Dinah Roma-Sianturi was born in 1968. She graduated from the DLSU in 1990 with a double degree in Literature and Marketing Management.
In 1988, upon the encouragement of Cirilo F. Bautista and Marjorie Evasco, she joined the Silliman Writers Workshop where she realized for the first time that writing was what she had wanted all along. She went back to Dumaguete in June of the same year as a fellow of the Silliman Semestral Writers Workshop. Soon after she returned to Manila, she worked as the Production Editor of the CCP, Coordinating Center for Literature, while struggling to complete her bachelor's degree. In 1990, she attended the UP Writers Workshop where she met Bienvenido Lumbera who was then Director of the UP Film Center. Upon his invitation, she joined the Center as its Cinematique Head from January 1991 to October 1993 when she left for Japan on a research grant from the Japan Ministry of Education to study Japanese Cinema under Dr. Noriko Mizura, a highly respected scholar of literature and women studies.
Although she felt very much disappointed with her slow progress in the Japanese language, she nevertheless decided to stay on in Tokyo after completing her program. She was accepted into Kyoritsu Women's University in Hachioji, Tokyo, where she completed her MA in Comparative Culture, major in Japanese Visual Culture, in April 1997. She was the Director of the Undergraduate Japanese Studies Program at DLSU.