MANILA - Screen veteran Nora Aunor, who is dubbed the country's "Superstar," received the University of the Philippines' Gawad Plaridel Award on Wednesday.
Aunor was given the highest award handed out by the state university to an outstanding media practitioner at the UP Film Center in Quezon City.
The 61-year-old actress, the 10th to receive the award, was recognized for her excellence in film and television.
"Isang malaking karangalan at hindi ko makakalimutan. Isa ito sa pinaka-importanteng nangyari sa buhay ko," Aunor said. "Sa karangalan ng taga-UP ay parang nakatapos na din ako.
She added: "Ang nararamdaman ko ngayon ay iba, eh. Iba kapag UP ang nagbigay sa iyo ng karangalan. Sabi ko nga kanina, hanggang Grade 2 lang ako pero pagtayo ko sa stage ng UP ay parang graduate na din ako ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas."
Aunor, who was controversially not included in this year's list of National Artists, said she takes pride in being recognized by other institutions.
"Nakakatuwa dahil sa hindi man ako ni-recognize ng ibang tao, ang taumbayan at mga estudyante at guro ay nagbibigay sa akin ng parangal," she said.
Aunor's onscreen rival, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, received the Gawad Plaridel trophy in 2005.
Ate Guy as producer
Aunor, who has been acting in several independent films, shared that she is planning to produce movies again.
"Balak kong mag-producer ulit ng pelikula at magkaroon ng sariling indie production, pero tapusin ko po muna 'yung mga naiwan kong pelikula. Sana hindi matapos ang taon ay makapag-produce na," she said.
In her speech accepting the award, Aunor recalled that aside from singing and acting, she also enjoyed producing her own films.
The goal, Aunor added, is to bring pride to the country.
"Kasi [kapag nakagawa ka ng pelikula] na maganda at nagugustuhan sa ibang bansa,nagbibigay ng karangalan sa Pilipinas, katulad ng 'Thy Womb' at 'Hustisya,' umiikot din sa buong mundo at dito din sa Pilipinas."