Carlo among 15 Gusi Peace Prize awardees
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - November 17, 2006 - 12:00am
Harvesting awards (not always from such showbiz award-giving bodies as the FAMAS, Star Awards, the FAP’s Luna Awards and the Urian) seems to be writer-director-producer Carlo J. Caparas’ habit these days.

After getting a Pambansang Wika award only a few weeks ago, Carlo is again being honored (along with 14 others) by the Sixth Gusi International Peace Awards (the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize) which will be given on Nov. 22 at the Meralco Theater, with more than 1,000 delegates and guests from all over the world led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The Gusi Peace Prize is a charitable foundation and institution based in Manila whose main objective is to give proper recognition through the conferment of awards of excellence and distinction to achievers from various fields. (Carlo is cited in the field of Cinema and Filipino Literature.)

The foundation’s mission is to champion human rights and maintain governance, democracy, equality, international peace and goodwill. It also works for the amelioration of people’s lives through medical missions, outreach programs and counseling to the deprived, the abused, the humiliated and the sick.

The foundation was founded by the late Capt. Gemeniano Javier Gusi (1910-1988), a World War II guerilla who fought against Japanese oppression, turned politician and became popular for his fight for human rights. His son Barry, a renowned internationalist, has carried on his father’s legacy by putting up the Gusi Peace Prize Foundation.

The 14 other awardees are: Former President Fidel Ramos (Philippines), Statesmanship; Gov. Carl Gutierrez (Guam), Public Service; Ambassador Kh. Tarmisi Taher (Indonesia), Religious Affairs and Humanitarianism; Datu Mohamad Bin Ismail (Malaysia), Philanthropy; Supreme Master Ching Hai (Vietnam), Philanthropy and Humanitarianism; Master Bup Kwan (Republic of South Korea), Humanitarianism; Rev. Fr. Corsie Legaspi (Philippines), Divine Healing and Services to the Sick and Needy; Dr. Leung Ping Chung (Hong Kong), Medicine (Orthopedics & Traumatology) and Academe; Dr. Ioannis Lyras (Greece), Medicine (Plastic Surgery); Dr. Felipe Tolentino (USA), Medicine (Ophthalmology); Katya Grineva (Russia), Performing Arts; Alan John "AJ" Hackett (New Zealand), Sports; Madame Wang Zushi (People’s Republic of China, Cultural Heritage; and Justice Ram Jethmalani (India), Social Justice and Humanitarian Law.

Here’s Carlo’s Gusi profile, furnished Funfare by the Foundation:

Having been chosen Gusi International Peace Awardee for Cinema and Filipino Literature, writer-director-producer Carlo J. Caparas can’t help but rewind the checkered years with stunning amazement.

In his childhood, the venue of the awards ceremony, the Meralco theater erected at the core of a 30-hectare concrete Lopez jungle, was once upon a time his woodland of adventures, playground of ambitions and a vast dark forest of dreams.

Caparas is now a living legend as the King of Komiks, a discipline in pop literature defined in the May 2006 International Theater Congress in Manila as the illustrated theater of the world.

Gifted with an exceptionally creative mind which he fully harnessed to make up for his scant education, Caparas has written over 800 komiks novels, 200 of which have been transformed into movies. For this achievement, OIC-President of Polytechnic University of the Philippines Dante Guevarra, Ph.D., aptly called him a genius when Caparas was awarded the Pylon Peace Award during the 102nd anniversary of the said state university.

A prominent social critic and political leader former Sen. Heherson Alvarez called Caparas the "plebian philosopher" for his extraordinary talent for down-to-earth presentation in komiks form the hard realities of life among the less fortunate members of society.

In recognition of his contributions as a master storyteller and a champion and hero in the Filipino language, Caparas was awarded the "Gawad Komisyon sa Wika" by the National Commission for the Filipino Language during the celebration of National Language Month in August, 2006. He was the first komiks writer honored with this prestigious award accorded with memorable presentation which is traditionally given to outstanding members of the academe and authors of books, novels, stage plays, poems and other literary pieces of epic proportions.

Caparas was so prolific that at one time he was writing 36 novels that were simultaneously being serialized in different komiks magazine with weekly or twice a week frequencies.

Where almost all his peers did not dare venture in entertainment fields beyond komiks, Caparas has the audacity to invade movie scriptwriting, directing and producing. The gambit paid off, bringing him fortune beyond his wildest dream aside from adding sheen to his name.

For all his success, Caparas never forgets and never felt ashamed of his humble beginnings. Having a soft heart for the underprivileged, he sent thousands of poor students from Pasig, Tondo, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and other places to schools as his scholars. Because of this unprecedented act as a komiks writer, movie director and producer, a street in Pasig was named Carlo J. Caparas honoring not only the artist but the living institution and legend in komiks that is Carlo J. Caparas.

As if his destiny as an accomplished man of letters was not enough, Caparas also considers himself more than fortunate for having a wife like Ms. Donna Villa, another golden lady of business and movies (and one of the 10 most beautiful faces in Philippine Cinema conducted for the millennium search in 1998). The couple is blessed with two beautiful children, CJ and Peach.

Carlo J. Caparas is the Philippine Cinderella Man in Pop Literature and Cinema.

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)

ALAN JOHN AMBASSADOR KH CAPARAS CARL GUTIERREZ CARLO CARLO J CINEMA AND FILIPINO LITERATURE CORSIE LEGASPI CULTURAL HERITAGE KOMIKS
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