Malacañang names 7 new National Artists
MANILA, Philippines—A presidential adviser on culture, a director famous for his “Genghis Khan” movie, a contemporary director and an internationally acclaimed painter.
They are this year’s National Artists along with a Tagalog writer, an architect who designed the Coconut Palace and a prominent fashion designer.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has approved the nomination of Cecile-Guidote Alvarez, Manuel Urbano (aka Manuel Conde), Magno Jose “Carlo” Caparas, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Lazaro Francisco, Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa and Jose “Pitoy” Moreno as National Artists.
Urbano and Francisco will be awarded posthumously. They, together with the five others, will be conferred the 2009 Order of National Artists, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Wednesday.
The individual presidential proclamation naming each National Artist was signed by Ms Arroyo on July 6.
Alvarez, presidential adviser on culture and executive director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), was named National Artist for Theater, according to Ermita.
Conde is the National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts; Caparas for Visual Arts and Film; Alcuaz for Visual Arts, Painting, Sculpture and Mixed Media; Francisco for Literature; Mañosa for Architecture and Moreno for Fashion Design.
The nominees are recommended by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the NCCA.
This early, Ermita defended the conferment of the title on Alvarez, who heads the NCCA.
“She didn’t deliberate on herself. We have the honors committee that does that. It does not disqualify her. She was chosen, and Cecille Guidote has been active in theater even before she got married to Heherson Alvarez. She’s a student of Fr. [James] Reuter. She’s really good,” he said.
Alvarez conceived a program for national theater and founded the Philippine Educational Theater Association in the late 1960s.
She produced the Kalinangan Ensemble to develop Filipino plays and the TV drama “Balintataw.” She founded Earthsavers Dreams Ensemble, a performing group composed of disadvantaged youth, according to her profile.
Over the years, she won a string of awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1972. She is also a CCP Gawad Sining Awardee for Culture.
Conde directed some 40 films from 1940 to 1974 depicting cultural history, including “Genghis Khan,” the first Filipino film to compete in an international film festival, Venice Film Festival, in 1952. He was also an actor, writer and producer.
Caparas is a Filipino comic strip writer who turned to directing films about local superheroes and violent crimes.
Alcuaz took up law at Ateneo de Manila University, but later pursued art, winning prizes in local art competitions. He later studied at Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, Spain, where he won a string of awards at prestigious competitions, his online profile showed.
He has exhibited in galleries in Spain, Portugal, Poland, the United States, Germany and the Philippines. His works are in the collection of at least 20 museums around the world. In 2007, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit for his accomplishments in visual arts.
Francisco wrote 12 novels that appeared in the local magazine Liwayway from 1925 to 1960, tackling romance, class tensions and agrarian reform unrest, including “Ama” at “Daluyong.”
Mañosa is a Filipino architect known for his Filipino-inspired architectural designs, including the Coconut Palace.
Moreno is a fashion designer who gained international prominence.
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