SOURCE: The Philippines Star
MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino yesterday conferred the National Artist award on nine Filipino artists, six of them posthumously.
The National Artists awarded posthumously were Federico Alcuaz and Francisco Coching for visual arts, Lazaro Francisco for literature, Jose Maria Zaragoza for architecture, Manuel Conde for film and Francisco Feliciano for music.
Three other artists were also recipients of the Pambansang Alagad ng Sining: Ramon Santos for music, Cirilo F. Bautista for literature and Alicia Reyes for dance.
The six awardees for National Artists for 2014 were Bautista, Coching, Feliciano, Reyes, Santos and Zaragoza while the remaining three – Alcuaz, Conde and Francisco – were declared National Artists in 2009.
The names of the new National Artists were announced by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), which revealed that proclamations for such “had been signed by Aquino in June 2014.”
Aquino, in a simple ceremony, hailed the outstanding talent and skills of the artists.
“Over the years, you have served as a bright example and inspiration for the next generation,” Aquino said in Filipino.
“Though you have reached the peak of your endeavor, this does not stop you from pursuing excellence in your chosen field or profession,” Aquino said.
Bautista is a poet and educator, Coching helped nurture the local comics industry, Feliciano combined Filipino culture and Western musical idiom in his operas and ballets, while Reyes is a dancer, choreographer and founding artistic director of Ballet Philippines who pioneered contemporary and modern dance in the country.
On the other hand, Santos is a noted composer, conductor, musicologist, scholar and mentor; Zaragoza was a towering Philippine architectural figure in the 1950s; Alcuaz was a painter and lawyer; Conde was a film director, writer, actor and producer, while Francisco was a popular novelist in the 1950s.