CCP to confer highest award on Nora Aunor, Ricky Lee, 11 others

The Cultural Center of the Philippines will award the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining 2015 to 11 individuals, including acclaimed actress Nora Aunor and notable scriptwriter and fictionist Ricky Lee, and two organizations for their outstanding contributions to Philippine arts and culture on September 17 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).

Nora Aunor2The highest award given by the CCP will be bestowed on Aunor (Film and Broadcast Arts), Lee (Literature), former Ballet Philippines artistic director Denisa Reyes (Dance), leading opera star and soprano Fides Cuyugan Asensio (Music), Dulaang UP founding director Antonio Mabesa (Theater), the late art curator Roberto Chabet (Visual Arts), landscape architect and urban designer Paulo Alcazaren(Architecture), and Dean of Philippine Fashion Ben Farrales (Design) for their outstanding contributions in their respective fields and for further enriching the development of their art forms (Category A).

Known as the Superstar, Aunor has starred in numerous films, stage plays, television shows, and concerts, and has received many national and international awards. The multi-awarded actress, singer, and producer was recently awarded the Natatanging Gawad Urian by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino and another Lifetime Achievement Award by the 2015 ASEAN International Film Festival and Awardsin Malaysia for her remarkable acting career spanning almost 50 years.

Ricky LeeOn the other hand, Lee has significantly contributed to Philippine literature and popular culture through his filmography and fiction. Lee, also the recipient of this year’s UP Gawad Plaridel, has written scripts for films such as Himala, Jaguar, Salome, Moral, Karnal, and others that introduced new subjectivities which tackled taboos and modern moralities in Philippine cinema. The award-winning writer has also been instrumental in mentoring, sharing his craft, and honing the skills of the next generation of film and TV writers through his scriptwriting workshops and books.

Reyes, who twice served as BP’s artistic director, holds an impressive line of choreographic works which focus on Asian contemporary dance and the possibilities of presenting local issues through dance expressions. She won critical recognition for her works in the international dance scene.

Meanwhile, Asensio, an icon in the development of opera and musical theatre in the country, continues to promote young classical singers through the non-profit organization Music Theater Foundation of the Philippines, which she has established. Asensio also stars in films and stage plays.

Aside from being active with the university-based theatre company Dulaang UP, Mabesa has also involved himself in nearly every aspect of theatre – directing over 130 stage productions, making him one of the country’s top directors, and acting and designing for leading theatre companies.

The Gawad CCP will be posthumously awarded to Chabet for having introduced conceptual art in the Philippine scene. CCP’s founding museum director and art curator, who died on April 30, 2013 at the age of 76, led the acquisition of notable works of Filipino masters and contemporary artists.

Alcazaren, author of several design and architecture books, has made it a point to integrate environmental and heritage conservation into his architectural works. His company, Paulo G. Alcazaren and Associates (PGAA), has effectively incorporated greenery in the urban setting.

Farrales, who has brought indigenous designs and tribal elements into dazzling creations worn by prominent personalities in society affairs and fashion shows, has over six decades of experience in the industry. Inspired by the Muslim culture, his patterns have taken the malong fashion in other parts of the world like Canada, Los Angeles, and New York through an exhibit called Maranaw.

Palanca Hall of Fame awardee Leoncio Deriada and the Bukidnon-based Talaandig School of Living Traditions will also be awarded the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining for their outstanding contributions to the culture of their region (Category B). The Iloilo-born Deriada has largely contributed to the training and encouragement of young writers in West Visayas to write in Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, and Aklanon aside from writing in English and Filipino. Deriada, winner of prestigious literary awards for his works in English, Filipino, and Hiligaynon, has also produced prize winners among his students.

On the other hand, the Talaandig School of Living Traditions has taught pre-school children their roots and identity, traditions, values, mythologies, dances, and music apart from teaching them basic education like reading, writing, and arithmetic. The school preserves the tribe’s rich cultural and artistic heritage through storytelling, chanting, playing music, and other forms of entertainment.

The award will also be given to Aawitan Kita producer, singer, and host Armida Siguion-Reyna and University of the Philippines College of Music professor emeritusBasilio Esteban Villaruz for their works in research, curatorship, and administration which have helped develop and enrich Philippine art (Category C). Siguion-Reyna’s significant contribution to the fields of musical theatre, television, and film is highlighted by her three decades of work for the award-winning television program.

Meanwhile, the internationally recognized Villaruz is credited for establishing and sustaining UP’s 34-year old dance program. He also serves as the UP Dance Company’s artistic director emeritus.

Finally, the Missionary Society of St. Columban will receive the Tanging Parangal ng CCP for its outstanding services, efforts, and contributions which have significantly affected the development and promotion of arts and culture and support for cultural activities in the country (Category D). The group has been housed in Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, more popularly known as the Malate Church, since their arrival in 1929. Apart from catering to the Malate area’s ecclesiastical needs, the Missionary Society of St. Columban has also taken care of the church that they have called home.

The Gawad CCP Para sa Sining, which is given every three years, was previously awarded to six artists and one foreign cultural arts administrator on several occasions from 1977 to 1986. Since the award’s revival in 1989, it has been awarded to 88 artists and groups from all over the country.