MANILA—Finally, Nora Aunor is now a National Artist.
National Commission for Culture and Arts chairman Nick Lizaso announced on June 10, Friday, that Nora is one of the eight new National Artists declared by Malacañang.
In a report by TV Patrol on Friday evening, Nora has been declared a National Artist for Film and Broadcast, along with the late director Marilou Diaz-Abaya and screenwriter Ricardo “Ricky” Lee.
Literary critic Gemino Abad was declared National Artist for Literature.
Soprano Fides Cuyugan-Asencio was honored as a National Artist for Music. Contemporary choreographer Agnes Locsin was named National Artist for Dance.
Aside from Abaya, two National Artists were also honored posthumously: the late fashion designer Salvacion Lim “Slim” Higgins for Fashion and Tony Mabesa for Theater.
Since 2010, there has already been a clamor for Nora to become a National Artist.
It became controversial in 2014 when NCCA questioned the decision of Malacañang to exclude Nora from the list of National Artist nominees.
Celebrities like Robin Padilla, Piolo Pascual, Maricel Soriano and director director Joyce Bernal were vocal about their disappointment with Nora’s exclusion from the list.
The late former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said that Nora was excluded from the list because of issued linking her to her drug issue.
In an interview, Aquino said, “Iginagalang ko siya, kinikilala ko yung kanyang trabaho at ‘yang mga obra. Pero ang problema ko, mukhang mas mataas yung prayoridad na maliwanag na may mensahe na yung droga zero tolerance tayo dito, mali all the time.”
Even then, her fans continued fighting for Nora to become a National Artist, and the Superstar was even called “People’s National Artist.”
Grateful for the National Artist recognition
PMPC board member Rodel Fernando sent the actress’ official statement for having been selected as one of the National Artists.
The 69-year old Superstar stated: “Wala pa akong maisip na sasabihin ko sa ngayon dahil sa labis na kasiyahan sa aking puso at para po sa ating lahat.
“Sa mga taong nanalangin po at nakipaglaban hanggang sa huli para maibigay sa akin ang kanilang pinangarap na ako’y mahirang na isang National Artist for Films.
“Higit po sa lahat, walang katapusang pasasalamat sa ating Panginoon, sa MAMA at PAPA ko, sa aking pamilya at mga anak, lalo na sa mga pinakamamahal kong mga fans at mga taong nasa tabi ko sa oras na kailangan ko sila mula noon hanggang ngayon.
“Maraming salamat po sa ating mahal na Pangulo na si President Rodrigo Duterte at sa mga taong nasa likod ng napakataas na karangalang ito.”
During the 2016 elections, the multi-awarded actress La Aunor supported the candidacy of Sen. Grace Poe and now President-elect Bongbong Marcos for president and vice president respectively.
When the news broke out on February 9, 2022 that Nora’s support was for BBM for president, there were already rumors that, “magiging National Artist na si Nora Aunor!”
But the selection came even earlier as everybody was surprised when President Rodrigo Roa Duterte selected the country’s only Superstar as one of the National Artists. (ECD/MTVN)