Bella Flores and Yoyoy Villame for National Artist?

As controversy swirls above the National Artist Awards again, blogger Lourd de Veyra drafts his own list of contenders.


Again, controversy swirls above the National Artist Awards like flies around so much decomposing meat. More names added to the great pantheon of the titanically unread, the wondrously unseen, and the magnificently unheard of. Well, as far as the benighted 90 % of the Philippine population is concerned.

But the arts in this country have often been dictated by institutional fiat. Mostly it’s the academic bodies that nominate, but the President of the Republic may also insert, er, suggest a name. Equally controversial, too, is the creation of new categories to tailor-fit "special" nominees. President Ramos named Carlos Quirino National Artist "for Historical Literature." In 2006, in the time of Great Leader Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, "Fashion Design" was suddenly whipped up for the late Ramon Valera.

Note one important criteria for selection "Artists who enjoy broad acceptance..." Which means, these nominating groups must go beyond their immediate, incestuous environs and study the bigger picture. Because nobody asked for it, we present our list of nominees.

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