Tita Lacambra-Ayala Biography and Literary Works (Poems)

Tita Lacambra-Ayala was an Ilocano/Filipina poet, writer, and artist. She was born Marciana Agcaoili on January 2, 1931. Although she was birthed in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, she grew up in Antamok, Benguet. She pursued her Bachelor of Science in Education degree at the University of the Philippines. She majored in English and minored in History. While studying, she supported herself by freelance writing for magazines. She graduated in 1953. It was in UP where she met the artist and writer Jose Ayala who became her husband. The couple had six children. She is the mother of the singer-songwriter Joey Ayala.

In the mid-50's, she settled in Bukidnon with her husband then eventually relocated to Davao. From 1994 to 1995, she was the National Fellow for Poetry of the University of the Philippines Creative Writing Center. 

Lacambra-Ayala died on January 9, 2019 in Davao. Cause of death was pneumonia. She was 88 years old when she passed away. 

Awards and Recognition:
1. Won the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for her short story Everything (1967)
2. Won the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for her poem A Filigree of Seasons (1977)
3. Recipient of a National Book Award for Poetry for Tala Mundi
4. Recipient of a Philippine Literary Arts Council Prize for Tala Mundi
5. Conferred the Fr. Theodore Daigler Award for Mindanao Culture
6. Philippines Free Press
7. Focus
8. Graphic

Poetry Collections:
1. Sunflower Poems (1960)
2. Ordinary Poems (1969)
3. Poor Boy Poems (1980)
4. Camels and Shapes of Darkness in a Time of Olives (1998)
5. Tala Mundi (2012)

1. Pieces of String and Other Stories (1984)
2. Friends: The Confessions of a Professional Amateur


"Actually my poetry was a nocturnal activity taking the place of evening prayers. It was an attempt to tie together, to rationalize all the internal and external happenings of one's life into a sensible whole. It was a try at preserving my own identity and sanity in my given space, role and environment."