President Aquino leads 'Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan' in Malacañang
President Benigno S. Aquino III awarded the 2012 National Living Treasures Award (Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan) to two traditional artists during a ceremony in Malacanang Palace on Thursday.
The Chief Executive conferred the award on inabel weaver Magdalena Gamayo and gourd casque maker Teofilo Garcia who both hail from the northern provinces. Gamayo is a native of Ilocos Norte while Garcia comes from Abra.
The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan is conferred by the President and managed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) through the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan Committee.
Born on August 13, 1924 in Lumbaan Pinili, Ilocos Norte, Gamayo learned how to weave the traditional Ilocano blanket called inabel when she was a child.
Her woven works display masterful workmanship, using techniques rarely used. She was honored for her work in safeguarding and promoting the traditional art of weaving textile.
Seventy-one-year-old Garcia is a maker of the gourd casque or tabungaw (headgear). He is a complete craftsman who executes all the phases of his craft production from the planting of raw materials to the finishing of the tabungaw. All of his works are handcrafted one-of-a-kind art pieces that reflect his mastery of various techniques and materials.
The award recipients are selected based on their contributions to the creation, growth and support of traditional arts in the Philippines.
The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan Award is the highest award given to traditional artists by the Philippine government. To become an award recipient, the candidate must satisfy five criteria, namely, technical and creative skill, artistic quality, community tradition, artistic tradition and character and integrity.
In April 1992, the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan was established through Republic Act No. 7355. The NCCA, through the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan Committee, and an Ad Hoc Panel of Experts, conducts a search for the finest traditional artists of the land, adopts a program that will ensure the transfer of their skills to others and undertakes measures to promote a genuine appreciation about the Manlilikha ng Bayan.
As envisioned under the RA 7355, the "Manlilikha ng Bayan" is a citizen engaged in any traditional art, uniquely Filipino, whose distinctive skills have reached a high level of technical and artistic excellence.
Among those present during the awarding rites were Former First Lady and 2nd District Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos with Governor Imee Marcos of Ilocos Norte; Governor Kit Bersamin of Abra and Mayor Bonifacio Clemente of the town of Paoay; NCCA chairman Felipe M. de Leon and Dr. Elena Rivera Mirano, chairperson of the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan committee. PND (js)
Aquino cites contributions of the year’s ‘Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan’ awardees to national advancement
President Benigno S. Aquino III cited the contributions of the two Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan awardees in preserving the country's traditional arts which, he said, are vital to our national advancement.
In his speech at the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan awarding ceremonies held at the Heroes Hall of Malacanang Palace on Thursday, the Chief Executive lauded inabel weaver Magdalena Gamayo and gourd casque maker Teofilo Garcia, who both hail from the northern provinces, for their achievements in their respective crafts.
"Mapalad po tayong makasama ngayon si Magdalena Gamayo, ng Lumbaan, Pinili, Ilocos Norte. Labing anim na taon lang po siya nang matutuhan ang paghahabi, at hanggang ngayon—sa edad na 88—hindi pa rin kumukupas ang ganda at husay ng kanyang mga likhang sining," he said.
"Gayundin po ang pagpapakitang-gilas ng isa pa nating awardee, si Ginoong Teofilo Garcia, batikan sa paglikha ng tabungaw. Labinlimang taong gulang naman po siya nang linangin ang kasanayan sa larangang ito. Makalipas po ang 55 taon, siya na lang ang natitirang gumagawa ng tabungaw sa San Quintin, Abra," he said.
The Chief Executive stressed that his administration remains committed to preserve, maintain, secure and promote the country's culture and the arts.
"Tungkulin po ng Estado na panatilihin, pangalagaan, at pagyamanin ang ating sining at kultura. Sa pangunguna ng National Commission for Culture and the Arts, at sa pakikiisa ng iba’t ibang sektor, patuloy tayong magbibigay parangal sa ating mga manlilikha, at maglalatag ng mga programang susuporta sa ating katutubong sining," President Aquino said.
"Nais po nating ang kasanayan at kaalamang taglay ng ating mga awardee ay mananatiling buhay sa kasalukuyan at sa susunod na salinlahi. Nawa’y tangkilikin ang mga obra maestrang ito, hindi lamang sa rehiyon kung saan ito nagmula, kundi maging sa kalakhang lipunan. Mulat tayong gaano man kayaman ang sining at kultura, may panganib itong maglaho kung hindi maipapamana sa susunod na henerasyon," he said.
He assured that his government continues to provide programs for the development of the country's culture and arts adding that his administration would also provide support to our national artists.
"Karapat-dapat lang po na kaakibat ng matatanggap ninyong pagkilala, ang karampatang mga benepisyo para sa inyo. Kasama po rito ang serbisyong pangkalusugan at buwanang pensyon, upang kahit paano’y masuklian ang inyong malaking ambag sa lipunan. Pinatutunayan po ninyong ang mga pamana ng lahi ay lalong nagpapatingkad sa yaman ng bayan," he said.
The President likewise called on the Filipino people to support the works of our artists to preserve, maintain, secure and promote the country's culture and the arts.
"Mantakin po ninyo, sa tulong ng ating mga awardee, ang mga produktong ginamit pa ng ating mga ninuno, pati na ng mga dayuhang nakipag-kalakal sa ating bayan, ay nananatiling buhay sa kasalukuyan," he said.
"Tunay nga pong ang mga likhang sining na ito ay tatak-Pinoy: marami ang pakinabang, masusing pinag-isipan, at pangmatagalan. Ito po ang iniiwang hamon at inspirasyon nina Nanay Magdalena at Ginoong Garcia sa atin – ang pagmamahal sa sining, at pagdidilig ng ibayong sipag at dedikasyon upang mapayabong ito," he said. PND (js)
Palace hopes better relations after China’s leadership transition, US elections
Malacanang hopes for stronger relations with the US and China after both countries recently had their respective political exercises aimed at choosing new leaders.
“Let’s wait and see. We certainly hope for a warming of the relations, but let’s wait and see for them to settle down,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press conference in Malacanang on Thursday.
Reporters asked Lacierda about the Palace’s expectations now that Americans have re-elected President Barack Obama and China have choosen Vice President Xi Jinping as its new leader.
In the case of China, he said it is too early to say what the effect on Philippine-China relations would be since it takes a year for the whole transition to complete.
Hu is set to begin handing over power to his successor, Vice President Xi. Hu is transferring power to Xi after a decade in office.
China is currently the world’s second-biggest economy and closing fast on the US. Among China’s major challenges include the widening gap between rich and poor, rising unrest about issues like pollution and land seizures, and a slowing economy that needs reform.
The new leadership will also face several other contentious issues like food safety, health care and law enforcement.
In the US, President Obama won a second term in office on Wednesday and will return to Washington to address the chronic federal deficit and debt of the US..
Obama said he intends to work with America’s top political leaders reiterating his commitment to finding bipartisan solutions to reduce the country’s deficit, cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses and create jobs. PND (as/3:17pm)