In line with the nature of its people, the Philippines has long been highly appreciative of those from its bosom who are able to wow his fellows and people around the world with their contributions to developing and expanding Filipino creative arts. It is for that sense of respect and appreciation that the National Artist title was created by the state to give honor to the most outstanding Filipino artists on their respective fields of art. And it looks like the latest batch of the “Alagad ng Sining” group is about to get bigger with the addition of new artists.
CNN Philippines reports that a new group of creators in the Philippines have been accorded the title and dignity of National Artist for their significant contributions to Filipino art. Two of the most prominent names among these highly honored artistic luminaries include legendary composer Ryan Cayabyab and veteran film director Kidlat Tahimik. Cayabyab, a stellar composer who gave rise to so many popular tunes and songs, and an iconic mentor to decades of famous singing artists, was named National Artist for Music. Tahimik, whose filmmaking career was part of the avant-garde masterpieces that defined the Second Golden Age of Philippine Cinema from the 1970s to early eighties, was in turn made National Artist for Film.
Ryan Cayabyab has long been a shoo-in for National Artist, with his massive body of work that covers a rainbow-like spectrum of genres. He is a big name in pop songwriting and scoring soundtracks for film and television, but has also gained accolades for such contributions in choral music, theatre musical productions, ballet presentations and full compositions for orchestra. Kidlat Tahimik, real name Eric De Guia, was the pioneer who introduced the international Third Cinema movement to the Philippine motion picture industry, encapsulated in perhaps his most famous work, 1977’s “Mababangong Bangungot” (“Perfumed Nightmare”) with its scathing commentary on neocolonialism. He is often considered by local film critics as the “Father of Filipino Indie Cinema”.
Accompanying Cayabyab and Tahimik among the newly declared National Artists are Francisco Mañosa for Architecture, Ramon Muzones and Resil Mojares for Literature, Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio for Theater and editorial cartoonist Larry Alcala for Contemporary Arts.
In accordance with National Artist tradition, the new honorees (or representatives in case of posthumous awardees like Muzones and Alcala above) will attend a conferment ceremony at Malacañang Palace – scheduled this Wednesday, October 24 – to receive the order insignia from the President, Rodrigo Dutere. The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), which administers the honors, will then present a Memorabilia Exhibit showcasing the works of the new National Artists. There would also be a later Night of Tributes special show at the CCP National Theater.
Images: Philippine Star, TMDb, Discogs