Gawad Plaridel for Rosa
Jingjing Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 21, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2012 U.P. Gawad Plaridel in the person of Florence Danon Gayda, better known as Rosa Rosal. Rosal was chosen for her outstanding contributions to the broadcasting industry, particularly in the field of television. 

Rosal is an accomplished film and television actress whose career spans six decades. However, she is best known for her tireless work with the Philippine Red Cross serving as a volunteer-member for its blood program in the ’50s and later was elected to its Board of Governors in 1965 and has been in the board up to the present. Her committed philanthropic work led to her receiving the 1999 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service.

She is widely known for her efforts, privately and through her TV programs to promote blood donation and upgrading of Red Cross facilities, hospitals and clinics. She also initiated the establishment of a Women’s Crisis Center and Red Cross Program for Disadvantaged Women. On her own, she has given opportunity for free education to 15 poor children. She also takes care of her co-volunteers through successful lobbying of insurance coverage to all volunteers and a scholarship program for children of Red Cross drivers and low-income personnel.  Always a Woman for Others, Rosal works for free and donates to the Red Cross any money she receives from awards accorded to her.

Rosal entered the limelight when she entered the movies in 1947 with a minor part in the movie Kamagong, which starred Leopoldo Salcedo and by 1949 in a starring role with Jaime dela Rosa and Pugo in the film Biglang Yaman. She played a variety of roles in some of the best movies made by the local movie industry. Rosal received the Best Actress award from the Filipino Academy for Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) in 1955 for her role in Sonny Boy and the FAMAS International Prestige Award for Anak Dalita in 1956. Anak Dalita also won Best Picture at the Asian Film Festival in Hong Kong, which also earned a Presidential Citation from the late President Ramon Magsaysay.

Rosal was among the few pioneering film stars who crossed over to television in the ’60s. She appeared regularly in Cecille Guidote Alvarez’s dramatic series Balintataw on ABC-5 (now TV5) and starred opposite Ronald Remy in Iyan Ang Misis Ko in the ’70s.

She would eventually bring her volunteerism and altruism to television on Dec. 1, 1975 through GMA 7’s Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko along with Orly Mercado and Dr. Antonio Talusan. In 1976, she hosted, without pay, Damayan on Channel 4, which is considered as the longest-running public service show for 35 years until 2012. Through these television public service programs, Rosal pioneered and harnessed television to be an effective medium for humanitarian work.

The UP College of Mass Communication is honoring Rosal with the 2012 Gawad Plaridel for her contribution to the Philippine Television industry, particularly in affecting media for public service. Rosal utilized her popularity and successfully employed television to benefit the less fortunate without fanfare and sensationalism. Her public service program has set the standard for genuine public service in the television industry. Rosal’s unquestionable integrity, unceasing and genuine volunteerism and tireless humanitarian work and advocacy epitomize the value that other public persons have forgotten or taken for granted.

The Gawad Plaridel award comes with a trophy specially designed by National Artist, Dean Napoleon Abueva, which will be awarded to Rosal by UP president Alfredo Pascual and U.P. Diliman chancellor Caesar Saloma in ceremonies on July 31, 2 p.m. at the U.P. Film Institute Film Center’s Cine Adarna. Rosal will deliver a lecture on using television for public service and humanitarian work during the ceremonies.

Established by the U.P. College of Mass Communication, the annual U.P. Gawad Plaridel recognizes Filipino media practitioners who have excelled in any of the media (print, radio, film and television) and have performed with the highest level of professional integrity in the interest of public service. Already on its eighth year, the U.P. Gawad Plaridel’s roster of honorees include Eugenia Duran-Apostol (2004), Vilma Santos (2005), Fidela “Tiya Dely” Magpayo (2006), Cecilia “Cheche” Lazaro (2007), Pachico Seares (2008), Kidlat Tahimik (2009), and Eloisa “Lola Sela” Canlas (2011) who were recognized for their outstanding contributions in print, film, radio, television, community print media, independent filmmaking, and radio, respectively.

The award is named after Marcelo H. del Pilar (nom de plume, Plaridel), the selfless propagandist whose stewardship of the reformist newspaper La Solidaridad helped crystalize nationalist sentiments and ignite libertarian ideas in the 1890s. Like Plaridel, the recipient of the award must believe in the 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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