THE Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Kaisa Sa Sining (KSS) Luzon Network announces the recipients of the 1st Hiyas Award, the third regional awards implemented by the KSS. The first was the Mindanao Gador Award in 2020 and the Visayas Ksslap Award in 2021. This year is the time for the KSS Luzon network to recognize its exceptional individuals and organizations who have contributed immensely to the flourishing of arts and culture in the region.
The fourteen (14) awardees are Alfonso Coke Bolipata (Zambales/music and cultural administration); Mark Anthony Carpio (Bulacan/music); Kristian Cordero (Naga/literature and film); Maria Whang Od Oggay (Kalinga/Indigenous Art); Al Perez (Hagonoy/Visual Art); Felicito Sacdalan (Angat/Music); Armando Sta. Ana (Bulacan/theater); Peter De Vera (Pampanga/dance and cultural administration); Arts Research and Training Institute in Southern Tagalog (Laguna); Baao Children and Youth Choir (Camarines Sur/Music); Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation Inc. (Bulacan/theater and cultural administration); Lakan Sining ng Bulakan (Bulacan/visual arts); Manunubli ng Sinala (Indigenous Art/Batangas); and Mauban Historico Cultural and Arts Council (Mauban-Quezon/cultural administration).
The Kaisa sa Sining Regional Arts Centers is a partnership program of the CCP through its Cultural Exchange Department (CED) that was launched in 2014 and is aimed at strengthening further the CCP’s linkages and cooperation with regional educational institutions, non-government organizations and local government units in order to broaden public participation in the arts, promote and showcase artistic excellence and facilitate a vibrant collaboration between and among communities. In the past seven years, the cooperation and exchanges between and among CCP and the KSS network have become more dynamic. To date, the KSS network has already grown to a total of 59 organizations in 54 areas/communities in the regions: 23 in Luzon, 19 in Visayas and 17 in Mindanao.
The Hiyas Award aims to give recognition to deserving individuals and/or organizations in Luzon who have exemplified commendable work and services in cultural and artistic endeavors, and have been in the forefront of the research, development, preservation, education and promotion of arts and culture in Mindanao for at least fifteen (15) years or more. The general criteria indicate that an awardee must have made exceptional accomplishments in creative work, leadership, resource management, education, artist support, audience development, community service, solidarity and partnership.
When asked why it is important to recognize the achievements of the artists, cultural workers, and organizations in Luzon, the following persons responded:
“Artists and cultural workers are safe-keepers of a people’s identity, a nation’s soul. They connect our generation to our forebears and give us an insight in their expressions of love, faith, happiness, celebration, anger, romance and sometimes despair and frustration. Thus, they are the vanguards of our tangible and intangible treasures. Without them, these treasures would be irretrievable, forgotten and lost. We must recognize and reward them, and convey to them our immense gratitude. Atty. Reginald Dimacuha Secretary to the Mayor, Vice Chair-Cultural Affairs Committee, Batangas City
“To emphasize that being an artist is advocacy. Included in his/her pursuit of being an excellent artist, is becoming a responsible member of the community. He/she therefore works for the betterment of the quality of life through the arts. The Hiyas award recognizes excellence as well as the artist’s contribution to the community.” Aurea Brigino Senior Lecturer, Department of Art Studies, College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman
“How we treat our artists, cultural workers and organizations in the life of the nation in our Island is indicative of how we take care of culture, heritage and the arts in the country. Giving our artists, cultural workers and organizations some recognition and high regard is our gesture and expression how important and significant they are in our everyday lives. This is an opportunity to give due credit to them so that they would be an inspiration to our people and so that they can continue to inspire our imagination to excel, move forward and be better”. Dr. Randy Nobleza Director, Sentro ng Wika at Kultura Marinduque State College
“It is important to recognize the achievements of artists in order to communicate the role of the arts and the artists in the life of the nation and as a way to honor them for their work. Speaking generally, I believe these artists and cultural workers made their contributions not because they were working for plaudits and laurels but because they were/are driven by a vision for every single project , and the passionate, and the passion to excel is an organic impulse, does not to please but as a matter of course. This is a ‘model of excellence’ institutions like the CCP can highlight and promote”. Dr. Jazmin Llana Professor, Department of Literature, De La Salle University
CCP CED Department Manager, Chinggay J. Bernardo expressed, “In our over four decades of community cultural outreach work, we have experienced the unique and exceptional artistry, dedication and perseverance of many artists and cultural workers. It is indeed high time to institutionalize an awards program that will give recognition to outstanding achievements of regional artists, cultural workers and organizations. The Hiyas Award, an initiative of the CCP KSS Luzon network and facilitated by the CCP Cultural Exchange, will serve as an inspiration for the artistic and cultural communities in Luzon to aim for excellence and do public/community service”.
The 23 members of CCP KSS Luzon network are: St. Paul University-Tuguegarao; Province of Nueva Vizcaya; St. Louis University-Baguio City; St. Louis College-San Fernando, La Union; Bataan High School for the Arts; Casa San Miguel-Zambales; Province of Pangasinan; Science City of Muñoz-Nueva Ecija; City College of Angeles-Pampanga; City of Pampanga; Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation Inc.-Malolos, Province of Bulacan; Municipality of Guiguinto-Bulacan; Arts Research and Training Institute in Southern Tagalog-Laguna; City of Biñan-Laguna; City of Batangas; De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, Cavite; Municipality of Mauban-Quezon; Municipality of Sampaloc-Quezon; Marinduque State College; Diverse Initiatives for Bicolano Artists-Naga; Sorsogon Community Based Theater Guild; UST Legaspi-Albay; and the Province of Palawan.