Antonio A. Hidalgo was a campus writer at the U.P. in the early 60s, where he edited the 1964 Philippinensian, and contributed essays, fiction and poetry to The Philipine Collegian and its literary supplement, The Folio.
He was a full-time Staff Writer for the Graphic Magazine during 1970-72. He was inducted into the U.P. Writers Club in 1972. He was a Daily Columnist for Money Asia during 1994-95. He founded Milflores Publishing, Inc. in 1999 to pioneer in mass education through the commercial production and sale of books. The best writers in the country are encouraged to surmount class barriers by sharing as much of their knowledge and insights as they can through information and literary books that meet the needs and wants of the Filipino masses. As of 2006, Milflores had published 61 titles that work toward this goal.
Hidalgo is a bilingual writer (English and Filipino) and has published seventeen books on a wide variety of subjects, including six collections of his fiction, a historical biography, a collection of essays on development, a guide to Philippine shopping malls, and a series of eight books on cockfighting. He has also published a large number of technical studies and monographs on national development planning, urban planning, social development, education, and programs of assistance for women and children.
He won first prize for his short story in the 2002 N.V.M. Gonzalez National Memorial Literary Awards. His stories also won prizes in the 2003 Philippines Free Press Literary Awards, the 2001 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and the 2000 N.V.M. Gonzalez National Memorial Literary Awards. Three of his books were nominated for National Book Awards by the Manila Critics’ Circle. Two of his stories in Filipino, and two in English, were anthologized in the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 Likhaan Books of Poetry and Fiction of the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing and the U.P. Press.
From 1975-1990, Hidalgo served as a senior international professional, and became the highest-ranking Filipino, in the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in five postings abroad. In 1984, he was awarded a Presidential Medal by the Republic of Korea for his “distinguished contributions to Korea’s social development.” He was Secretary General of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) in the cabinet of former President Fidel V. Ramos during 1995-98, when he collaborated with the NEDA and helped write the Philippine National Development Plan and was the main author of the Philippine position paper on human settlements for the U.N. HABITAT II global conference in Istanbul in 1996. He was a Senior Fellow in the Development Academy of the Philippines during 1973-75. He taught economics, political science, and social work intermittently in the 60s and 70s, for a few years at a time as a full-time faculty member, at the U.P. and the Philippine College of Commerce.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (major in Economics) from the U.P. in 1964, where he was a university and a college scholar. While there, he took up a number of non-degree courses for two years in fiction, poetry, mathematics, philosophy, and the MBA program. In 1972, he completed the academic requirements for an M.A. in political science at the Ateneo University with a straight-A average throughout. In 1975, he was a awarded a fellowship by the World Bank and trained in Urban Development at the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank in Washington, D.C.