Multi-awarded actress Nora Aunor has been named National Artists for 2022, along with seven other prominent personalities in Philippine culture and arts.
President Rodrigo Duterte issued on Friday Proclamation 1390 announcing National Artists honors. The Proclamation was confirmed by National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in their respective online platforms.
Nora Aunor, who is Nora Cabaltera Villamayor in real life, was hailed as National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts. She shared the honors with screenwriter Ricardo Lee and the late director Marilou Diaz-Abaya.
Aunor’s contributions to the film and broadcast arts depicted the Filipinos’ “everyday realities and aspirations” in some of the most important Filipino films, such as “Himala,” the FDCP noted.
Lee, on the other hand, was acknowledged for writing iconic films, such as “The Flor Contemplacion Story” and “Sa Kuko ng Agila,” while Diaz-Abaya was recognized for movies such as “Brutal” and “Jose Rizal.” Their works are said to form part of the “Second Golden Age of Cinema”.
Actor-director Tony Mabesa was proclaimed National Artist for Theater for his contributions to the “growth and diversity of Philippine theater.”
Choreographer Agnes Locsin was named National Artist for Dance and for spurring a “growing interest in neo-ethnic style among young artists.”
Soprano Fides Cuyugan-Asensio was acclaimed as a National Artist for Music for contributing to a “Renaissance of classical musical theater in the country.”
The late couturier Salvacion Lim-Higgins, who “masterfully innovated and transformed the national costume into a world-class silhouette,” was honored as National Artist for Fashion Design.
Literary critic Gemino Abad was declared National Artist for Literature for providing future generations with a “comprehensive view of the landscape of Philippine poetry and fiction.”
The new National Artists constitute the second batch declared under the leadership of Duterte. The declaration was made upon the joint recommendation of the NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The National Artist Award, created under Proclamation 1001 issued on April 27, 1972, is the highest national recognition given to Filipinos who have made significant and outstanding contributions to the development of Philippine arts.
Each national artist will receive a gold-plated medallion minted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and a citation, according to the guidelines issued by the NCCA.
The National Artists will also get a life emolument and material and physical benefits comparable in value to those received by the country’s highest officers.
Living National Artist awardees will be given a minimum cash award of P200,000, net of taxes; a monthly life pension worth P50,000; medical and hospitalization benefits not exceeding P750,000 every year; life insurance coverage; a state funeral; and a place of honor in state functions, national commemoration rites, and other cultural presentations.
A one-time minimum cash award of PHP150,000, net of taxes, will be granted to the legal heir of the deceased awardees. There are 86 National Artists proclaimed including the eight new ones.