Nora Aunor could be 2nd national artist from Bicol
The Philippine’s only cinema, theatrical actor and recording superstar of all time Nora Aunor is in the shortlist among the prospective candidates for National Artists that may find confirmation from Malacanang.
This surfaced as President Benigno Aquino III has been asked to confirm, proclaim and confer the six candidates for National Artists.
Eight months ago, the nominees were formally endorsed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The candidates awaiting the President’s signature for their proclamation include the Bicolana superstar actress Nora Villamayor (screen name Nora Aunor) for Film, Alice Reyes for Dance, Francisco Feliciano for Music, Francisco Coching for Visual Arts, Cirilo Bautista for Literature, and Jose Ma. Zaragoza for Architecture.
Concerned groups said that eight months since October 1, 2013 when the formal endorsement was forwarded to the Office of the President is taking longer than the time needed by the NCCA and the CCP to process the nominations.
A petition has been passed for the people to support the clamor for the President to sign the prospective six new National Artists’ proclamation.
But the award seem to be elusive to Aunor as President Benigno Aquino has already signed the order proclaiming a new set of National Artists as early as two months ago. The actress may have been left out because of moral issues against her, in particular, her alleged drug use and arrest in the United States over drug possession. But the case was consequently dismissed after she performed community service and underwent an 18-month rehabilitation program.
The first Bicolano inducted into the roster of the prestigious category of national artist was Manuel Conde (aka Manuel Urbano who hailed from Daet, Camarines Norte. He was an actor, director and producer.
On July 6, 2009, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed seven individual proclamations conferring the 2009 Order of National Artists on theater stalwart Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, filmmakers Manuel Urbano (aka Manuel Conde) and Carlo Magno Jose J. Caparas, visual artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, novelist Lazaro Francisco, architect Francisco Mañosa and fashion designer Jose “Pitoy” Moreno as National Artists.
The announcement drew criticisms and protests among artists’ groups, which protested that of the seven new awardees, only three—Conde, Alcuaz and Francisco—were shortlisted by the selection committee composed of members of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
Eventually, in November 2013, more than four years after they had been proclaimed National Artists, visual artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Tagalog fictionist Lazaro Francisco and filmmaker Manuel Conde were finally conferred the awards in Malacañang.
The National Artist Award was created by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1001 signed by President Ferdinand Marcos on April 27, 1972. Painter Fernando Amorsolo was the first to be given the honor.
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