remembering the epistolas

Philosopher, professor and fictionist SV Epistola has passed away, joining his wife Nieves (Mrs. E), who died in 2002.

Both were my teachers. I took Semiotics under SV when I was still a Philo major, and, years later, after I had shifted to Comparative Lit, feminist literary theory (I don’t remember the exact CL course title — Pauline and Paolo were my classmates there so maybe they remember) under Mrs. E.

Yup, I got some flak for being a male feminist — I actually wrote a piece about that for the very first publication I joined — but I learned a lot from her class and Mrs. E gave me a 1.0, so I guess I did something right. Don’t ask me what grade SV gave me, hehe.

SV was a funny professor. He always had an interesting anecdote to share and at times you could even say he was rambling in class, talking about the crazy things he and his friends did or fond remembrances of his or his barkada’s dates. But just when you thought he was going to keep on reminiscing, he would suddenly intone in his deep voice, “Semiotics. Now Charles Sanders Peirce…”

SV also loved talking about Umberto Eco, and it always tickled him to remind us that when someone asked Eco to explain semiotics, he did it by writing a novel. SV was the one who made me a fan of Eco, not just his novels and essays but also his philosophical works, which I tried to finish at the UP Main Library.

He was also always talking about Mrs. E, always proudly telling us what a remarkable woman she was, forming in my mind a very clear picture of how wonderful she was years before I was to verify this for myself. He also divulged that he happily did his share of the housework, quipping that he made a deal that he would cook but that he would never wash the dishes. A true philosopher, he explained that this is because cooking is creative while washing dishes is a mindless activity.

SV was a philosopher, but above all he was a real person.

He and Mrs. E will sorely be missed.

For more memories of SV, go to

2 thoughts on “remembering the epistolas

  1. Ahh, I remember Mrs. E. – wonderful lady indeed! I’d no idea she passed away already.

    I don’t remember the CL class – feminist theory something – that was loads of fun!

  2. yup, pauline, mrs. e was truly a wonderful teacher and so was sv.

    sometimes i wish i ended up in the academe just so i could have gotten to know them and our other teachers better. then again, i was such a delinquent student that the department would have slammed the door shut at the sight of me, hahaha. though anton juan told me back then that he recommended me, if only to prevent me from becoming a lawyer, hehe 🙂 kawawa ang mga istudyante, maliligaw ng landas 🙂

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