ARTISTS from around Mindanao are being honored with the 1st Gador Awards, presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Kaisa Sa Sining Mindanao.

The Gador Award recognizes deserving Mindanao individuals and organizations who have exemplified commendable work and services in cultural and artistic endeavors, and have been in the forefront of research, development, preservation, education and promotion of arts and culture in Mindanao for at least 10 years.

The honorees are Joey Ayala (Davao City), Dr. Steven P.C. Fernandez (Iligan City), Nestor Horfilla (Davao City), Agnes Locsin (Davao City), Sunnie Noel (Marawi Cityand Dipolog City), Maria Wanan Todi (Lake Sebu), the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (MSU-IIT Iligan City), and Sining Kambayoka Ensemble (MSU Marawi City).

Due to the present quarantine and travel restrictions, the Gador Awards Ceremony is being held virtually. It began on July 2 and is ongoing up to July 16 from the home base of the awardees.

The Kaisa sa Sining (KSS) Regional Arts Centers is a partnership program of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) through its Cultural Exchange Department. Launched in 2014, the program is aimed at strengthening the CCP’s linkages and cooperation with regional educational institutions, non-government organizations and local government units in order to broaden public participation in the arts, promote and showcase artistic excellence, and facilitate the collaboration between communities. To date, the KSS network has grown to 50 organizations in 46 areas/communities in the regions: 19 in Luzon, 14 in Visayas, and 17 in Mindanao.

Felimon Blanco, Artistic Director of Teatro Guindengan of La Salle University Ozamiz City, which is one of the KSS Mindanao, noted that “Mindanao is always celebrated through the ingenious works of its highly artistic and creative people. But, rarely has it been given national prominence due to its ‘distance’ to the ‘center.’ The Mindanao experiences are very distinct as these celebrate the rich cultural heritage and vibrant artistic practices of the region. Recognizing the people behind these initiatives in Mindanao means elevating these for the rest of the world to take notice of the artistic excellence and cultural integrity of grounded artists and cultural workers.”

For more information, contact the CCP CED at 832-3674 and 832-1125 locals 1708-1709 or e-mail