|Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil (Photo credit: http://rizal.lib.admu.edu.ph/)|
Her parents were Alfredo Leon Guerrero, a doctor, and Filomena Francisco, celebrated as Philippine's first pharmacist. Brother Leon Ma. III, lawyer and diplomat is a renown essayist and fictionist who was best known for his translations of Rizal's two novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, as well as the prize-winning work on Jose Rizal, The First Filipino. Her second brother Mario X. Guerrero, was one of the country's first foreign-trained cardiologists. Nakpil studied at St. Theresa’s College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1942. While there she edited the campus paper, The Orion. She taught literature at the same college.
She married Lt. Ismael A. Cruz in 1942, with whom she had two children, one of whom, Gemma Cruz- Araneta, a fictionist and Ismael G. Cruz. Carmen was widowed in World War II. Years after her first husband’s death, she married Harvard-trained modernist, the city planner and architect Angel E. Nakpil in 1950 with whom she had three children: Ramon Guerrero Nakpil, Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, and Luis Guerrero Nakpil.
Between the year 1946 and 2006, Nakpil worked either as staff member, editor or editorial columnist for the Manila Chronicle for 12 years where she wrote a daily column and a weekly column for the Sunday Times Magazine; she was also a columnist or editor at Evening News Saturday Magazine, Weekly Women’s Magazine, Malaya, and other newspapers. In 1960s, Nakpil served as the chairperson of the National Historical Commission and the Cultural Committee of the Philippine Commission for UNESCO. In 1983-1986 she worked as a representative elected by the UNESCO General Assembly in Paris. And between 1984-1986 she was managing director of the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center.
Guerrero-Nakpil’s published works include: Woman Enough and Other Essays, 1963; Question of Identity, 1973; The Philippines and the Filipino, 1977; The Philippines: The Land of the People, 1989; a novel, The Rice Conspiracy, 1990; History Today, the Centennial Reader and Whatever; as well as a wildly successful autobiographical trilogy Myself, Elsewhere; Legends & Adventures; and Exeunt.