“Pagsi” is a well-loved, multi-awarded teacher in his alma mater, the Ateneo High School, where he has been teaching English and Filipino since he graduated college in 1951. Pagsi founded the Ateneo High School Dramatics Society in 1956, which was renamed Dulaang Sibol in 1966. As both a teacherformator and a cultural icon, Pagsi has won numerous awards since the 1960s, among them the prestigious Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Award for Teachers in 1985, the first year the awards were ever given. More recently he has received awards like the Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez For Outstanding Educator in Literature from Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (2002), Bayaning Gurong Pilipino Award from the ABS-CBN Foundation (2003), and the Natatanging Gawad Buhay (Life Achievement Award) from Philstage (2015). One of the mainstay productions of Dulaang Sibol is Sinta, an adaptation of the long-running 1960 musical The Fantasticks. The adaptation made its debut in 1975 and won the FAMAS Best Musical Film Award in 1976. In this interview, conducted in 2002, Pagsi recounts his writing of Sinta, his reflections on growing up in Postwar Manila, and his insights on enduring love.
Perspectives in the Arts and Humanities Asia is a peer-reviewed journal published twice a year by the School of Humanities of the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. Multidisciplinary in scope, it welcomes articles in English or Filipino in the following fields: literature, philosophy, theology, performance arts, visual arts, forms of media and other related areas, especially studies engaging Philippine and Asian experience.