MULTI-AWARDED creative writer and Superbalita Cebu columnist Ernesto Degumbis Lariosa died on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, after two weeks of fighting an illness. He was 74.
Lariosa succumbed to liver failure while he was in an intensive care unit of a private hospital in Mandaue City.
His family announced that his wake will be at St. Peter Chapels on New Imus St. in Cebu City on Aug. 21-23. The wake will be transferred to the Lariosas’ residence in Barangay Panadtaran, San Fernando, Cebu on Aug. 24-26. Interment will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, at St. John’s Cemetery in the town.
Lariosa had a long history with Superbalita Cebu. He became its second language consultant after accepting the offer by Pachico A. Seares, then editor-in-chief of Superbalita and SunStar Daily (now SunStar Cebu), on Aug. 15, 1995.
He contributed to improving the Superbalita’s journalists’ grasp of the Cebuano language. Lariosa later won the Cebu Archdiocesan Mass Media Award for best in column writing in 2010 and 2013.
Lariosa was born on Dec. 11, 1944 in Tabionan, a mountain village in San Fernando, during World War II. After the war, his family resided in Panadtaran.
He started writing poetry, and he then became a fictionist. During his student days at the Southwestern University (SWU) in Cebu City, he became a member of ALBICALARIVI Poetry Group, which was founded by poet Melquiadito Allego Jr., who became a doctor.
ALBICALARIVI was the precursor of Bathalan-ong Halad sa Dagang (Bathalad) Sugbo, a group of creative writers founded by Allego on Aug. 19, 1969.
Lariosa was a prolific writer. His body of works boasted over 300 poems and 150 short stories from 1964 up to 2019. He was also a decorated writer, winning major prizes in different literary genres.
In 2003, he received the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for Cebuano poetry and fiction from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL). He received the Taboan Literary Award from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in 2013.
In 2004, he was awarded by SWU as an outstanding alumnus for literature and journalism.
A resolution by the Cebu City Council named him “Vanguard of Cebuano Literature” for winning the Palanca thrice in 2003.
Bathalad Sugbo proclaimed him twice as writer of the year in 1993 and 2005, and he was later installed in the Bathalad Hall of Fame for Poetry in 2006.
The “Crackshot and other stories” is an anthology of Lariosa’s original Cebuano stories translated into English by Hope Sabanpan Yu, and it was published by the University of San Carlos Press in Cebu City. He also wrote the first Cebuano epic, “Kalisub” in two volumes; Bisaya Magazine published the first volume.
He completed his first book of poetry, “Bangaw sa Alimungaw,” before he was confined in a hospital in Naga City, Cebu last Aug. 6. His family has decided to push through with the book launch during the Bathalad’s golden jubilee event at Cebu Normal University in Cebu City on Saturday, Aug. 24.