National Artist Award: Factor in morality issue with the prestige, but allow for second chances
Supporters of actress Nora Aunor questioned President Aquino’s decision not to honor her with the National Artist Award despite her being on the final list of six National Artists submitted by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to Malacañang for final approval. Insiders privy to the matter felt the “snub” had something to do with some scandals the actress got into in the past (tax evasion and a drug case in the United States, among others). Some of Aunor’s supporters say that morality should not be an issue in the selection of National Artists.
I beg to disagree. I believe morality must be taken into consideration when it comes to honoring a candidate with such a prestigious award as the National Artist award. Other awarding bodies zero in only on the artistic performance of the candidate (Famas, Urian, etc.) and nobody cares if the recipient has gray areas in his/her life.
The National Artist Award carries some kind of prestige that demands taking into account morality issues: It is a national award given by government. It is not enough that the national artist is exemplary in the field of artistry or in the craft he/she represents. His/her totality as a person should be considered. We need national artists that our people can emulate because of the kind of life they lead. Aunor’s supporters must not take to task President Aquino for acting in accordance with what he believed was his better judgment.
However, I believe in giving second chances for candidates who have turned their backs on their dark past and have since turned a new leaf. If this is so, perhaps next time, Nora Aunor can still get what her supporters believe she duly deserves.
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