|Birth Day:||March 19, 1948|
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He won his first writing award while in high school.
He was accepted at University of the Philippines Diliman as an AB English major but never got his diploma where, ironically enough, he later taught screenwriting at its College of Mass Communication. He became an activist during those politically turbulent times and was affiliated with Panulat para sa Kaunlaran ng Sambayanan (PAKSA, or Pen for People's Progress) along with Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera and Jose F. Lacaba. He lived as an activist during the Martial Law years and was later incarcerated in 1974.
Since 1982, Lee has been conducting scriptwriting workshops for free at his home. He challenges his students to go to the edge, to explore the limits of their imaginations until they feel like drowning. In one of his workshops in Tagaytay, the participants were stuck in a concept that didn't seem to work. He refused to let the group eat until the concept was finished. Hunger, he says, does wonders to one's creativity: it makes you imagine things. To help them come up with three-dimensional characters he encourages his students to inhabit their characters by immersing themselves in the characters' world, either as observers, participants or by acting out the roles of these characters in their own milieu. Thus, the more intrepid students may opt to act as a beggar in Quiapo, or a bargirl in Ermita, or a squatter in Smokey Mountain, even for one day, with hilarious results. One leaves the exercise a bit shaken but full of life-sustaining insights.
In 2000, he was one of the recipients of the Centennial Honors for the Arts from the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for Tagalog fiction from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas.
In November 2008, he launched his first novel entitled Para kay B (o kung paano dinevastate ng pag-ibig ang 4 out of 5 sa atin) at the University of the Philippines-Diliman Bahay ng Alumni. This was followed exactly three years later by Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata, which was launched at the SM North EDSA Skydome and was met similar public acclaim and support.
On January 22, 2008, filmmaker Nick Deocampo, Director of the Mowelfund Film Institute (1989–2008) and Center for New Cinema (2008–present) announced the holding of a Ricardo Lee Film Festival from February 4 to 10, 2008 - the World Arts Festival under Mayor Tito Sarion, in Daet, Camarines Norte. Lee’s scripts became Philippine cinema classics of Philippine cinema, which made the 2nd golden age of 1980 Filipino movies. Five films were shown in the festival: Gina Alajar's "Salome", "Anak", "Muro Ami", "Gumapang Ka sa Lusak", and "Memories of Old Manila".
His body of works, which has spanned over forty years, include writing short stories, plays, essays, novels, teleplays, and screenplays. A rare achievement for a writer, two of his short stories won first prizes at the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for two years in a row (1970 and 1971). His screenplay "Salome/Brutal" won the 1981 Philippine National Book Awards for best screenplay. In 2011, he was awarded the Manila Critics Circle Special Prize for a Book Published by an Independent Publisher. His two-stage plays Pitik-Bulag sa Buwan ng Pebrero and DH (Domestic Helper) played to SRO crowds. DH, starring Nora Aunor, has toured the US and Europe in 1993. He has written more than 150 produced scripts, earning for him more than fifty trophies from all the award-giving bodies in the Philippine movie industry. He has never and will never write any literary work in English, a conviction he holds to this day.
He also established and heads the Trip to Quiapo Foundation former Philippine Writers Studio, which aims to provide support to new and struggling writers. In the works is the resumption of his free TV and film scriptwriting workshop in 2012.
Currently, Ricky Lee is 75 years, 0 months and 10 days old. Ricky Lee will celebrate 76th birthday on a Tuesday 19th of March 2024.
Find out about Ricky Lee birthday activities in timeline view here.