Who Is Jose La. Villa Tierra?


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Jose was born in August 5, 1908 and died on February 7, 1997. He was a Filipino poet, literary critic, short story writer, and painter.

His parents were Simeón Villa (a personal physician of Emilio Aguinaldo, the founding President of the First Philippine Republic) and Guia Garcia (a wealthy landowner). He graduated from the University of the Philippines Integrated School and the University of the Philippines High School in 1925. Villa enrolled on a Pre-Medical course in the University of the Philippines, but then switched to Pre-Law course. However, he realized that his true passion was in the arts.

In 1946 Villa married Rosemarie Lamb, with whom he had two sons, Randall and Lance. They annulled ten years later. He also had three grandchildren, Jordan Villa, Sara Villa Stokes and Travis Villa. Villa was especially close to his nieces, Ruby Precilla, Milagros Villanueva, Maria Luisa Cohen and Maria Villanueva.

Villa's tart poetic style was considered too aggressive at that time. In 1929 he published Man Songs, a series of erotic poems, which the administrators in UP found too bold and was even fined Philippine peso for obscenity by the Manila Court of First Instance. In that same year, Villa won Best Story of the Year from Philippine Free Press magazine for Mir-I-Nisa. He also received P1,000 prize money, which he used to migrate to the United States.

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