A radiant ceremony for the 2nd Gador Awardees was mounted at the newly built Tagum City Cultural Center Theater last November 05, 2022. The Gador Award is a recognition program for outstanding artists, cultural administrators and organizations in Mindanao initiated by the Kaisa sa Sining (KSS) Mindanao network of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and facilitated by the CCP Cultural Exchange Department (CED).
The 13 recipients of the 2nd Gador Award are Dr. Christine G. Ortega (literature/cultural administration, Iligan City); Dr. Helen Tejero (music, Iligan City); Francisco Englis (music/Iligan City); Ronolfo “Popong” Landero (music/Davao City); Br. Carlito “Karl” Gaspar (theater/cultural administration, Davao City); Kubali Millan (visual arts/Davao City); Waway Saway (Talaandig/music, Lantapan, Bukidnon); Nilda Mangilay (Subanen / indigenous art, Zamboanga Del Sur); Kathara Dance Theater Collective (dance-theater, Davao City); Kaliwat Performing Artists Collective (theater/cultural administration, Davao City); Tambuli Cultural Dance Troup, (dance/indigenous art, Tawi Tawi); MSU Kabpapagariya Ensemble (theater/cultural administration, General Santos City); and Dumendingan Arts Guild (cultural administration/indigenous Art, Pagadian City).
The GADOR Award aims to recognize its exceptional individuals and organizations who have contributed immensely to the flourishing of arts and culture in the region. The selection was undertaken by a committee composed of prominent experts and specialists in Mindanao in the field of arts and culture. The awardees for this year were chosen from a total of 20 nominations from the KSS Mindanao network. In 2020, the 1st Gador Awards were conferred to six individual honorees (Agnes Locsin, Maria Todi, Sunnie Noel, Steven P.C. Fernandez, Nestor Horfilla, and Joey Ayala) and two organizations (Sining Kambayoka Ensemble and Integrated Performing Arts Guild). Due to the pandemic, the awarding programs were held virtually and onsite.
The awarding ceremony in Tagum City was made even more meaningful with the superb performances rendered by some of the most prominent Mindanao artists and performing groups led by the four organizations who are Gador Awardees – Kaliwat, Kathara, Kabpapagariya Ensemble and Tambuli. Adding excitement to the event were musical and dance performances by the Kuntaw Mindanao of Tagum City, RMMC Teatro Ambahanon and Ching Salubre of Gen. Santos City, University of Mindanao Chorale and Maan Chua of Davao City. Two young and talented kids from Tagum City, Tristan Jacob H. Cortez and Keysha Nicole Q. Grancho hosted the program that was written and directed by Dr. Bart P. Savior with concept-repertoire line up by CCP CED Department Manager Chinggay Jasareno-Bernardo, who also facilitated the awarding ceremony. The following officers from KSS Mindanao network served as presentors: Richard Banzuelo (Koronadal), Leonardo Carino (Gen. Santos), Amado Guinto (Iligan), Jesus Montajes (Davao), Lolito Pontillas (Agusan del Sur), Pepito Sumayan (Marawi), Thallah Alava (Maguindanao), Ted Nudgent Tac-an (Ozamiz), Renefe Tremedal (Pagadian), Cecile Mambuay (Cagayan de Oro), Adel Suemith (Davao), and Alma L. Uy (Tagum).
“Magpasalamat” (give thanks), a composition of Dr. Tejero based on a Manobo motif was given a new arrangement and interpretation in music and dance by Kaliwat and Kathara. The said song was used for the 2021 Centennial Celebration of the Silliman University in Dumaguete City. Songs by Waway and Popong: Mga Panginoon (The Gods) based on Waway’s arrangement, Bahaghari Tayo (We are Rainbows), and litsa Tamoka Yataki Tombi (a song advocacy to stop Lumad oppression, discrimination, marginalization, and call for self-determination and sovereignty), were likewise given a new musical arrangement and rendition by Kuntaw, Ching, Maan, and Kabpapagariya. The finale number featured the song “Padayon” (move forward) composed by Grace Nono, choral arrangement by Rodolfo Delarmente and performed by the UM Chorale with a dance interpretation by the Ambahanon.
The Gador Awarding ceremony was a joint presentation of the Musikahan sa Tagum Foundation, the City of Tagum through its Tourism and Cultural Office, the Tagum City Women Council, DAGI and the CCP CED.
(Photos courtesy of the Tagum City Government Tourism Council/She Labos and Jess Montajes)