MANILA, Philippines - Weeks after President Aquino snubbed her nomination as National Artist, the University of the Philippines (UP) announced yesterday that actress Nora Aunor will receive the Gawad Plaridel award.
In a press statement, the UP College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) said Aunor is being recognized for her “unique artistry and versatility as a singer” and for “portraying with keen intelligence and uncommon sensitivity an amazing range of cinematic roles.”
She is set to receive the award and deliver a lecture on Aug. 27 at the UP Film Institute in Diliman, Quezon City.
First bestowed in 2004, the annual Gawad Plaridel recognizes Filipino media practitioners who have performed with the highest level of professional integrity in the interest of public service.
Raising the bar
According to the UP CMC, among the films that showcased Aunor’s excellence as an artist include Bona; Himala; Bakit May Kahapon Pa?; Naglalayag; Minsa’y isang Gamugamo; Fe, Esperanza, Caridad; Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos; Annie Batungbakal; Flor Contemplacion Story; and Thy Womb.
Aunor was also commended for producing “movies of notable quality” like Banaue, Alkitrang Dugo, Atsay, Mga Uod at Rosas and Tisoy.
These films helped raise the bar in Philippine filmmaking, the UP CMC said.
“(She used her) tremendous popularity as an opportunity to (help) the masses…appreciate films and plays that dramatized and analyzed the abject conditions of the Filipino majority and the poor and powerless characters that she played with conviction,” added the UP CMC.
Aunor is set to receive a trophy designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva. UP president Alfredo Pascual and UP Diliman chancellor Michael Tan will confer the award, named after Marcelo del Pilar (Plaridel), whose stewardship of the reformist newspaper La Solidaridad gave voice to nationalist sentiments and libertarian ideas in the 1890s.
The UP CMC said the recipient of the award, like Plaridel, must believe in a vision of a Philippine society that is egalitarian, participative and progressive, and in media that is socially responsible, critical and vigilant, liberative and transformative, and free and independent.
Previous recipients include Eugenia Duran-Apostol (2004, print); Vilma Santos (2005, film); Fidela “Tiya Dely” Magpayo (2006, radio); Cecilia “Cheche” Lazaro (2007, television); Pachico Seares (2008, community print); Kidlat Tahimik (2009, independent filmmaking); Eloisa “Lola Sela” Canlas (2011, radio); Florence “Rosa Rosal” Danon-Gayda (2012, television) and Jose “Pete” Lacaba (2013, print).