Merlinda Carullo Bobis

(25 November 1959 - / Albay / Philippines)

Biography of Merlinda Carullo Bobis

Merlinda Carullo Bobis poet

Merlinda Carullo Bobis is a contemporary Philippine-Australian writer and academic.

Born in Legaspi City, in the Philippines province of Albay, Merlinda Bobis attended Bicol University High School then completed her B.A. at Aquinas University in Legaspi City. She holds post-graduate degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and University of Wollongong, and now lives in Australia. Written in various genres in both Filipino and English, her work integrates elements of the traditional culture of the Philippines with modern immigrant experience.

Also a dancer and visual artist, Bobis currently teaches at Wollongong University. Her play Rita's Lullaby was the winner of the 1998 Awgie for Best Radio Play and the international Prix Italia of the same year; in 2000 White Turtle won the Steele Rudd Award for the Best Collection of Australian Short Stories and the 2000 Philippine National Book Award. Most recently, in 2006, she has received the Gintong Aklat Award (Golden Book Award, Philippines) for her latest novel Banana Heart Summer, from the Book Development Association of the Philippines.

Merlinda Carullo Bobis's Works:


Rituals: Selected poems, 1985-1990. (1990)
Summer was a Fast Train without Terminals. (Melbourne: Spinifex, 1998)

Short Stories

White Turtle. (Melbourne: Spinifex, 1999)
The Kissing (Aunt Lute, 2001)


Banana Heart Summer (Murdoch Books, 2005)
The Solemn Lantern Maker (Sydney: Murdoch Books, 2008)
Fish-hair Woman (North Melbourne: Spinifex, 2011)

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Once upon a time in Bikol, Pilipino, English —
we tell it over and over again.

Digde ini nagpopoon. Anum na taon ako, siguro lima.
Si Lola nag-iistorya manongod sa parahabon nin kasag
Na nagtatago sa irarom kan kama.

Dito ito nagsisimula. Anim na taon ako, siguro lima.
Si Lola nagkukuwento tungkol sa magnanakaw ng alimango

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