Apparently, the National Artist Award, the highest recognition given to Filipinos who have displayed excellence in the practice of their art form and who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine Arts in general, has lost its esteem and reputation since yesterday for turning blind eye to the stature of other much more deserving artists in favor of someone who, while unmistakably has a name in popular mainstream, has yet to receive the nod of fellow artists and respectable critics.

Such is my pet peeve about the subjectivity of arts---when some people maximize its usage to defend worthy art works, others do the same to glorify obscure, if not worthless, art works. I could only shake my head in disappointment while trying to digest the news, the news which will soon be etched in many future art and film books as a fact.

Carlo J. Caparas may have created komiks like Panday and Bakekang, and directed films like The Cory Quirino Kidnap Story and Vizconde Massacre, but for what it's worth even an art student who has an understanding of the history can claim that he is not YET in the same league with other dead and living artists from film and visual arts who were and are practically worshiped by past and present practitioners of the field. Without abusing the license to use subjectivity for “art sake,” one may wonder how he surpasses Mars Ravelo, Tony Velasquez and Francisco V. Coching in the very field which, from what I heard, most of the National Artist Award Committee officials have been allergic of. One may think deeply how his “massacre films,” which fed on true-to-life stories, surpass those of Peque Gallaga, Mike de Leon or even Tikoy Aguiluz. Even artist like Gerry Alanguilan, who are among the people who have as much rights to be critics as people from the committee officials do, doesn't have the vaguest idea. I wonder how the so-called experts from the visual arts and film fields maneuvered the short list of nominees on the very first deliberation. There had to be a powerful force, dark force I can only surmise, which might have tarnished the process of selecting the nominees in the arts world, dulling the radiance of the most prestigious art award in the country. Politics?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Unfortunately, what has been done has already been done. I, myself, a minuscule observer in the world of art, could do nothing but end his nutty rant with the words from Gerry Alanguilan himself: “This is the day that the National Artists Award lost all its credibility. As an artist, I am deeply saddened, offended, and disgusted.”
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Anonymous said...

who is Francisco V. Coching????

Jul 30, 2009, 8:25:00 PM  
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