed us the path. His words and wisdom will live on.
Thank you, Sir Conrado de Quiros.
BENRE J. ZENAROSA