Strong contenders for National Artists named; Nora Aunor still in the running

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 02 2020 03:37 PM | Updated as of Nov 02 2020 05:03 PM

Strong contenders for National Artists named; Nora Aunor still in the running 1
Nora Aunor in a scene from 'Himala'

Nora Aunor, who was controversially shut out twice as National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arta, is still considered a nominee in the next conferment of the awards in 2021. 

“Nora is considered an automatic nominee because she already passed through the process of two deliberations,” Nick Lizaso, chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) told ABS-CBN News Monday. 

“What is crucial is if she will still be included in the third and final deliberation of the board commissioners and trustees of the NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines; and living National Artists.” 

It is then up to the incumbent President to approve the final list of National Artists. 

Known for her iconic films such as “Himala,” “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo,” “Ina Ka ng Anak Mo,” and “Bona,” Aunor was nominated for the award during the term of former President Benigno Aquino III but she was dropped from the roster of awardees due to her alleged involvement in illegal drugs. 

In 2018, then NCCA chair Virgilio Almario explained that Aunor was
automatically nominated again for the national honors because of her previous nomination. Nonetheless, she was not included anew in the National Artists roster approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The deadline for filing of nominees for National Artists endS on December 15, 2020. Among the names that have been mentioned in art and academic circles as shoo-in for the nominees list include playwright Bienvenido Noriega Jr., opera veteran Fides Cuyugan Asencio, theater pioneer Cecille Guidote Alvarez, veteran literary and screenwriter Jose Dalisay Jr., as well as actors Ramon Revilla and Eddie Garcia. 

Meantime, Lizaso also announced the search for the best traditional artists for the Gawad ng Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) awards.
Lizaso said that presently, there are 16 National Living Treasures awardees that reflect the diverse heritage and cultural traditions of the country.

“They continue to bring age-old customs, crafts, and ways of living to the attention and appreciation of Filipino life," he said.

Individual or group nominees shall only be nominated under one category, where the artist/s has/have made his/her/their substantial contribution. Stipulated under Section 4 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Manlilikha ng Bayan Act: "Group" refers to a cluster of Filipino artisans performing certain tasks in the completion of a traditional art form identified with a cultural community.
Traditional folk categories under which nomination should be considered shall be under the UNESCO's Five Domains of Intangible Cultural Heritage: Oral Traditions and Expressions; Performing Arts; Social Practices, Rituals, and Festive Events; Knowledge and Practices concerning Nature and the Universe; and Traditional Craftmanship.
Nominations can be submitted to GAMABA Secretariat on or before February 12, 2021.

Previous GAMABA awardees have included Eduardo Mutuc, metalsmith/metal sculptor of Apalit, Pampanga; Teofilo Garcia, casque maker of San Quintin, Abra; Magdalena Gamayo, master inabel weaver of Pinili, Ilocos Norte; as well as Mindanaoan textile weavers Estelita Bantilan of Sarangani, Ambalang Ausalin of Basilan and Yabing Dulo of South Cotabato.