Writer, poet and journalist Doris Trinidad Gamalinda, 95
Doris Trinidad Gamalinda, poet, essayist, and editor of several national publications, died
on Monday, February 13, 2023, in Manila. She was 95.
Doris Trinidad, as she is known in journalism and literary circles, is the mother of Marisse
Gamalinda-Abelgas, former editor of the Philippine Post and Hiyas Magazine, and
mother-in-law of Val G. Abelgas, publisher-editor of the Los Angeles-based Philippine
Post. She is also the mother of award-winning New York-based poet, novelist and
journalist Eric Gamalinda.
Born Adoracion Trinidad on November 15, 1927, to school teacher Aurora Cañizares and lawyer
Jesus Trinidad, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, summa cum laude, from the
University of Santo Tomas, where she was also Assistant Literary Editor of The Varsitarian. She
also attended high school at the Holy Ghost College (later College of the Holy Spirit) and was
Valedictorian at Legarda Elementary School, a few steps from her ancestral home in Sampaloc,
She began her writing career as a section editor for the Manila Times until its closure during
Martial Law in 1972, and later worked as associate editor for Focus Manazine, editor of the Times
Journal’s People Magazine and the Journal’s lifestyle editor. In 1980, she joined the staff of the
National Media Production Center, and a year later became editor-in-chief of Woman’s Home
Companion, during which time she turned the magazine into the most widely circulated lifestyle
magazine in the country.
She retired in 1995 and devoted her later years pursuing her first love—writing—and rapidly
published a succession of books, including Looking Glass (essays, New Day Publishers, 1991);
Permutations of Love (essays, Anvil Publishing, 1996); The Way of the Miracle (essays, Giraffe
Books, 1998); Mysteries and Memories (essays, Giraffe Books, 2000); and Now and Lifetimes Ago
(poetry, Giraffe Books, 2001). She also published Two Voices (poetry, University of Santo Tomas
Publishing House, 2012 ) with Gloria G. Goloy. In addition, her poems were also included in the
anthology Babaylan (Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco, 2000).
Mysteries and Memories was awarded Book of the Year by the Manila Writers Circle. In his
introduction to the book, F. Sionil Jose noted “the felicity of language that only a poet can muster,
the depth of perception and the illumination that clear thinking brings.”
Eugenia Duran-Apostol, in her introduction to Permutations of Love, said: “She rises above mere
journalese and ends up enchanting you with single-topic literary musings, many of them poems-
in-the-rough, almost-poems, not-quite-poems, unmetered poems. For by nature, Doris is a poet.”
Her alma mater UST also honored her with the Ustetika Award in 2006 and Philets Owl Award in
Doris Trinidad’s work explored the interconnectedness of writing, personal history, and memory,
placing great value on the significance of family, friendships, art and literature, spirituality, and
even politics and personal loss. Throughout her life, she remained a relentless student of the great
metaphysical mysteries and the quest for God and meaning, and of being and becoming.
She wrote: “I will just remind you of the treasures that might be lying in your own mind, buried for
years by layers of more pressing, more recent experiences. Find a quiet corner and a restful
moment to coax them out. They are part of what you are.”
Doris Trinidad Gamalinda was married to the late Marcial Gamalinda, Jr., and the mother of eight
children, Marcial III (“Bunny”); Marisse Abelgas; Marco; Celine Borromeo; Eric; Diana; Marvin; and
Miel Lanting. Her siblings included the late Agnes Tolosa, formerly Dean of Student Affairs at the
College of the Holy Spirit, and the late Dr. Juvenal Trinidad of the UST Faculty of Medicine. She
leaves behind 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Her remains will lie in estate at St. Peter’s Memorial Chapels in Quezon City starting Feb. 16 and
will be interred on Feb. 19 at Loyola Memorial Park.