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UP Masscom students cite Nora

Actress Nora Aunor receives the Gawad Plaridel award for excellence in film and television from (right to left) University of the Philippines president Alfredo Pascual, UP chancellor Michael Tan and College of Mass Communications dean Roland Tolentino at the UP Film Center the other night. BOY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines - The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication yesterday bestowed the Gawad Plaridel award on veteran actress Nora Aunor for excellence in film and television.

“I only finished Grade 2, but receiving this honor makes me feel like I already finished college,” Aunor said in Filipino during the ceremonies at the UP Film Center.

Aunor delivered a one-hour lecture, where she shared her experiences from her childhood until her success as singer, producer and television and stage actress.

Aunor recalled working with some of the best directors in Philippine cinema, including National Artists for Film Ishmael Bernal and Lino Brocka.

She also called on the public to continue supporting the new generation of actors and filmmakers in producing quality films that will elevate the status of Philippine cinema here and abroad.

The award was bestowed months after President Aquino dropped her from the list of new National Artists due to her earlier involvement with illegal drugs.

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The snub resulted in an outcry from various sectors, including her supporters and from artists themselves.

During his welcome address, UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan said that for the country’s national university, Aunor is the real national artist.

Earlier, the UP-CMC said Aunor is being recognized for her “unique and versatility as a singer” and for “portraying with keen intelligence and uncommon sensitivity an amazing range of cinematic roles.”

First bestowed in 2004, the annual Gawad Plaridel recognizes Filipino media practitioners who have excelled in and performed with the highest level of professional integrity in the interest of public service.

The UP-CMC cited the films that showcased Aunor’s excellence as an artist that include Bona; Himala; Minsa’y isang Gamugamo; Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos; Flor Contemplacion Story, and many others.

Aunor was also commended for producing “movies of notable quality” that helped raise the bar for Philippine filmmaking, the UP CMC said.

Aunor received a trophy designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva.

The award is named after the pen name of Marcelo H. del Pilar, the selfless propagandist whose stewardship of the reformist newspaper La Solidaridad gave voice to nationalist sentiments and libertarian ideas in the 1890s.

The UP CMC said the recipient of the award, like Plaridel, must believe in a vision of a Philippine society that is egalitarian, participative and progressive, and in media that is socially responsible, critical and vigilant, liberative and transformative, and free and independent.

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