Aug 11
A TALE OF TWO PROTESTS by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Tue, Aug 11, 2009

On a First Friday last August 7, the Cultural Center was witness to a silent but expressive protest by the National Artists which was headed by the CAP (Concerned Artists of the Philippines) and attended by other concerned artists from the cinema, visual arts and other disciplines,

The crux of the matter was the out-of-procedure naming of four new national artists: Carlo J. Caparas for Cinema and Visual Arts, Cecile Guidote Alvarez for Theater, Francisco Mañosa for Architecture and Jose “Pitoy” Moreno for Fashion. But the line of fire is directly pointed at the first two awardees.

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Bencab saying his piece. In background are 2 mourners.

Rule number 5 of the Nomination Procedure for National Artist states: NCCA and CCP Board members and consultants and NCCA and CCP officers and staff are automatically disqualified from being nominated.

Alvarez who is currently the Executive Director of NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) is therefore explicitly not qualified for a nomination. So how come a person who was not nominated would be named a National Artist?

Further, the rule states:

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 Deputy Executive Director
National Commission for Culture and the Arts
633 General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila

It’s very clear that the NCCA is involved in the nominations process. For delicadeza purposes, naming Alvarez for the National Artist award is in bad taste.

For Carlo Caparas, he was not a visual artist so he is not eligible in the category of Visual Arts. As for the Cinema category, the artistic value of Caparas’s movies are yet to be proven.

For his retort, Caparas emphasized his popularity with the masses and even ridiculed his critics that people don’t even know them (National Artists). Maybe Caparas thinks that the National Artist award is based on popularity alone.

As displayed in www.ncca.gov.ph, the Order of National Artists (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.

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no more placards this time, only tarpaulins and cardboards

This award is far greater than the Luna, Urian or FAMAS awards which makes it more coveted. Aside from the medallion and other benefits, a cheque of 100,000 pesos will be received by the honoree during the awarding rites plus a pension of 1 million a year.

In the short program, there was Juana Change, a fictional character who represents Cecile Guidote Alvarez. In the monologue, vulgar words such as “himod” was used to describe the style employed to get the favors of Malacañang. In another instance, Juana mentioned that there was to have a “tae” so that an “utot” like her would not be much noticed. That was in reference to Caparas as the annoyance.

Concurrent with the protest going on at the CCP, a rally was held in the NCCA office by the supporters of Carlo J. Caparas with a huge tarpaulin bearing the image of the komiks writer. Former Censors and PCSO chief Manoling Morato was present to signify his full support to Caparas.

But the protest did not end at CCP because the protesters proceeded with a motorcade to Intramuros. As planned, the vehicles were to blow their horn when they pass the NCCA building. But it as reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, there was a physical confrontation between the protesters and the supporters of Cecile Guidote Alvarez.

Angie Ferro, on the side of NCCA, stood her ground and even reprimanded Johnny Delgado for joining the protest march. With the loud speakers set in the premises of the NCCA, Ferro engaged Bien Lumbera in a shouting bout.

As it is, a standoff is in the offing. Malacañang is bent on giving out the awards while the protesters are dead set to fight until sanity is brought back to the process of selecting the National Artists.

All we can do now is wait.

Another protest is gaining ground, this time against Willie Revillame, the host of the noontime variety show Wowowee. The public disgust arose from the gesture of Willie, which he did on air, to remove the inset which was showing the motorcade of Tita Cory’s remains when it was being moved from La Salle, Greenhills to the Manila Cathedral on the Monday of August 3.

With exasperation on his voice, Willie said on air, “Hindi siguro magandang tingnan na ipinapakita nyo yan, nagsasaya kami tapos pinapakita yung… I don’t think na dapat ipakita yan, management, eh mahihirapan akong magsalita rito. Nagpapasaya ko, nakikita ko yung ano ni Tita Cory. Sana pakitanggal muna yan.”

The drive to oust Willie from the high-rating noontime show is being spearheaded by AFIMA (Alyansa ng Filipinong Mamamahayag) with their statement – Willie is arrogance and greed. The group is calling the MTRCB to teach Willie a hard lesson which probably meant more than just a suspension.

The internet is getting to be the arena of this protest. Countless of blogs and forums contain topics pertaining to the irreverent action of Willie on the coverage of Tita Cory’s motorcade. Articles in PEP on this topic instantly got thousands of comments, with some for but mostly against Willie Revillame. The video of that incident is up in the internet too (together with the PEP article – http://www.pep.ph/peparazzi/view/2487/Willie).

For the Filipino’s so-called debt of gratitude, internet posters say that since the Lopezes had fully admitted that if not for Tita Cory then they couldn’t have reclaimed the sequestered ABS-CBN, then where would Willie be if Tita Cory did not do that? And for that gratitude, the management of ABS-CBN should have the sense to slay the monster that they themselves had created.

In a closed meeting, Revillame had personally apologized to Kris Aquino. For her part, the youngest daughter of former president Cory Aquino said that the case is closed.

Presumably, the snowballing campaign to remove Willie Revillame as host of Wowowee will go on. And the question is… until when?

Comments to this article can be sent to ajsocorro@yahoo.com


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