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Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero (January 22, 1911 - April 28, 1995) was a Filipino playwright, director, teacher and theater artist. He has written well over a hundred plays, 41 of which have been published. His unpublished plays have either been broadcast over the radio or staged in various parts of the Philippines.

His publications include 13 Plays (first published in 1947), 8 Other Plays (1952), 7 More Plays (1962), 12 New Plays (1975), My Favorite 11 Plays (1976), 4 Latest Plays (1980), Retribution and eight other selected plays (1990) and The Guerreros of Ermita (1988).

He has been the teacher of some of the most famous people in the Performing Arts at present: Behn Cervantes, Celia Diaz-Laurel, Joy Virata, and Joonee Gamboa.[1]


Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero was born in Ermita, Manila. At the Age 14, he has already written his first play in Spanish, entitled, "No Todo Es Risa." This play was produced at the Ateneo de Manila University when he was 15.

Aside from becoming a reporter and a proofreader for La Vanguardia, a Spanish newspaper, and a drama critic for the Manila Tribune, he also worked for some time in Philippine Films as a scriptwriter. He also became the director Filipino Players from 1941-1947. In 1947 he was appointed as the University of the Philippines Dramatic Club director despite lacking a degree, a position he served for sixteen years.[2]

In 1962, he organized and directed the U.P. Mobile Theater that goes on the road all over the Philippines to for performances.[2]

Several Guerrero plays have been translated into and produced in Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Tagalog, Visayan, Ilocano and Waray. Six of his plays have been produced abroad: "Half an Hour in a Convent" at the Pasadena Playhouse, California; "Three Rats" at the University of Kansas; "Condemned" in Oahu, Hawaii; "One, Two, Three" (premiere performance) at the University of Washington, Seattle; "Wanted: A Chaperon" at the University of Hawaii; and "Conflict" in Sydney, Australia.[2]

He is the first Filipino to have a theater named after him within his lifetime: The Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater of the University of the Philippines.[2]

His Life as a Child

Wilfrido grew up from a wealthy family. His father, Dr. Manuel, was considered the most renowned doctor of his time, his reputation based on his “clinical eye” which could diagnose a person’s illness by just studying that person’s outside appearance. Among his clients were some of Manila’s richest, like Brias Roxas, the Ayalas, Pardo de Taveras, Zobels, Roceses, Osmeñas, Alberts, etc. Thus, his father could afford to give them all the comforts of life.

They were not allowed to eat with their hands and they were forbidden to speak Tagalog. He had a totally comfortable life.

He was nearly seven when his father died. They were left with the big house at Plaza Ferguson, two cars (which his mother sold), and a Php10,000 life insurance. Five months after the funeral, they rented the first floor of his cousins the Mossesgelds’ house for Php50.00. His mother had their house rented to an American family and they lived on the monthly income. All of them being To be able to study high school in Ateneo in Intramuros, he and his brothers, Edmundo, Lorenzo, Manuel became choristers. They got free tuition which was Php60.00 a semester, but they had to buy their textbooks. When he reached third-year high school, being sick and fed up with having to hear daily Mass, he took the courage to go to Don Alejandro Roces, Sr., who had been one of his father’s patients and whose wife was a close friend of their mother. He went to Roces’ office at the Manila Tribune and stated his purpose. Don Alejandro readily agreed, and he paid for his tuition for his last two years in high school.

Why He Started Writing

His favorite aunt, Maria Araceli, discovered his writing ability. When he was around 12 or 13, she noticed him writing on scraps of paper, then hiding them inside his cabinet drawer.

He wrote his first complete one-act play, No Todo Es Risa, while in his second year high school. He showed it to the late Father Juan Trinidad, S.J. (who at that time was translating the Bible into Tagalog) and he liked it. The priest said his Spanish was idiomatic and decided to stage it for their Father Rector’s (Fr. O’Brien) birthday.

And yet soon after his aunts death, he wrote some of his most popular comedies, like Movie Artists, Basketball Fight, and Wanted: A Chaperon.

Years later, he made his aunt the principal character in Forever as Maria Teresa and later as Maria Araceli in Frustrations. “Both women are like my aunt: imperious, strong-willed, wise, but also humane,” he wrote.[2]


He has received three national awards: the Rizal Pro-Patria Award in 1961, the Araw ng Maynila Award in 1969, and the Republic Cultural Heritage Award in 1972.

The U.P. Mobile Theater has been a recipient of two awards when he was its director: The Citizen's Council for Mass Media Trophy (1966) and the Balagtas Award (1969).[2]

In 1997, Guerrero was posthumously distinguished as a National Artist for Philippine Theatre.[3]



  1. ^ About Culture and Arts
  2. ^ a b c d e f Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero
  3. ^ Guerrero, Wilfrido Ma. The Guerreros of Ermita: Family History and Personal Memoirs.Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1988.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

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348 videos foundNext > 

Forever by: Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero

a project made by my classmates Ly Nikolai Datan as Ernesto Genee Mar Bobias as Maria Teresa Martha Kaye Sayson as Ernesting(Martha in the movie) Christian R...

Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero's "Three Rats" - Plot (SY12111)

Group 3's Finals Project to be submitted to Prof. Michael F. Tidon Please dont judge our amateur short film skills! Feel free to leave comments though :)

The Condemned Film Adaptation by Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero

A film adaptation as our entry for our Speech Fest last October 9, 2013 wherein we won five awards; 2nd Runner-up Best Film Adaptation, Best Sounds, Best Scr...

FOREVER by PUNP CE/CPE2 S.Y. 2012-2013

An original composition of Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero, produced by PUNP CE/CPE 2 S.Y. 2012-2013, that served as a final project in Philippine and World Literature...

forever directed by Christian A. Villamor

written by Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero.

Half an Hour in a Convent (shadow play) by: Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero

EFR1-3 Production: "Condemned"

Condemned, a play written by Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero. It was first performed at Capital Theater and was directed by Fernando Poe Sr in 1944. This year, summer ...

Forever(shadow play)-Wilfrido Ma. Guerero

"Even though how great love is for a person it doesn't guarantee it will last and have a happy ending like in fairy tales." Philippine Literature Final Proje...

HUM014 (A73): Wanted: a Chaperon

Read the Description ☺ Wanted: A Chaperon is a play in one act, written and directed by Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero. Jose Villa Panganiban has translated it as "Ka...


348 videos foundNext > 

4 news items

Broadway World

Broadway World
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:18:45 -0700

Manila, Philippines--Show partners Dulaang UP (DUP) and BroadwayWorld.com (BWW) are giving away a pair of tickets to the former's production of William Shakespeare's MEASURE FOR MEASURE ("Hakbang sa Hakbang") at Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero ...
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:33:45 -0700

That statement opened the press launch of Dulaang UP's 39th season, held recently at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater in UP Diliman, Quezon City. The theme running through the five plays that will be presented, in Filipino as well as English, until ...


Fri, 22 Aug 2014 19:37:30 -0700

“OROSMAN at Zafira,” the 2008 reimagined dance theater production directed by Dexter Santos for Dulaang UP, based on the original text by Francisco Baltazar. Deviating from the standard komedya where the conflict is between theMoros and the Cristianos, ...


Fri, 08 Aug 2014 15:41:15 -0700

The Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater needs an honest-to-goodness overhaul, and Cortez is thankful that the university chancellor appears to be supportive. “We are quite optimistic that things will be for the better this year in terms of infrastructure and ...

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