Literally meaning “Harvest of Honors,” Ani Ng Dangal is an annual project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) recognizing Filipino artists who have earned international awards and accolades during the past year.
On its ninth edition, 72 artists from different fields were recogn ized by NCCA during a formal gathering at the historic Ayuntamiento or Bureau of Treasury Building, Intramuros, Manila on February 27, which served as the culmination of National Arts Month.
Thirty-six artists from cinema – led by Jaclyn Jose for winning Best Actress at Cannes Film Festival in France last year for her eponymous role in the Brillante Mendoza opus Ma’ Rosa, 16 for dance, one for dramatic arts, one for literary arts, eight for music, and 10 for visual arts were handed Ani Ng Dangal trophies each by NCCA OIC executive director Marichu Tellano, commissioners Teddy Co and Orlando Magno, and actor and Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer Cesar Montano.
Among the showbiz stars who arrived early to receive their awards were Therese “Teri” Malvar (Best Actress at the Moscow International Film Festival for Hamog); Barbie Forteza (Best Actress at the 36th Fantasporto International Film Festival in Portugal for Laut); and Natalie Hart (Best Actress at the International Film Festival Manhattan for Siphayo).
The producer of the above films Baby Go of BG International Productions [the outfit also behind the 14th Dhaka International Film Festival’s Best Children Film Child Haus; and Iadya Mo Kami which won Best Actor for Allen Dizon at the 4th Silk Road International Film Festival in Ireland]chatted with The Manila Times at the sidelines of the recognition day, and said she has perfected the formula of turning stories into award-winning films. She stopped short of divulging what exactly she meant, calling it her “ace” as a producer.
Jose, the biggest honoree of them all, soon arrived clad in an all black ensemble with pitch-black hair to boot commanding admiration from the crowd. She was all too willing to have her photos taken even with selfie-obsessed fans and co-awardees, receiving the loudest applause during her turn at the spotlight.
Missing the important occasion was A-lister John Lloyd Cruz, who became the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to win the Star Asia Award at the New York Film Festival for the movie Honor Thy Father.
Actor Sid Lucero and director John Paul Su who both won Best Actor and Best Foreign Film respectively at the 19th Los Angeles Comedy Festival for Toto also came to accept their trophies, as did Dizon, and Sue Prado, who was the lone winner of Achievement in Acting Award at the Guam International Film Festival for The Sister.
Revered director Joel Lamangan [who helmed Tomodachi, which won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Madrid International Film Festival in July]delivered an acceptance speech in behalf of all awardees, encouraging every artist to always be at their best, regardless of showcasing their craft at home or abroad.
Actor Cesar Montano, who is the current chief operating officer of Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), a satellite agency under the Department of Tourism, delivered a speech and assisted in handing the trophies as representative of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Himself a multi-awarded actor, Montano congratulated the winners and exhorted his fellow artists to continue the legacy of outstanding Filipino craftsmanship in all areas covered by the seven art disciplines – Architecture and Allied Arts, Cinema, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Literary Arts, Music, and Visual Arts including Multi-Disciplinary Arts.
In a short interview after the program, Montano said that his priority as TPB COO is film tourism, focusing mainly on stakeholders from Asean and China.
“It’s been done in New Zealand [where critically acclaimed and worldwide monster hit The Lord Of The Rings was shot]and Australia. The Philippines has more to offer. And why China? Simply because marami sila [there are many of them],” he told The Manila Times.
Senator Loren Legarda, who was supposed to be the keynote speaker, arrived later in the day when cocktails at the adjacent hall were already being served. She apologized for her tardiness and explained she had to finish the Senate session where major revamp took place.
Legarda asked the crowd whether she should still read her prepared speech for the affair or just speak from the heart. With oneness, the crowd chose the latter.
Also an NCCA honoree, the former broadcaster was handed out the Dangal ng Haraya Award for Patron of Culture and the Arts from then NCCA Chairman Felipe De Leon in January.
As a known patron of indigenous industries and traditions, Legarda encouraged everyone to refer to her anything worthy of attention concerning IPs or indigenous peoples. She averred that never has the government set aside so much budget for culture and the arts until now.
She then enjoined the awardees to pose for posterity at the steps of the Ayuntamiento leading to the Marble Hall.
The rest of the film artists and cinematic works recognized for their feats in the global arena included Ang Babaeng Humayo/Ang Araw Bago Ang Wakas (by Lav Diaz); Allan Michael Ibañez and Dexter Paglinawan Hemedez (for 1st Sem); Apocalypse Child (by Mario Cornejo, producer Monster Jimenez);
Birdshot (by Mikhael Red); Brillante Ma. Mendoza (for Ma’ Rosa); Eduardo Roy Jr. (for Pamilya Ordinaryo); Emerson Quintillan Texon (for Tomadachi); Gemini (by Ato Bautista); Gian Carlo Escamilla (for Walang Take Two); Hamog (by Ralston Jover); Happy New Year (by Joseph Israel Laban); Hasmine Killip (for Pamilya Ordinaryo); Imago (by Raymond Ribay Gutierrez); Kirby Asunto (for Exist); Lucky Jinx (for Giovanni Baldisseri); Leon Miguel (for Red Lights);
Paolo Ballesteros (for Die Beautiful); Ricky Lee for Lifetime Achievement Award in Scriptwriting by the International Film Festival Manhattan in New York; Sandra (by Carlo Francisco Manatad); Scarecrow (by Zid Dulay); The Crescent Rising (a documentary by Sheron Dayoc); The Equation (by Rhoda Joy Blaza); The Sister (by Marco Felipe Villas Lopez); Traslacion (Ang Paglalakad Sa Altar Ng Alanganin); and Walang Take Two (by Iglesia ni Cristo’s INCinema Production).
Meanwhile, recognized for Dance were Asian Pride, Cage, FMD Xtreme, Halili Cruz Dance Company, Jamaica Jornacion and Kristel De Catalina, Junior New System, Kahayag Dance Company, Luckesly Maravilla, Neil John Casagan and Renzo Arboleda, Olivia Bogayong, Rica Angela Ingco, Sanglahi Dance Troupe, Shaira May Comeros, Tarlac State University Performing Dance Troupe, Upeepz and 5xb Gensan.
For dramatic arts, the sole awardee was Clint Ramos, while for literary arts, Wilfredo Pascual was given the Ani Ng Dangal.
For music, the awardees were Acapellago, Andrea Melisa Camba [who led in singing the National Anthem and prayer-song], Balon Dagupan Children’s Choir, Dennis Deovdes Reyes 3rd, Ligao National High School Voice Choral, Philippine Madrigal Singers and UP Medicine Choir.
For visual arts, the honorees were Allan Fesalbon Castañeda, Ananda Wisely, Danny Victoriano, Jamia Mei Tolentino, Joel Forte, Jophel Botero Ybiosa, Maria Angelica Tejada, Norman Isaac, Tanam (coffee-table book) and Trisha Co Reyes.
An Ani Ng Dangal Exhibit was also mounted for the occasion to showcase the honorees’ works and trophies from 2016.