Rene O. Villanueva (September 1954-December 2007) was a Filipino Dramatist and Children's Story Writer who made his mark in Philippine Literature in the late 1970's and well into the first decade of the 21st century. He had a remarkable contribution to Filipino culture as shown in his prolific output which generates continuing interest in his plays and books for young people.

Villanueva was born in La Loma, Quezon City and studied in public schools, the Lyceum of the Philippines, and the University of the Philippines. As a young person, he already had the inclination to the arts, telling stories to playmates and winning in national school writing contests. In college, he was active in the theater as a writer and as a performer. Later when he got into the writing workshop circuit, he joined the literary group Galian sa Arte at Tula (GAT) to learn from veteran writers.

In a children's literature workshop, he stood out as a fellow, and critic National Artist Virgilio S. Almario recognized his writerly gifts. His drama auspiciously began in 1978 with "Entreswelo" and "Pag-ibig ni Mariang Makiling" which won an award in the playwriting workshop, Palihang Aurelio Tolentino. Then in 1980, he won his first Palanca Award with the one-act play "Kumbersasyon" and from then on his pen did not falter a beat. He came out with memorable dramatic works like "May Isang Sundalo"(1981), "Sigwa" (1984), "Botong" (1990), "Kalantiaw" (1994), "Dobol" (1994) and "Watawat" (1999).

Villanueva's stories for children garnered prestigious prizes, including Palanca Award-winning works like "Bertdey ni Guido" (1989), "Ang unang Baboy sa Langit" (1990), "Tungkung Langit at Alunsina"(1990), "Nemo, Ang Batang Papel" (1992), and "Tatlong Ungas" (1999).

When Villanueva was head writer of Kalye Sesame and eventually Batibot (a period of more than twenty five years), he put to good his innate talent and the skills he acquired from his predecessors.

The long-running television program and other TV and video projects under his supervision received numerous international recognitions.

His choice of subject made young Filipinos aware of their history and heritage. He presented these serious topics in a well-crafted form, suited and interesting for his intended audience. In many of his stories, he imaginatively used popular traditional or ethnics tales, myths, characters and symbols to make the Filipino literary riches available and part of the identity formation of young people.

For his pioneering contribution to local children's literature, Villanueva was nominated by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) to the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Children's Writer, the most prestigious international recognition in the field of writing for children. He is the first Filipino writer to have been nominated to the award.

His indomitable spirit as a writer, teacher and cultural worker found him travelling all over the country to share his views on children's welfare, creative writing, curriculum enrichment, and teaching materials development.