UPCMC 2020 Glory awardees
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - October 13, 2020 - 12:00am

The “Glory” honors are what graduates of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UPCMC) may be aspiring for. But as the scripture says, many are called, but few are chosen. The chosen ones are the alumni who produce excellent work consistently but also made an impact in mass communication and society.

This year, six UPMC alumni have been chosen as Glory awardees: two journalists, an arts community advocate, a development communicator, an education innovator and a producer-writer of hit television shows.

The 2020 Glory awardees are Karen Davila (for broadcast journalism), Dr. Rey de la Cruz (special education), Deo Endrinal (television arts), Dr. Monina Movido-Escalada (development communication), Lutgardo Labad (arts & culture advocacy) and Criselda Yabes (literary journalism).

UPCMC Alumni Association president Malou Choa Fagar announced that due to the continuing public health crisis, the Glory awards presentation on Nov. 14 will take place in a virtual environment.

The Glory awards were inspired by the legacy of honor and excellence of Dr. Gloria Feliciano, the founding dean of UP mass communication programs, who served from 1965 to 1985.

Below are the accomplishments (which I abbreviated due to space limits) of the awardees sent to me by an outstanding UPCMC public relations alumna, Jingjing Romero.

• Broadcast journalist Karen Davila is a veteran news anchor and correspondent of ABS-CBN. Her long-running daily Q&A show Headstart on ANC put newsmakers on the proverbial hot seat to illuminate current and controversial issues. She bagged international prizes for her in-depth reporting about children and street drugs, children in jail and the Marcopper Mining environmental disaster. She won the TOYM (The Outstanding Young Men) and TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) awards and was the Rotary Club of Manila’s Journalist of the Year in 2004.

• Dr. Rey de la Cruz is a Palanca award-winning playwright, pioneering alternative filmmaker, gender-equality advocate and developer of innovative teaching strategies. Peer-reviewed journals and conferences recognized his research showing the effects of creative drama on social and oral-language skills of children with learning disabilities. De la Cruz originated and disseminated the classroom use of the ancient Philippine board game sungka in teaching social and math skills engagingly, for which he received a diversity award from the Illinois Council for Exceptional Children-Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners. He was an adjunct professor at Chicago State University where he taught special education courses to undergraduate and graduate students. In recognition of his exemplary achievement in the education field, the Illinois State University College of Education inducted him into its Alumni Hall of Fame.

• As head of ABS-CBN’s content production unit Dreamscape Entertainment, Deo Endrinal is one of television’s top ”showrunners” who has overall creative authority and management responsibility for TV shows. He started as a writer and producer for GMA Network (Martin After Dark and Lunch Date), TV5 (Pops) and ABS-CBN, his home network for the past three decades. Since 2018 Endrinal has been producing movies for the digital platform iWant such as Glorious, Bagman, Call Me Tita and the recent Love Lockdown, which experimented on new ways of filming in a pandemic protocols.

• Dr. Monina Movido-Escalada is an internationally acclaimed development communicator and a professor emeritus at the Visayas State University in Baybay, Leyte. Her research design, monitoring, evaluation and scaling up initiatives resulted in favorable behavior change in the way farmers manage their resources. Escalada has been honored by the World Bank, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the UN Environmental Program and the governments of Vietnam and Japan for her agricultural innovations. She also won the St. Andrews Prize for Environment, the United Kingdom’s only international prize for environmental achievement.

• Lutgardo Labad is a multi-awarded theater artist, teacher, cultural worker and arts and heritage promoter. He was instrumental in developing the creative arts and theater curriculum of the Philippine Educational Theater Association. As PETA’s pedagogy and artistic director for 25 years, he conducted workshops for disadvantaged provincial communities, the urban poor and the indigenous peoples of Mindanao. “Gardy” is probably best known as a musical scorer. He has worked on 85 films, winning nine awards for scoring the cinema classics of National Artists Lino Brocka, Eddie Romero and UPCMC distinguished alumnus Maryo de los Reyes such as Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (1974), Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (1976) Pakawalan Mo Ako (1982), Bilangin Ang Mga Bituin sa Langit (1990), Magnifico (2004) and Naglalayag (2004). After resettling in his home province of Bohol in 1994, Gardy organized community theater groups across the Visayas. He received the Galing Pook award for best local government unit cultural program and was honored by Philstage with a lifetime achievement award in theater in 2019.

• Criselda Yabes is a veteran freelance journalist and award-winning author of 10 books. Her latest book, The Battle of Marawi, is a gripping account of the five-month urban warfare between Philippine government forces and radical Islamist rebels in 2017. In her first book, The Boys from the Barracks: The Philippine Military after EDSA, she traces the history of dissent within the military through intimate portraits of the soldiers who took part in several uprisings. Yabes won the top writing laurels in two different categories of the UP Centennial Literary Prize in 2008 – one for her creative non-fiction book, Sarena’s Story: The Loss of a Kingdom, about the fall of the Sulu Sultanate, and another for a book under fiction, Below the Crying Mountain, a weave of love stories set against the backdrop of the Moro rebellion that broke out in the 1970s. Below the Crying Mountain was the only Filipino-written novel that made it to the Man Asian literary prize list in 2010. It was re-published by Penguin Books Southeast Asia in 2019.

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Email: dominitorrevillas@gmail.com

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