BEAUTY AND THE BEAST MUSICAL ON STAGE IN MANILA JANUARY 2015

Celebrating its 20th year, the Disney Theatrical Production is bringing to the Philippines the “Beauty and the Beast” international tour. Besides the Philippines, this beloved story will be touring Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Here in the Philippines, Ovation Production, which is celebrating its 35th year, will supervise the musical's production. “I thank Disney Theatrical Productions, NETworks, and Broadway Entertainment Group for their trust and confidence in Ovation’s ability to mount this grand production in Manila,” said Ovation Production's head Renen de Guia. “Being a lover of theater and having watched practically all the important musicals in New York and London, and having promoted some of the biggest names in live entertainment for the past 35 years, this is a natural next step for Ovation Productions,” he added. Disney Theatrical Productions Senior Vice President Ron Kollen said that this tour around Asia and Middle East is “a perfect way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our beloved stage musical. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with NETWorks and Broadway Entertainment Group, to launch this first-ever international tour.” The musical that will be directed by Rob Roth will retell the story of Belle, an ordinary girl who crosses paths with Beast who was cursed and will only return to his true form if he learns to love and be loved as well. “Beauty and the Beast” musical will be staging in Manila on January 8-25, 2015 8 p.m. with matinees, 2p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater, CCP Complex. Tickets available starting July 30, 2014. Call Ticketworld at 891-99-99 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph or Beauty & the Beast hotline: 02 571-8568..THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Robin Padilla questions exclusion of Nora Aunor in National Artist list

“Hindi natin dapat siya [Nora Aunor] husgahan sa usapin ng moralidad.” Thus said actor Robin Padilla on the exclusion of Nora Aunor from the recent list of National Artist awardees. According to reports, Malacañang rejected the recommendation of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to include the 61-year-old actress in the country's newest batch of National Artists. Many speculate that Malacañang excluded Nora's nomination due to her past drug conviction in the United States. But in a TV interview, Robin said Nora's personal history should not be a consideration when assessing the artistic merits of the veteran actress. “Hindi naman canonization ito. Hindi natin siya gusto gawing santo. Hindi siya national saint,” Robin quipped. The 44-year-old actor also said, “Kapag sinabi na hindi siya nararapat para sa posisyon na yun, kailangan may eksplenasyon. Yun naman ang matagal ko nang tinanong: ano ang dahilan kung bakit siya tinaggal? Kasi hindi pwedeng no comment. Hindi pwede.” Malacañang declared six new National Artists last week: Alice Reyes for dance, Francisco Coching (posthumous) for visual arts, Cirilo Bautista for literature, Francisco Feliciano and Ramon Santos for music and Jose Maria Zaragoza for architecture, design and allied arts. NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon Jr. said in a previous interview that he was puzzled why Malacañang rejected their recommendation of Nora. “I cannot understand, Malacañang has not yet given an explanation. This is a big loss to the film industry because it lost an opportunity to have another artistic role model,” he told The STAR. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: NCCA may resubmit Nora Aunor’s name for National Artist award

(Updated 4:28 p.m.) The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is considering resubmitting actress Nora Aunor's name for the National Artist award, the commission's legal consultant said Monday. In a phone interview, NCCA lawyer Trixie Angeles said representatives of the commission and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will meet this week to tackle Aunor's exclusion from this year's National Artist awardees. The NCCA and the CCP act as the Order of the National Artists Award Secretariat, which plans, organizes and implements the National Artist awards. "They have two options: resubmit the name immediately or to wait until the next selection cycle," Angeles said in a phone interview on Monday. Last week, President Benigno Aquino III named six new National Artists: Alice Reyes (for Dance), Francisco Coching (for Visual Arts), Cirilo Bautista (for Literature), Francisco Feliciano (for Music), Ramon Santos (for Music) and Jose Maria Zaragoza (for Architecture, Design and Allied Arts). Aunor's name was the only one excluded by the President from the list submitted by the NCCA and the CCP, Angeles said. Aunor, known to Filipinos as the "Superstar," is a multi-awarded actress who starred in critically acclaimed films such as "Himala" and "Thy Womb." Over the weekend, the Manila Bulletin reported that Aquino was hesitant to confer the National Artist award on Aunor because the actress was involved in drug possession issues a few years ago. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pal finds old pic of Nora with Ninoy

A joke posted on a website said that one reason President Aquino excluded actress Nora Aunor from the newest batch of national artists was her being a “Marcos loyalist” during the martial law years. A seemingly ordinary Flashback Friday photo on Facebook, however, contradicted this commonly held notion: It showed Aunor visiting Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., then a fierce political rival of President Ferdinand Marcos, in the United States. The photo was taken in 1982, in the San Francisco home of the senator’s sister, filmmaker Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara, according to Baby K. Jimenez, a Canada-based entertainment journalist and Aunor’s friend. Although Aunor was identified as a supporter of the Marcoses, she also had links with the Aquinos. In 1982, Aunor top-billed Ishmael Bernal’s “Himala,” produced by the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, which was headed by Imee Marcos, President Marcos’ daughter and a self-professed “Noranian” (Aunor’s fan). On the other side of the political fence, Aquino’s sister, Kashiwahara, directed two of Aunor’s landmark films in 1976: the psychological thriller “Magandang Gabi sa Inyong Lahat” and the anti-US bases drama “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo.” Kashiwahara again directed Aunor in the film “Babae” in 1997.
In an e-mail, Jimenez told the Inquirer that show biz and politics often intersected in the Philippines. “We cannot draw the line. That’s why some actors get elected to public office.” Godmother --Jimenez related that Aunor was close to Aquino’s sister. “Guy (Aunor’s nickname) called Lupita ninang (godmother). Lupita was a principal sponsor in Guy and (ex-husband) Christopher de Leon’s beach wedding in La Union province in 1975. Lupita called Guy ‘Buds,’ short for Buddies.” Whenever Aunor would visit San Francisco, California, she would sometimes stay in the home of either Kashiwahara or another Aquino sister, Tessie Aquino-Oreta. The Aquino sisters lived in exile in the United States during the martial law era. Senator Aquino lived in Boston at that time. Jimenez recalled that she and Aunor were in San Francisco to promote “Bongga Ka Day,” a movie produced by the actress’ company, NV Productions, in 1982. “Lupita earlier told us that her brother would be arriving in the Bay Area,” Jimenez recounted. The visit was kept strictly confidential. “We couldn’t call Ninoy by name and referred to him as kuya (big brother), in case our exchanges were intercepted.” While in a theater, Jimenez received word that the senator had arrived in the city. “I told Guy that Lupita had called. She simply said: ‘Tara, punta tayo kay ninang (Let’s go to my godmother’s home).’ Lupita is married to Ken Kashiwahara, who worked with (TV network) ABC then.”...READ MORE...Nora-Ninoy meet,

ALSO: National arts body stands by Nora Aunor

PHOTO  --Nora Aunor in a scene in “Himala”: “Handling herself with utmost modesty and refinement”
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) stands by Nora Aunor, but also notes the legality of President Aquino’s decision to exclude the actress from the newest batch of national artists.
The NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) also confirmed that aside from the six newly proclaimed national artists, three more will be conferred the honor in a formal ceremony: fictionist Lazaro Francisco, painter Federico Aguilar Alcuaz and filmmaker Manuel Conde. In 2009, the three national artists’ conferment was deferred as a result of the controversy surrounding the last-minute inclusion of four names (komiks novelist Carlo J. Caparas, theater artist Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, architect Francisco Mañosa and fashion designer Jose “Pitoy” Moreno) by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the honor roll. Conde, Francisco and Alcuaz will be conferred the honor of national artist along with the latest honorees—choreographer Alice Reyes (dance), komiks novelist/artist Francisco Coching (posthumous-visual arts), poet Cirilo F. Bautista (literature), composer Francisco Feliciano (music), architect Jose Maria Zaragoza (posthumous-architecture, design and allied arts) and composer Ramon Santos (music)—in a ceremony that is yet to be scheduled. Santos was part of the 2009 batch, but his name was dropped from the list by Arroyo to make room for the four artists who didn’t go through the process. In an interview with the Inquirer, Trixie Cruz-Angeles, legal counsel of the NCCA, said: “The three were already proclaimed by President Arroyo. Their conferment only didn’t push through due to the court case in 2009.”
The three are already included in the roster of national artists posted on the government’s official website. The Supreme Court released its decision in 2013, voiding the inclusion of Caparas, Alvarez, Mañosa and Moreno, and upholding the validity of the three’s proclamation, Angeles recounted. In a phone interview on Monday, Emily Abrera, chair of the CCP board, said: “The three were robbed of their moment… Finally, they will be formally recognized with the new batch.”
Abrera said Alcuaz died in February 2011 while waiting for the case to be settled. READ MORE...

ALSO: The National Artists of the Philippines Guidelines

The Order of the National Artists Award (Orden ng Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) is the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts; namely, Music, Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film and Broadcast Arts, and Architecture and Allied Arts. The order is jointly administered by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and conferred by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation by both institutions. The Order of National Artists Award is one of the Honors conferred by the Republic of the Philippines that embodies the nation’s highest ideals in the humanities and aesthetic expression through the distinct achievements of individual citizens. While the Republic bestows due recognition to these singular achievements, it in turn honors its own cultural heritage, whose enrichment these achievements have significantly effected, enhanced, and given direction. These achievements are measured in terms of their vision, unusual insight, creativity and imagination, technical proficiency of the highest order in expressing Filipino culture and traditions, history, way of life, and aspirations. READ MORE...Background,


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'Beauty and the Beast' musical in Manila


The Disney story “Beauty and the Beast” is set to wow audience here in Manila in January 2015.-PR Photo

MANILA, JUNE 30, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Eunice Blanco - Celebrating its 20th year, the Disney Theatrical Production is bringing to the Philippines the “Beauty and the Beast” international tour.

Besides the Philippines, this beloved story will be touring Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Here in the Philippines, Ovation Production, which is celebrating its 35th year, will supervise the musical's production.

“I thank Disney Theatrical Productions, NETworks, and Broadway Entertainment Group for their trust and confidence in Ovation’s ability to mount this grand production in Manila,” said Ovation Production's head Renen de Guia.

“Being a lover of theater and having watched practically all the important musicals in New York and London, and having promoted some of the biggest names in live entertainment for the past 35 years, this is a natural next step for Ovation Productions,” he added.

Disney Theatrical Productions Senior Vice President Ron Kollen said that this tour around Asia and Middle East is “a perfect way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our beloved stage musical.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with NETWorks and Broadway Entertainment Group, to launch this first-ever international tour.”

The musical that will be directed by Rob Roth will retell the story of Belle, an ordinary girl who crosses paths with Beast who was cursed and will only return to his true form if he learns to love and be loved as well.

“Beauty and the Beast” musical will be staging in Manila on January 8-25, 2015 8 p.m. with matinees, 2p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater, CCP Complex.

Tickets available starting July 30, 2014. Call Ticketworld at 891-99-99 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph or Beauty & the Beast hotline: 02 571-8568

Robin Padilla questions exclusion of Nora Aunor in National Artist list  By Chuck Smith (philstar.com) | Updated June 25, 2014 - 11:19am


Robin Padilla (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

MANILA, Philippines - “Hindi natin dapat siya [Nora Aunor] husgahan sa usapin ng moralidad.”

Thus said actor Robin Padilla on the exclusion of Nora Aunor from the recent list of National Artist awardees.

According to reports, Malacañang rejected the recommendation of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to include the 61-year-old actress in the country's newest batch of National Artists.

Many speculate that Malacañang excluded Nora's nomination due to her past drug conviction in the United States.

But in a TV interview, Robin said Nora's personal history should not be a consideration when assessing the artistic merits of the veteran actress.

“Hindi naman canonization ito. Hindi natin siya gusto gawing santo. Hindi siya national saint,” Robin quipped.

The 44-year-old actor also said, “Kapag sinabi na hindi siya nararapat para sa posisyon na yun, kailangan may eksplenasyon. Yun naman ang matagal ko nang tinanong: ano ang dahilan kung bakit siya tinaggal? Kasi hindi pwedeng no comment. Hindi pwede.”

Malacañang declared six new National Artists last week: Alice Reyes for dance, Francisco Coching (posthumous) for visual arts, Cirilo Bautista for literature, Francisco Feliciano and Ramon Santos for music and Jose Maria Zaragoza for architecture, design and allied arts.

NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon Jr. said in a previous interview that he was puzzled why Malacañang rejected their recommendation of Nora.

“I cannot understand, Malacañang has not yet given an explanation. This is a big loss to the film industry because it lost an opportunity to have another artistic role model,” he told The STAR.

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

NCCA may resubmit Nora Aunor’s name for National Artist award By ANDREO CALONZO, GMA NewsJune 23, 2014 4:00pm

(Updated 4:28 p.m.) The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is considering resubmitting actress Nora Aunor's name for the National Artist award, the commission's legal consultant said Monday.

In a phone interview, NCCA lawyer Trixie Angeles said representatives of the commission and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will meet this week to tackle Aunor's exclusion from this year's National Artist awardees.

The NCCA and the CCP act as the Order of the National Artists Award Secretariat, which plans, organizes and implements the National Artist awards.

"They have two options: resubmit the name immediately or to wait until the next selection cycle," Angeles said in a phone interview on Monday.

Last week, President Benigno Aquino III named six new National Artists: Alice Reyes (for Dance), Francisco Coching (for Visual Arts), Cirilo Bautista (for Literature), Francisco Feliciano (for Music), Ramon Santos (for Music) and Jose Maria Zaragoza (for Architecture, Design and Allied Arts).

Aunor's name was the only one excluded by the President from the list submitted by the NCCA and the CCP, Angeles said.

Aunor, known to Filipinos as the "Superstar," is a multi-awarded actress who starred in critically acclaimed films such as "Himala" and "Thy Womb."

Over the weekend, the Manila Bulletin reported that Aquino was hesitant to confer the National Artist award on Aunor because the actress was involved in drug possession issues a few years ago.

Not issues vs. Aunor

Angeles said Aunor's past drug issues, as well as her reported tax evasion case in the United States, should not have been held against the actress in her bid for the National Artist award.

In March 2006, Aunor was reported to have pleaded guilty to drug possession charges before the a court in Los Angeles City in California.

"Miss Aunor's drug case has already been expunged from the records. There are no records that she has a tax evasion case. These should not have been issues against Miss Aunor," the NCCA lawyer said.

She added that as far as the NCCA is concerned, Aunor "complied with the process and has a good standing."

Angeles admitted, however, that the President's move to drop Aunor's name from the list of National Artist awardees did not violate any law.

A Supreme court ruling last year stated that the President has "the authority to alter or modify or nullify or set aside" the NCCA and the CCP's recommendation for National Artist awardees.

The same high court decision, which invalidated the conferment of National Artist awards to four personalities including film director Carlo J. Caparas, states that the President cannot add any names to the list submitted by the NCCA and the CCP.

Policy changes

Angeles further said that the NCCA may propose policy changes to depoliticize the selection of National Artist awardees.

These policy recommendations may include amending existing executive orders or laws to draw clear parameters for the President in choosing National Artist awardees.

"The President is a political animal. His or her considerations in choosing National Artists may include factors other than artistry," Angeles said.

The NCCA may also propose the formation of an independent body to ultimately screen National Artist nominees, she added. —KG/BM, GMA News

FROM THE INQUIRER

Pal finds old pic of Nora with Ninoy By Bayani San Diego Jr.Philippine Daily Inquirer1:13 am | Friday, June 27th, 2014


FLASHBACK FRIDAY Nora Aunor and friend Baby K. Jimenez, now a Canada-based writer, in a 1982 photo with opposition leader Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., father of President Aquino, who left the veteran actress-singer out of the list of new national artists. The photo was taken in the San Francisco house of movie and television director Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara, sister of the late senator. PHOTO COURTESY OF BABY K. JIMENEZ

MANILA, Philippines–A joke posted on a website said that one reason President Aquino excluded actress Nora Aunor from the newest batch of national artists was her being a “Marcos loyalist” during the martial law years.

A seemingly ordinary Flashback Friday photo on Facebook, however, contradicted this commonly held notion: It showed Aunor visiting Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., then a fierce political rival of President Ferdinand Marcos, in the United States.

The photo was taken in 1982, in the San Francisco home of the senator’s sister, filmmaker Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara, according to Baby K. Jimenez, a Canada-based entertainment journalist and Aunor’s friend.

Although Aunor was identified as a supporter of the Marcoses, she also had links with the Aquinos.

In 1982, Aunor top-billed Ishmael Bernal’s “Himala,” produced by the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, which was headed by Imee Marcos, President Marcos’ daughter and a self-professed “Noranian” (Aunor’s fan).

On the other side of the political fence, Aquino’s sister, Kashiwahara, directed two of Aunor’s landmark films in 1976: the psychological thriller “Magandang Gabi sa Inyong Lahat” and the anti-US bases drama “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo.”

Kashiwahara again directed Aunor in the film “Babae” in 1997.

In an e-mail, Jimenez told the Inquirer that show biz and politics often intersected in the Philippines. “We cannot draw the line. That’s why some actors get elected to public office.”

Godmother

Jimenez related that Aunor was close to Aquino’s sister. “Guy (Aunor’s nickname) called Lupita ninang (godmother). Lupita was a principal sponsor in Guy and (ex-husband) Christopher de Leon’s beach wedding in La Union province in 1975. Lupita called Guy ‘Buds,’ short for Buddies.”

Whenever Aunor would visit San Francisco, California, she would sometimes stay in the home of either Kashiwahara or another Aquino sister, Tessie Aquino-Oreta.

The Aquino sisters lived in exile in the United States during the martial law era. Senator Aquino lived in Boston at that time.

Jimenez recalled that she and Aunor were in San Francisco to promote “Bongga Ka Day,” a movie produced by the actress’ company, NV Productions, in 1982.

“Lupita earlier told us that her brother would be arriving in the Bay Area,” Jimenez recounted.

The visit was kept strictly confidential. “We couldn’t call Ninoy by name and referred to him as kuya (big brother), in case our exchanges were intercepted.”

While in a theater, Jimenez received word that the senator had arrived in the city.

“I told Guy that Lupita had called. She simply said: ‘Tara, punta tayo kay ninang (Let’s go to my godmother’s home).’ Lupita is married to Ken Kashiwahara, who worked with (TV network) ABC then.”

Nora-Ninoy meet

At the Kashiwaharas’ home, Aunor finally met Aquino.

Aunor seemed shy at first but she later became at ease.

“Ninoy always spoke to Guy in Tagalog,” Jimenez said. “She behaved like she was the president of the Ninoy Aquino Fans’ Club. She would always end her answers to Ninoy with po and opo. She kissed and hugged Ninoy so tightly.”

Jimenez was impressed because the senator “talked extensively about the Philippine movie industry and was quite knowledgeable about it.”

After all, Jimenez pointed out, the senator was once involved in the movies: The 1952 movie “Korea,” produced by LVN Pictures, was based on Aquino’s exploits as a war correspondent.

“I teased Ninoy about (‘Korea’ cast member) Nida Blanca, who was once linked to him,” Jimenez related.
They talked until 2 in the morning, Jimenez reminisced.

“That night, Guy promised to support Ninoy [should he return to the Philippines],” Jimenez recalled. “We knew he was going home.”

A year later, on Aug. 21, 1983, Senator Aquino was assassinated on the tarmac of the then Manila International Airport.

Food for wake

Aunor couldn’t attend Aquino’s wake and funeral, Jimenez volunteered, because “Guy was scared of the administration; she had tax problems then. But she sent food to the wake. She and her Noranians bought pan de sal, with palaman like corned beef and hot dogs, and sent the sandwiches to the mourners.”

Aunor stayed up late to listen to Jimenez’s stories on the first night of the wake. “She waited for me in her house. I told her that foreign correspondents went to the Aquino home, that Tessie refused to change Ninoy’s clothes for the wake. ‘Let them see blood,’ she said. We were all crying.”

The assassination “shocked” Aunor, Jimenez said.

“Guy was looking forward to seeing Ninoy again in Manila,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez explained that she had posted the Ninoy-Guy photos on Facebook in the past, in time for Aquino’s death anniversary two years ago.

“But the photos didn’t get as much attention until now,” Jimenez said. “People once again became interested in Guy because of all these controversies surrounding the national artist issue.”

Morality issue

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), meanwhile, clarified reports about morality not being part of the criteria in selecting a national artist.

Trixie Cruz-Angeles, legal counsel of the NCCA, told the Inquirer in a phone interview on Wednesday: “The morality clause was in the old implementing rules but it was deleted years ago.”

She explained that the joint boards of the NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) could amend the implementing rules that govern the selection process.

“The rules were assessed and the problematic clauses were removed, including the morality issue,” Angeles recounted.

When Malacañang established a committee on honors to oversee all its national awards, it came up with two guidelines in choosing a national artist: “that the process was completed and that the nominee is in ‘good standing.’”

‘Good standing’

Angeles recalled that the committee on honors had already cleared Aunor and found her in “good standing.” Although “legal,” the President’s veto created a situation where there was “untrammeled discretion,” Angeles noted.

She explained that it was vital for the President to clarify the issue so that “future participants in the national artist selection process will understand the parameters of the Chief Executive’s discretion, so that we will not waste time and taxpayer money selecting someone who will only be vetoed by the President.”

Angeles added: “Art, as it is, is difficult to evaluate. The President has no expertise in the arts. That is precisely why there is a panel of experts in the national artists’ search committee.”

National interest

She said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma’s statement that the President’s choice of national artists was based on “national interest” likewise needed to be clarified.

“How is national interest related to the arts? The debates and discussions should be limited to a nominee’s body of work and artistry. We hope to be enlightened on this matter. Of course, we cannot compel the President. But a clarification would help create better policies in the future,” Angeles said.

Confidential letter

Angeles made the comments before Malacañang made public NCCA Chair Felipe de Leon Jr.’s letter to President Aquino assuring him that the NCCA and the CCP respected his decision excluding Aunor from the list of national artists.

Asked why the letter was made public, De Leon replied via text message: “Because some moles inside Malacañang released to the media what is supposed to be a confidential letter to the President.”

In a statement released on Thursday, the CCP remarked: “This presidential authority to affirm or not affirm the recommendations was vested in the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that disallowed a set of national artists named by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which had not undergone the deliberation and selection process.”

Emily Abrera, chair of the CCP board, said in the statement: “Obviously, the artists we recommended were those whose contributions to the field of culture and the arts are genuinely outstanding and unassailable. While we had hoped that they would all be conferred the honor, the President’s approval is part of the process. Ultimately, the CCP respects that.”

National arts body stands by Nora Aunor By Bayani San Diego Jr.Philippine Daily Inquirer4:49 am | Tuesday, June 24th, 2014


Nora Aunor in a scene in “Himala”: “Handling herself with utmost modesty and refinement”

MANILA, Philippines–The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) stands by Nora Aunor, but also notes the legality of President Aquino’s decision to exclude the actress from the newest batch of national artists.

The NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) also confirmed that aside from the six newly proclaimed national artists, three more will be conferred the honor in a formal ceremony: fictionist Lazaro Francisco, painter Federico Aguilar Alcuaz and filmmaker Manuel Conde.

In 2009, the three national artists’ conferment was deferred as a result of the controversy surrounding the last-minute inclusion of four names (komiks novelist Carlo J. Caparas, theater artist Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, architect Francisco Mañosa and fashion designer Jose “Pitoy” Moreno) by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the honor roll.

Conde, Francisco & Alcuaz will be conferred the honor of national artist along with the latest honorees—choreographer Alice Reyes (dance), komiks novelist/artist Francisco Coching (posthumous-visual arts), poet Cirilo Bautista (literature), composer Francisco Feliciano (music), architect Jose Maria Zaragoza (posthumous-architecture, design and allied arts) and composer Ramon Santos (music)—in a ceremony that is yet to be scheduled.

Santos was part of the 2009 batch, but his name was dropped from the list by Arroyo to make room for the four artists who didn’t go through the process.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Trixie Cruz-Angeles, legal counsel of the NCCA, said: “The three were already proclaimed by President Arroyo. Their conferment only didn’t push through due to the court case in 2009.”

The three are already included in the roster of national artists posted on the government’s official website.

The Supreme Court released its decision in 2013, voiding the inclusion of Caparas, Alvarez, Mañosa and Moreno, and upholding the validity of the three’s proclamation, Angeles recounted.

In a phone interview on Monday, Emily Abrera, chair of the CCP board, said: “The three were robbed of their moment… Finally, they will be formally recognized with the new batch.”

Abrera said Alcuaz died in February 2011 while waiting for the case to be settled.

Conde’s son happy

Filmmaker Jun Urbano, son of Conde, told the Inquirer: “This is good news. My family is thankful and happy.

Unfortunately, my mother (Julita Salazar-Urbano) died last year. She was also waiting for this honor.”
Conde passed away in 1985; Francisco died in 1980.

Previously, there was confusion when the names of the three didn’t appear on the new list of national artists released by Malacañang on Friday.

In a phone interview on Sunday, National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera told the Inquirer: “The NCCA should clarify the status of the three.”

Committee on honors

NCCA Chair Felipe de Leon Jr. told the Inquirer in a phone interview on Sunday: “In a meeting earlier this month, the CCP, the NCCA and the honors committee of the Office of the President (OP) agreed that the three will be conferred along with the new batch.”

At the same early June meeting, the committee on honors approved the proclamation of Santos and the six new national artists, including Aunor.

Angeles told the Inquirer: “Nora was approved by the honors committee as well. It was an exercise of discretion, on the President’s part, to exclude her.”

Angeles reiterated that the President’s action was legal. “It is true that he doesn’t have to justify his decision,” she said. “But this is not just an issue of legality, but of propriety.”

Malacañang on Monday insisted that Aquino did not commit grave abuse of discretion when he excluded Aunor from his proclamations of new national artists.

The President has the power to approve all or none of the nominees from the CCP and the NCCA, according to presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, citing the 2013 Supreme Court ruling.

Besides, the presidential spokesman added, the advice of the CCP and the NCCA was recommendatory.

Prerogative

“It has a persuasive nature but the final prerogative rests with the President,” he said, pointing to the high court’s ruling stating that the President “may remove” but may not add to the list submitted by both bodies.

“So, was there grave abuse of discretion when the name of Ms. Nora Aunor was taken out? No, there was none,” he said at a briefing aired over government radio. “As to the reason for that, I’m not privy to the decision.”

On Sunday, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the President’s choice of national artists was based on “the national interest.”

Unclear

Abrera said Coloma’s explanation seemed “unclear and difficult to understand.”

Angeles stressed that Aunor deserved to be a national artist.

“In the meeting between CCP-NCCA and the OP’s honors committee early this month, questions about Nora’s tax problems and purported drug use were raised. CCP-NCCA clarified that Nora never had a tax evasion case and the drug case in the US was stricken off the record in 2007,” Angeles said.

Morality is not in the present guidelines of choosing a national artist, Angeles said.

According to Angeles, the committee on honors, in confirming the choices of the joint boards of the CCP-NCCA, needed to check two things: “That the process was completed and that the nominee is of ‘good standing.’”

Good standing

The term “good standing,” like “good moral character,” is subject to interpretation and its definition can evolve with the changes in society, she said.

Aunor was approved by the honors committee based on these two standards, Angeles said.

She said Aunor could be nominated again. “She doesn’t have to go through the entire process from square one because she has already hurdled all the stages.”

Just like Santos, Aunor’s name can be inserted in the next batch of nominees. “Santos’ case set a precedent. A nominee who was dropped by the President can be presented again by the joint board and, if the next President has no objection, can become a national artist.”

Angeles said the NCCA was standing by Aunor. “We stand by all the artists recommended by the joint boards of the NCCA and the CCP to the honors committee, including Nora.”

Nora’s ‘genius, artistry’

Angeles pointed out that Aunor went through a rigorous process. “Her works were reviewed by experts, peers and national artists. We recognize Nora’s genius, artistry and contribution to the field and her remarkable body of work.”

The CCP’s Abrera agreed: “I voted for Nora. I supported Nora. I believe she deserves to be national artist.”

Abrera expressed admiration for Aunor, who was very conscientious in making public pronouncements throughout the eight-month-long wait for the proclamation, and even throughout the controversy that resulted from her exclusion.

“Of all the people involved in this issue, she is the one who has handled herself with utmost modesty and refinement. I respect and admire her for that. It breaks my heart that she failed to become a national artist,” Abrera said.–With a report from TJ Burgonio

The National Artists of the Philippines Guidelines


http://www.ncca.gov.ph/main.php

The Order of the National Artists Award (Orden ng Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) is the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts; namely, Music, Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film and Broadcast Arts, and Architecture and Allied Arts. The order is jointly administered by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and conferred by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation by both institutions.

The Order of National Artists Award is one of the Honors conferred by the Republic of the Philippines that embodies the nation’s highest ideals in the humanities and aesthetic expression through the distinct achievements of individual citizens. While the Republic bestows due recognition to these singular achievements, it in turn honors its own cultural heritage, whose enrichment these achievements have significantly effected, enhanced, and given direction.

These achievements are measured in terms of their vision, unusual insight, creativity and imagination, technical proficiency of the highest order in expressing Filipino culture and traditions, history, way of life, and aspirations.

BACKGROUND
1.The Order of the National Artist Award (Orden ng Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) was established under Proclamation No. 1001 dated April 27, 1972 to give appropriate recognition and prestige to Filipinos who have distinguished themselves and made outstanding contributions to Philippine arts and letters. The first award was conferred posthumously later that year on Fernando Amorsolo.

2.Proclamation No. 1144 dated May 15, 1973 named the CCP Board of Trustees as the National Artist Awards Committee and Presidential Decree No. 208 issued on June 7, 1973 reiterated the mandate of CCP to administer the National Artist Awards as well as the privileges and honors to National Artists.

3.The NCCA was organized under Republic Act No. 7356 dated April 2, 1992 and given broad responsibilities over the development and promotion of the Filipino national culture and the arts, including awards to persons who have significantly contributed to the development and promotion of Philippine culture and the arts.

4.Executive Order No. 236 dated September 19, 2003, otherwise known as the Honors Code of the Philippines, conferred additional prestige on the National Artist Award by raising it to the level of a Cultural Order, fourth in precedence among the orders and decorations that comprise the Honors of the Philippines, and equal in rank to the Order of National Scientists and the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan. The National Artist Award was thereby renamed the Order of National Artists (Orden ng mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining).

OBJECTIVES

The Order of National Artists aims to recognize:
1.Filipino artists who have made significant contributions to the cultural heritage of the country.
2.Filipino artistic accomplishment at its highest level and to promote creative expression as significant to the development of a national cultural identity.
3.Filipino artists who have dedicated their lives to their works to forge new paths and directions for future generations of Filipino artists.

HONORS AND PRIVILEGES

The following privileges are provided to those conferred with the Order of National Artists:
1.The rank and title of National Artist, as proclaimed by the President of the Philippines;
2.The National Artist gold-plated medallion minted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and citation ;
3.Lifetime emolument and material and physical benefits comparable in value to those received by the highest officers of the land such as:

3.1. A minimum cash award of Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000.00), net of taxes for living awardees and a minimum cash award of One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P150,000.00), net of taxes for posthumous awardees, payable to legal heir/s;
3.2 A minimum lifetime personal monthly stipend of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00)

The above-mentioned privileges shall be given effective January 1, 2013.

3.3 Life insurance coverage for Awardees who are still insurable;
3.4 A State Funeral benefit not exceeding P500,000.00.

4. A place of honor, in line with protocular precedence, in state functions, national commemoration ceremonies and all other cultural presentations;.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE AWARD
1.The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, acting as the Order of the National Artists Award Secretariat (ONAA) shall plan, organize and implement the Order of National Artists Award.

2.It shall enlist the support and cooperation of private sector experts from the various field of art to ensure that the awards are implemented in a successful and impartial manner.

3. The Order of the National Artists Award Secretariat shall commission art experts to form a Special Research Group who shall verify information submitted on nominees and provide essential data. They shall be selected for their specialization and familiarity with the works and accomplishments of nominated artists.

4.The Special Research Group shall be composed of at least ten members (10) who have expertise in one or more fields of discipline.

5.The Order of the National Artists Award Panel of Experts and Jury of Experts shall be created before or during the nomination period. They are tasked to screen nominees and recommend to the NCCA and CCP Boards the candidates for the Order of National Artists. It shall be composed of highly regarded peers, scholars, (including cultural philosophers and historians), academicians, researchers, art critics, and other knowledgeable individuals. A wider age-range or experts who would have first-hand knowledge of achievements of nominees shall be considered.

6.The selection of the members of the National Artist Award Panel of Experts and Jury of Experts shall be based on the following criteria:

(a) should have achieved authority, credibility and track record in his field(s) of expertise;
(b) should have extensive knowledge in his field(s) and his views on Philippine art and culture must be national in perspective;
(c) should be a recognized authority in the study or research of Philippine art and culture;
(d) must be willing to devote sufficient time and effort to the work of the Council;
(e) must be willing to sign a non-disclosure statement in order to safeguard the confidentiality of the deliberations;
(f) must not have been convicted with finality of any crime by a court of justice or dismissed for a cause by any organization, whether public or private.

7. The Order of National Artists Award Panel of Experts shall be composed of a maximum of seven (7) members from each of the seven (7) areas/disciplines. The living National Artists will automatically become members in addition to the forty-nine (49) selected members. These members will constitute the first deliberation panel and will be invited to evaluate the nominations and materials submitted by the Special Research Group.

8. The Order of the National Artists Award Jury of Experts shall be composed of a maximum of three (3) members from each of the seven (7) areas/disciplines and will constitute the second deliberation panel. They will be invited to evaluate the short-listed nominees from the first deliberation panel.

9.Any member of the Panel of Experts or Jury of Experts who is nominated or related to a nominee up to the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity shall inhibit himself/herself from the deliberation process. Likewise, any member may decline to participate in the deliberation for any reason or may be removed for just cause upon recommendation to the NCCA/CCP Boards by at least two thirds (2/3s) of the members; in which case, the National Artist Award Secretariat shall again select the replacements for those who decline or resigned until the first deliberation panel is completed.

10.The list of nominated members of the Order of National Artists Award Panel of Experts and Jury of Experts shall be reviewed by the Order of the National Artists Award Secretariat as needed, for purposes of adding new members or replacements.

11.The members of the Order of National Artists Award Panel of Experts and Jury of Experts shall serve for a fixed term of three (3) years.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

The Order of National Artists shall be given to artists who have met the following criteria:
1.Living artists who are natural-born Filipino citizens at the time of nomination, as well as those who died after the establishment of the award in 1972 but were Filipino citizens at the time of their death. Filipinos who have lost and re-acquired Filipino citizenship, through dual citizenship status for at least the minimum period of five years shall be eligible for nomination.
2.Artists who through the content and form of their works have contributed in building a Filipino sense of nationhood.
3.Artists who have pioneered in a mode of creative expression or style, thus, earning distinction and making an impact on succeeding generations of artists.
4.Artists who have created a substantial and significant body of works and/or consistently displayed excellence in the practice of their art form thus enriching artistic expression or style.
5.Artists who enjoy broad acceptance through:

5.1 prestigious national and/or international recognition, such as the Gawad CCP Para sa
Sining, CCP Thirteen Artists Award and NCCA Alab ng Haraya
5.2 critical acclaim and/or reviews of their works
5.3 respect and esteem from peers.

NOMINATION PROCEDURE
1.The National Artist Award Secretariat shall announce the opening of nominations through media releases and letters to qualified organizations.
2.Candidates may be nominated under one or more of the following categories:
1.Dance – choreography, direction and/or performance.
2.Music – composition, direction, and/or performance.
3.Theater – direction, performance and/or production design.
4.Visual Arts – painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation art, mixed media works, illustration, graphic arts, performance art and/or imaging.
5.Literature – poetry, fiction, essay, playwriting, journalism and/or literary criticism.
6.Film and Broadcast Arts – direction, writing, production design, cinematography, editing, camera work, and/or performance.
7.Architecture, Design and Allied Arts – architecture design, interior design, industrial arts design, landscape architecture and fashion design

3. Nominations for the Order of National Artists may be submitted by government and non-government cultural organizations and educational institutions, as well as private foundations and councils.
4. Members of the Special Research Group, as well as agencies attached to the NCCA and CCP shall not submit nominations.
5. NCCA and CCP Board members and consultants and NCCA and CCP officers and staff, and NCCA Committee members are automatically disqualified from being nominated.
6. Nominations shall be accepted only when these are submitted in writing and with proper supporting documentation, as follows:
1.A cover letter signed by the head or designated representative of the nominating organization. The cover letter shall be accompanied by a Board Resolution approving the nominee concerned with the said resolution signed by the organization President and duly certified by the Board Secretary.
2.A duly accomplished nomination form;
3.A detailed curriculum vitae of the nominee;
4.A list of the nominee’s significant works categorized according to the criteria;
5.The latest photograph (color or black and white) of the nominee, either 5” x 7” or 8” x 11”;
6.Pertinent information materials on the nominee’s significant works (on CDs, VCDs and DVDs);
7.Copies of published reviews;
8.Any other document that may be required.
7. Nominations received beyond the announced deadline for the submission of nominations shall not be considered.

8. All inquiries and nominations shall be submitted to
The NATIONAL ARTIST AWARD SECRETARIAT
Office of the Artistic Director
Cultural Center of the Philippines
Roxas Boulevard, 1300 Pasay City

or

The NATIONAL ARTIST AWARD SECRETARIAT
Office of the Executive Director
National Commission for Culture and the Arts
633 General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila

SCREENING AND SELECTION PROCESS
1.The National Artist Award Secretariat shall pre-screen the nominees based on Nomination Process technical guideline items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. The pre-screening shall be based on the accomplishments and merits of the nominee.
2.The Special Research Group shall accomplish its task within six (6) months. The main objective is to verify the validity of the data, and evaluate the quality, true value and significance of works according to the criteria. It shall come up with the updated and comprehensive profiles of nominees reflecting their most outstanding achievements.
3.The National Artist Award Secretariat will meet to review the list of nominees as oversight function such as inadvertent omissions. Consequently, deserving nominees shall be added to the list.
4.The first deliberation panel (Council of Experts) shall be intra-disciplinary. The panelists shall be grouped according to their respective fields of expertise or disciplines to shortlist the nominees in their disciplines or categories for presentation to the second deliberation panel.
5.The second deliberation panel (Jury of Experts) shall be composed of a different set of experts and may include members from varying backgrounds such as critics and academicians. The achievements of each short listed nominee shall be presented by a highly-qualified expert. Then panel deliberates and ranks the short listed nominees according to the order of precedence following the set criteria of the Order of National Artists. In extreme cases, the Second Deliberation may add new names to the lists.
6.The recommendations from the Second Deliberation Panel of the Order of National Artist Award Jury of Experts shall then be presented to the joint boards of NCCA and CCP for final selection. The presentors shall prepare their presentation in writing together with an audio-visual presentation or power point presentation. Written interpellations/opinions will be accepted from selected critics. The review shall be based on the ranking done by the Jury of Experts.
7.The voting shall be across disciplines. The National Artists will be given the option whether to vote on all categories or on his/her particular discipline.
8.Proxy votes will not be allowed in the Selection Process. Designation of permanent representatives of agencies should be made at the outset to make them regular Board members of NCCA and thus, may be allowed to cast votes.
9.The list of awardees shall be submitted to the President of the Republic of the Philippines for confirmation, proclamation and conferral.

PRESENTATION OF THE AWARDS
1.The selection and conferment of the National Artists shall take place every three (3) years.
2. The Order of National Artists shall be conferred by the President of the Philippines on June 11 or any appropriate date in fitting ceremonies to be organized by the National Artist Award Secretariat.
3.The medallion of the Order of National Artists and citation shall be given to the awardee during the conferment ceremony. The cash award of P200,000.00 in check shall be given immediately after the ceremony or at another time and place as requested by the awardee.
4.A posthumous conferral consisting of the medallion and citation shall be given to the family or legal heir/s of the awardee. The cash award of P150,000.00 in check shall be given to the awardee’s legal heir/s or a representative designated by the family immediately after the ceremony or at another time and place as requested by the family.

SOURCE: http://www.ncca.gov.ph/about-ncca/org-awards/org-awards-national-artist-guidelines.php


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