Caparas airs side on Nat'l Artist Award

By BOY VILLASANTA/ abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Jul 31 2009 11:21 AM | Updated as of Aug 01 2009 01:25 AM

MANILA - Prolific pop artist Carlo J. Caparas finally responded to criticisms hurled against him after he was named National Artist for Film and Visual Arts by Malacañang last Wednesday.

Critics of Caparas complained about the decision of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Malacañang Palace to confer on him the highest award among artists in the country.

“Alam mo, ‘yang mga critics, kasama ‘yan sa proseso. Hindi natin maiaalis ‘yan. Kailangang i-welcome natin ang kanilang sasabihin. Hindi kumpleto ang isang idea kung walang criticism,” said Carlo in a telephone interview Thursday evening from Cebu where he was shooting a film for his Golden Lions Productions.

Carlo was accused by his opponents of bootlicking and influence peddling just to win the coveted title.

“Kaya lang, ganyan talaga kung may something for grabs. E, iisa lang ang pipiliin. Sana, maghintay na lang sila ng tamang panahon sa gusto nilang manalo. Hindi naman ito palakasan,” said the filmmaker, known mostly as chop-chop director based on his series of massacre movies.

He calmly hit back at his critics, especially on his credentials as an artist.

Crossover from komiks

“I think na nakapag-cross over ako from komiks to the movies and television. Kaya wag mag-alala ang mga critics ko, may pagkakataon pa sila o ang mga manok nila na manalo in the future. They cannot take the award from me anymore," he said.

“Baka ang nasa isip nila ay bata pa ako. Pero hindi naman ‘yon ang basehan. Sino naman ang ko-contest sa decision ng Cultural Center, ng NCCA at ng Malacañang tungkol sa award na ito? Mabuti na nga at ngayon pa lang ay ibinibigay na ang ganitong award sa mga taong nandito. Ang akala kasi nila ay sa matatanda o sa beterano o sa mga patay na ibinibigay ang ganitong award,” Caparas argued.

Meanwhile, Donna Villa, actress-producer and wife of Caparas, also defended his husband from critics.

“Even Jesus Christ was criticized because of his boldness to save mankind from sins,” said Villa, who was with Carlo during the shoot of the Manny Pacquiao, Eddie Garcia and Jake Cuenca trilogy.

“Sino ba naman sa mga naging National Artist Award na ang nakakasama sa kalye ng mga tao? Si Carlo lang ‘yon. Kasi, masang-masa si Carlo dahil naaabot niya ang mga pangkaraniwang tao. Well, of course, si Fernando Poe, Jr. pero patay na siya nang bigyan siya ng award," she said. 

“’Yang mga critics na ‘yan, wala namang nagagawa ang mga ‘yan. Magtigil na nga sila. Patunayan muna nila ang nagawa ni Carlo sa komiks at sa pelikula. Kahit sa TV,” Villa said.

Donna added his better half’s award is well-deserved.

“Sino ba sa kanila ang nailagay sa stamps natin? Si Carlo, anim na nobela na ang naka-imprint sa mga selyo natin, ‘yong Totoy Bato, Bakekang, Joaquin Borado, Kamandag, Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang at ‘yong iba pa. Naku, history na lahat ito kaya walang makakapag-contest,” she said.

According to Donna, Carlo will just wear his signature cap, jeans, polo shirt and his extension, his shades during the awarding ceremonies that will be held after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo returns from her US trip. 

“Dapat makapag-identify sa kanya ang masa,” she quipped.