PROLIFIC dancer/choreographer Rafael Catalino “Nonoy” Froilan, filmmaker Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, author Lualhati Bautista, and furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue are among this year’s Gawad CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) Para sa Sining awardees, an award given to an individual or group for their outstanding achievements and contributions to Philippine arts and culture.

This is the highest award given by the CCP and though normally it is given every three years, the last time the center gave the award was in 2015. The 2015 awardees included Nora “Nora Aunor” Villamayor and Tony Mabesa for acting, Denisa Reyes for dance, and architect Paolo Alcazaren.

The award is given to artists or a group of artists who have “consistently produced outstanding works, enriched the development of their art form,” according to a release. It is also given to cultural workers whose works helped develop and enrich Philippine art. A separate award called the Tanging Parangal is given to individuals or organizations to honor their outstanding contributions to the development of the arts in the country.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the awarding ceremonies for Gawad CCP have been pushed to 2021 with no specific date announced as yet.

This year, the award is being given to 12 individuals, a publication, and a performance group.

The awardees are: Rafael Catalino “Nonoy” Froilan for dance, Raul M. Sunico for music, Felix “Nonon” Padilla for theater, Luis “Junyee” Yee, Jr. for visual arts, Lualhati Bautista for literature, Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, Jr. for film and broadcast arts, Cristina Turalba for architecture, Kenneth Cobonpue for design, the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) for culture of its region, Nestor Horfilla for cultural work and research, Liwayway Magazine for development of Philippine culture, Antonio Fabella for dance (Posthumous), and Alice Guillermo for Cultural Research (Posthumous). Danilo Dolor will receive the Tanging Parangal for the development and support of the arts.

Mr. Froilan is being honored for his contributions to the body of Filipino dance including Danzas (1986), One Afternoon (1987), Iba’t Ibang Salita (1988), and Amparo (1990). Considered the Premiere Danseur of the country, Mr. Froilan is also one of the pioneers of Ballet Philippines.

Filipino pianist and composer Raul M. Sunico is being honored for championing music education after authoring a textbook series for Grades 3 to 6 in public schools. With a career spanning decades and a large discography that includes Filipino folk songs and kundimans (classic Filipino love songs), Mr. Sunico is also known as the only Filipino pianist to perform four Rachmaninoff concertos in one concert and three Tchaikovsky concertos in another. He also served as the president of the CCP from 2010 to 2017.

Author Lualhati Bautista is one of the foremost Filipino female novelists in the history of Philippine literature. Her works include Dekada ‘70, Bulaklak sa City Jail, and Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa among others. She won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards four times (1980, 1982, 1983, and 1984) and also served as the vice-president of the Screenwriters Guild of the Philippines.

Filmmaker and writer Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, Jr. is being honored for writing classic gems of Philippine cinema including Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (1975), Kisapmata (1981), and Bayaning 3rd World (1999), to name a few. He has also written books about Philippine cinema and started the Communication Arts program of De La Salle University Manila where he still teaches to this day.

Furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, known for using natural materials found in the Philippines for his designs, was awarded for putting “Philippine modern design on the map of the world,” according to a CCP release as he uses locally sourced organic materials with “innovative hand-made production techniques offering an alternative to the Western definition of modern design.”

IPAG is a performing arts group that promoted and established an active theater in the southern Philippines. Its productions are “built from local creative expressions in dance, music, literature, the visual arts, and indigenous lore,” with the Pangalay dance form of the Sulu archipelago as its signature.

Nestor Horfilla established the first Mindanao community theater network in the 1980s along with development and social worker Karl Gaspar. The network organized “hundreds of community and church-based cultural organizations in the regions.”

Theater performer Felix “Nonon” Padilla, with a career spanning more than 50 plays, is one of the most accomplished figures in Philippine theater. He served as the artistic director of the Philippine Educational Theater Association in the early 1970s, and Tanghalang Pilipino which he founded in 1987.

Visual artist Luis “Junyee” Yee, Jr. has made a name for himself for his use of both indigenous and organic materials for his art. “Whether exhibited in a gallery or in an urban context, his installations are a reclaiming space for nature,” the release explained. His expansive work, Angud, A Forest Once, was exhibited on the front lawn of the CCP in 2007.

Cristina Turalba is an advocate of heritage conservation and was part of several heritage-related activities of the United Architects of the Philippines. She implemented the NCCA-UAP Documentation of Philippine Heritage Structures and Cultural Sites, and other projects meant to develop socialized housing and sustainable and living communities for Filipinos, among others.

Liwayway is a Filipino magazine established in the Philippines in 1922 that published significant works of literature including works by National Artists for Literature Amado V. Fernandez, Lazaro Francisco, Virgilio Almario, and Cirilo Bautista and National Artist for Visual Arts Francisco V. Coching. It was home of well-known comic series such as Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang (1925) and Kenkoy (1929).

Antonio L. Fabella was one of the country’s most talented and most prolific choreographers. His works include Tambol at Padyak, Araw at Buwan (1976) and Kristo (1977). He is said to have popularized the fusion of classical and contemporary ballet, which evolved into a distinct form and style.

Art critic and scholar Dr. Alice Guerrero-Guillermo was a “giant in the field of art criticism and art history,” according to the release as her legacy includes multiple books and essays on art history, art criticism and cultural studies that served as foundation for Art Studies in the Philippines.

Danilo Dolor is a patron of Philippine culture and arts. He founded The Tribung Pilipino Foundation in 1978 that focuses on promoting, preserving, and disseminating traditional Filipino music. It has produced more than 400 concerts. He also mounted an exhibit called The Golden Years: Memorable Tagalog Movie Ads 1946-1956 featuring prominent postwar movie ads. He also presented Alitaptap Kikilap-Kilap at the opening of the 2012 Cinemalaya, featuring pre-war movie advertisements from 1936-1941. — Zsarlene B. Chua