Robbed of her rightful place in the roster of National Artist awardees in 2014, Superstar Nora Aunor may finally earn presidential approval this time to be proclaimed as National Artist. Aunor’s rejection and non-inclusion in the Order of National Artist (ONA) Award by then President Benigno Aquino, calling it a presidential prerogative, caused national uproar.
Aunor now leads the nominees for the highest national recognition, a special rank conferred on Filipinos for their significant contributions to the development of arts in the country in various categories, including Music, Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film and Broadcast Arts.
In a recent press conference at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) office announcing the opening of nominations to the ONA, NCCA deputy executive director Marichu Tellano said that the legendary actress, having passed the first, second and even the third screening, and was already part of the list of awardees, will no longer have to go through the same process again, the NCCA will only have to update on her works and accomplishments from 2014.
“She doesn’t need to be nominated again. She is automatically part of what we call the final deliberation,” said Chris Millado, vice president and artistic director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The final list of nominees are elected by the joint board of the NCCA and CCP and then submitted for the approval and signature of the President who then will confer the honors via presidential proclamation.
Since 2014, Aunor has won multiple nominations for best actress and was honored by her Asian peers with a Lifetime Achievement Award presented at the 2nd ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) in 2015 at the Borneo Convention Center, in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
The country now has a total of 66 recognized National Artists to date, with the most number in the fields of Visual Arts, Literature and Music. Submission of nominations for National Artists 2018 is up until Sept. 30, 2017 with the announcement of awardees set on June 11, 2018. Nominations are open in Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film and Broadcast Arts, Design, and Architecture and Allied Arts categories.
Ramon Santos was dropped by then President Gloria Arroyo in 2009 from the list of nominees and re-nominated and proclaimed by President Aquino in 2014 as National Artist for Music. Will this be a case of déjà vu for Aunor?
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