BY NESTOR CUARTERO
Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation
May 6, 2012
ONE MORE FOR NATIONAL ARTIST: At no other time in the history of the search for National Artists has it happened that even the country’s House of Representatives has been embroiled in a controversy over who should win the title first.
Should it be Nora Aunor or her longtime arch rival, Vilma Santos?
The controversy was triggered by Rep. Anthony Golez’s (Bacolod) filing a resolution to declare Aunor as a National Artist owing to her stellar track record as an actor, singer, film producer.
Golez’s move was countered by another representative, Lorenzo Tanada III (Quezon), who claimed Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, whose history of achievements is similarly impressive, was just as deserving to be named as such. This was followed by a similar endorsement made more recently by 18 women representatives who also urged Malacañang to name Nora as a National Artist for film.
The ensuing interplay of opinions has attracted various reactions from as many groups. Comes now a college teachers’ group called BALATCA, or the Batangas-Laguna Association of Teachers of Culture and the Arts, which recently issued Resolution No. 2011-001 read as
“A Petition to the National Council on Culture and the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines to declare Miss Nora Aunor, international film and stage actress, singer, radio and TV performer, as National Artist.”
• • •
ART AND CULTURE TEACHERS’ RESOLUTION: The 30-member BALATCA, some of whose leaders are winners of Metro Bank Outstanding Teachers Award, has come up with a capsule of Aunor’s achievements, justifying their choice.
Following are excerpts from BALATCA’s resolution:
• WHEREAS, NORA AUNOR, named as the country’s one and only Superstar and highly regarded as a living legend as an actress and singer in local show business for more than 40 years now, attests her myriad talent and versatility as a performer by winning a total of 203 awards and citations – 5 International Film Festival Best Actress, 7 FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts & Sciences), 8 URIAN (Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino), 8 STAR (Philippine Movie Press Club), 5 FAP (Film Academy of the Philippines), 3 CMMA ( Catholic Mass Media Awards), 10 MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival, 1 from Manila Film Festival), 4 YCC (Young Critics Circle), 15 from other subsidiary award giving bodies, 9 International Film Citations; 11 TV Industry, 23 Music Industry, 63 Entertainment Industry and 20 Government & Other Educational Institutions awards; and 20 Special Citations;
• WHEREAS, Ms. Aunor’s achievements in local show business as the First and Truly Genuine MULTI-MEDIA artist on radio, television, movies, music, and stage who has risen from and was nurtured by the bosom of the Filipino masses, have been unparalleled from her very humble beginnings as a train water vendor, then as the Grand Champion of television’s Darigold Jamboree and Tawag ng Tanghalan singing contests, and as today’s Philippine Greatest Actress according to the late National Artists Lino Brocka and Lamberto Avellana;
• WHEREAS, Ms. Aunor has made local television history in “Superstar” which has become the longest running TV show ever for having 22-uninterrupted-year broadcast; and she has made a filmography of 177 films and a discography of 45 albums and 238 singles;
• WHEREAS, owing to her great contribution to the advancement of her art and because of the masses from whence she came, Ms. Aunor has been honored by various civic and cultural organizations foremost of which are the Cultural Center of the Philippines Centennial Honor for the Arts: One of the 100 Outstanding Filipino Artists in the Film and Broadcast Arts in 1999, Diamond Anniversary of Philippine Cinema (Under Proclamation No. 448 by Pres. Fidel V. Ramos) Philippine Cinema Greats Roll of Honor (1919-1994) in 1995; the TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in Nations Service) Awards in 1983, Filipino-American Community of Florida USA Jacksonville Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Development of Filipino Culture in 1993, Office of the President Parangal ng Bayan Grand Achievement Award in 1995, City of Manila Araw ng Maynila Award “Pagkilala sa Larangan ng Sining Sa Pagganap” in 1995, Office of the President Parangal ng Bayan Special International Citation Award for being the first Filipina to win an International Best Actress Award in Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt in 1995, Philippine Association of Teachers of Culture and Arts Par Excellence Award in 1996, Film Development Foundation of the Philippines Haligi ng Industriya Award in 1997, National Centennial Commision Gawad Sentenaryo: Sektor ng Kababaihan, Sining at Kalinangan in 1999, and Batangas-Laguna Association of Culture & the Arts’ Dakilang Kayumanggi ng Lahi for Films in 2005; and Manila Bulletin 110th Anniversary citations as one of the 110 World-Class Filipinos together with Dr. Jose Rizal, Cory & Ninoy Aquino, heroes and national artists in 2010.
• • •
OUTSTANDING TEACHERS: BALATCA is headed by its president, Agapita A. Nery, a Metrobank Oustanding Teacher awardee in 2002. BALATCA aims to propagate and preserve culture and the arts by promoting a culture of excellence in films, drama, literature, musical compositions, and non-verbal art forms such as dances and the visual arts.
Organized in 2004, it hands out the annual award, Dakilang Kayumanggi ng Lahi, to outstanding Filipinos who have made their mark in various fields of art. Among those who have been conferred the award are Nora Aunor, National Artists F. Sionil Jose and Bienvenido Lumbera, Lea Salonga and Dolphy.