Imee Marcos and Nora Aunor. Composite Image
MANILA - Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said it is “depressing” that film icon Nora Aunor did not make it to the new list of National Artists.
In a Facebook post, Marcos said: “Nakakadepress ang nangyari kay Superstar Nora Aunor. Sa totoong buhay naman, lahat tayo bumabangon at talagang ilang beses na siyang bumangon at nagbalik.”
Marcos, who produced the iconic movie “Himala,” said Aunor is again making her presence felt after a long break from the movies.
“She is back, the unkabogable, unsinkable, and unbeatable Elsa! She is the embodiment of the Filipino spirit, we always get up and survive and better than survive we become stronger,” she said.
Several National Artists and arts and culture experts earlier slammed Aquino for dropping Aunor from the list.
National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman Felipe de Leon Jr. had taken note of the “political influences and elements” that led to Aunor’s removal from the list.
Ilocos Norte has immortalized Aunor’s role in Himala via a statue at the Paoay sand dunes.
The film is about a teenage girl from the province of Oriental Mindoro who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary. Screenwriter Ricky Lee then saw the news clip and later pitched the movie project. The late National Artist Ishmael Bernal directed the film.
During the unveiling of the statue created by Gerry Leonardo this year, Marcos recalled, “nobody wanted to produce the film, because it was about religion. There were also a lot of crowd scenes, but we had a limited budget. Everyone was also afraid of getting Nora Aunor because she was having problems then with her film studio.”
The film pushed through and went on to receive accolades both here and abroad.
Himala was also produced for theater, and the film has been digitally remastered and is still being shown in film schools.
Marcos said she is a “Noranian.”
The local government of Paoay also made Aunor its adopted daughter.