Solon wants Nora declared Nat’l Artist

A neophyte lawmaker has sought the recognition of multi-awarded veteran actress Nora Aunor as National Artist, pointing out that the award honors the achievements of the nominee and is not meant to look “for saints.”

ACT-CIS partylist Rep. Rowena Nina Taduran believes that now is “God’s perfect time” to bestow Aunor the top award for Filipino artists.

The actress, who rose to national fame for her remarkable singing and acting skills, has been twice denied the much coveted National Artist award for alleged illegal drug use.

“We are not looking for a saint. We just want to honor someone for her amazing talent and work which brought glory and inspiration to the country,” said Taduran as she filed House Resolution No. 1353.

HR 1353 urges the House of Representatives to nominate Aunor for the National Artist award in recognition of her “invaluable contribution to Philippine arts and culture.”

Aunor was excluded from the list of National Artists conferred by President Duterte in 2018.

Then presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the veteran actress and her fans must not worry too much because he believes Aunor will be recognized for her accomplishments in acting “in God’s perfect time.”

In 2014, then President Benigno S. Aquino III cited Aunor’s alleged involvement in illegal drugs as the reason why he decided to scrap her name in the list of performers to be honored as National Artist during that year.

However, Taduran insists that Aunor’s national recognition is long overdue.

She said Aunor’s five-decade long career has been decorated with local and international acting awards. Among these are from the Filipino Academy of Movie and Arts Sciences (FAMAS), Gawad Urian, PMPC Star Awards, Metro Manila Film Awards, Luna Awards, and Young Critics’ Circle Awards.

Internationally, she has been awarded Best Actress in the Cairo International Film Festival, Saint Tropez International Film Festival, Asian Film Awards, and Venice International Film Awards. She is the first and only Filipino Actor to receive Certificate of Honors in Cannes in 1981 and Berlin in 1983.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines has conferred the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining for Film and Broadcast Arts to her in 2015. CCP and the National Commission on the Culture and Arts are the institutions leading the search for the National Artist nominees.

Aside from these, Aunor is the first Filipina actress to be honored with the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) award in 1983.

“Ano pa ba ang hinahanap natin para maibigay ang Order of National Artist recognition para sa batikang aktres na si Nora Aunor? (What else are we looking for to bestow on veteran actress NOra Aunor the Ordfer of National Artist recognition?)” asked Taduran.

The Order of National Artist is the highest national recognition given by the NCCA and CCP upon approval of the President of the Philippines. It is awarded every three years to individuals who excel in the different fields of art, especially those who have made significant contributions that helped develop national cultural identity and created new paths for future artists.