Outstanding Filipinos for art

 The awardees of the Gawad para sa Sining 2015  PHoTo by abby PalMoneS

The awardees of the Gawad para sa Sining 2015 PHoTo by abby PalMoneS

Aunor and 12 others honored at Gawad CCP Para sa Sining awards night

GAWAD CCP Para sa Sining, Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) highest award given every three years, culminated on September 17 honoring individuals or institutions, which have “consistently produced outstanding works and enriched the development of their art form”

Leading the roster of awardees is movie legend Nora Aunor for her contribution to film and broadcast arts. The honor is another addition to the many awards the 62-year-old actress has received this year.

In April, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2nd ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards held at the Borneo Convention Center in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Then in May, she took home the Best Lead Actress in a Foreign Language Film for her acclaimed performance in Perci Intalan’s Dementia at the St. Tropez International Film Festival in France.

In her acceptance speech, Aunor dedicated the award to her brother, Eddie Boy who just passed away in July, her family, her co-performers and fans—all of whom gave their understanding no matter what.

She also expressed, “Masasabi ko ito ang pinakatamang desisyon na nagawa ko sa buhay ko. Ang desisyon na umarte at maglingkod sa aking mga kababayan bilang artista [I can say that this is the best decision that I ever made in my life. The decision to act and serve my fellowmen as an artist].”

This decision, she also admitted, gave her many headaches and painful experiences but it also brought joy and success.

Other awardees
Also honored at the event were other awardees like Ricky Lee for Literature for being a champion in using Filipino in fiction since the 1960s and screenplay writing since 1980s.

Lee, who wrote the film Himala, one of the greatest achievements of Aunor, also wrote other classics like Moral, Karnal and Salome. Two of his short stories Huwag, Huwag Mong Kukuwentuhan ang Batang si Wei-fung and Servando Magdamag won first prices at the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for two consecutive years, 1970 and 1971.

Meanwhile, Armida Siguion-Reyna, who is also a noted film actress and film producer, was also honored for her contribution to both the musical theater and the film industry.

Her television program Aawitan Kita, for which she has produced, hosted and sang was aired for three decades. Her son, Director Carlos Siguion Reyna, read the acceptance speech on her behalf.

One of the most applauded acceptance speech was that of Fides Cuyugan-Asensio for Music. A professor emerita at the University of the Philippines’ College of Music Voice and Music Theater/Dance Department, Asensio earned an Artis’s Diploma in Vocal Performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and has appeared extensively in various international performance tours. Considered an icon in the development of opera and musical theater in the country, she continues to promote young classical singers throught the Music Theater Foundation of the Philippines, the non-profit organization she has established. Cuyugan has also appeared in the films Oro, Plata, Mata and Aparisyon.

Tony Mabesa, on the other hand, was awarded for theater category. A professor emeritus at the College of Arts and Letters Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts, Mabesa is the founding artistic director of Dulaang UP. He was trained at the University of California in Los Angeles and the University of Hawaii. He has directed over 130 stage productions.

For dance, Denisa Reyes shone with her impressive line of choreographic works that won critical recognition in the international dance scene. Her works focus on Asian contemporary dance presenting current local issues through dance expressions.

Paulo Alcazaren’s architectural designs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally sensitive. An architecture graduate at the University of the Philippines, his works and that of his company, Paulo G. Alcazaren and Associates, have adeptly integrated verdure in the urban setting.

Roberto Chavet, the first curator of the Cultural Center of the Philippines was awarded for Visual Arts category. He is credited with having introduced conceptual art into the Philippine art scene. An architecture graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, he initiated the Thirteen Artists Award in 1970 when he served as the founding Museum Director of the CCP.

An award-winning literary writer Leoncio Deriada was given recognition for having encouraged and trained young writers in West Visayas and produced prize winners for writing in Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a and Aklanon besides English and Filipino. A Palanca Hall of Fame awardee himself, he writes in English, Filipino and Hiligaynon.

Meanwhile, Ben Farrales took his imagination to the next level and brought indigenous designs and materials into dazzling creations. His patterns are based on Muslim culture, taking the malong fashion in other parts of the world like Canada, Los Angeles and New York through an exhibit called “Maranaw.” He was awarded for Fashion Design category.

Basilio Esteban Villaruz was awarded for Heritage Preservation. He holds the distinction of establishing and sustaining the 34-year old program of the University of the Philippines College of Music and the UP Dance Company. He is recognized nationally and internationally and respected in the field of dance.

Talaandig School of Living Tradition, awarded for cultural advocacy, is a haven for pre-school children who learn reading, writing and arithmetic together with traditional Talaandig values and mythologies, dance techniques and music. The knowledge on the Talaandig people including their roots and identity are disseminated in the form of entertainment such as storytelling, chanting, music and instrument playing.

Another recognized organization is the Missionary Society of St Columbus as the Tanging Parangal/Heritage Conservation awardee. Since their arrival in the Philippine s in 1929, the Missionary Society of St. Columbus has been housed in the Malate Church, also known as Nuestra Senora de los Remedios and has continued to cater to the Malate area’s ecclesiastical needs. They have gone beyond their spiritual service to the congregation by also taking care of the church they called “home.”


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