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Debbie Ann Tan

has always experimented with different storytelling voices both in English and in Filipino. She has written different genres as well starting with essays and short story fiction, but for some years now, she has focused on playwriting. She is a Carlos Palanca Memorial Award winner for “Time Waits” and second place for “Teroristang Labandera.”She has published under NCCA’s Ubod Writers Series in 2005 for “Fate’s Line.” “Dragon Blood” published in “Stage Presence: The Philippine PEN Anthology of Drama,”  UST Publishing in 2008. And “Teroristang Labandera” in “Virgin Labfest 2005-2008: Unang Antolohiya” published by Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2009.


Aside from the ones mentioned above, other plays by Debbie shown in the Virgin Labfest were “Dragon’s Breath,” “Mga Babaeng Too Bright,”and the recent “Balunbalunan, Bingi-bingihan.”

Debbie graduated Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at De La Salle University in 2002. She is a fellow of the 6th Ateneo-NCCA National Writers Workshop. She has written several commissioned plays and is currently teaching at Miriam College. Debbie is freelance writer, editor, graphic and web designer and amateur 3D animator.

Modern Tsinoy Plays: TIME WAITS and Other Plays

Yin Yang Trilogy:

Fate’s Line, Question of Worth,
Internal Arrangement

Fate’s Line is about Fate and her mother Si Ling who wants to control her destiny. This led her to Master See Saw Swing and mayhem happens.

Question of Worth is about Caroline and Richmond’s marital woes compounded by the other characters: Mrs Que, the mother, Caroline’s cybersex partner Kenny, and Richmond’s mistress Fe.

Internal Arrangement is Sun Tzu comes to life and reenacts Art of War in modern day people: Charlie, Derek, San San, and Geraldine. It’s business and it’s personal.

The trilogy touches on history, gender, and identity. Yin Yang trilogy reveals inter-generation relationship of the present day Tsinoy or Chinese Filipino, and not Filipino Chinese, which has a different definition in terms of identity.

Full Length Play (2011)

Professional Eaters

Professional Eaters is the unfortunate entanglement of Roberto and Jean Chan to deviants O.H., Cada Ver, and Masiba. How can wrong be made right?

The newest full-length play written by Debbie Ann L. Tan is Professional Eaters, that didn’t consciously tackle the Yin Yang concept. This is simply a play of emotions that deal with misfortune that suddenly arrives unexpected. Still, there’s a commonality in the character Jean in this play and Caroline in the Yin Yang’s Question of Worth, which is the dilemma of the womb. But anyone who has ever been wronged by another person/s can definitely relate to this play.

First Place Palanca Award (2007)


Time Waits


Time Waits follows the heart of Ahlee who secretly loves a younger man, Carl. She has a twin Abeey, who in a freak day, one of them can stop time and the other is in real-time.


Time Waits won first place in the 57th Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in 2007. Women of age are on centerstage with ripe emotions neither heroine nor villain. Time Waits plays on the themes of love and opportunity, of repressed feelings, and respectability.