TWO THOMASIANS are included in the roster of Gawad CCP Para sa Sining for their “outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of culture and arts.”

Zeneida Amador, the founder of Repertory Philippines, will receive the award for theater, while scholar-writer Florentino Hornedo received this year’s award for cultural research.

Gawad CCP Para sa Sining is the highest award given by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

A theater revolutionary

Amador created Repertory Philippines, one of the country’s premiere theater companies, which has produced stars on theater and Broadway that include Monique Wilson, Menchu Launchengco-Yulo, and star of the Miss Saigon fame, Lea Salonga.

Born on Feb. 7, 1933, Amador took up Bachelor of Arts and master’s degrees in the University before pursuing drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. After studying abroad, she came back to the Philippines and established her own theater company, producing a myriad of stage performances. Amador had since participated in over 350 productions, directed over 200, and performed prominent roles such as Berthe in Pippin.

“Tita Bibot,” as she was fondly called by her students, was known for her harsh tongue and stingy comments during rehearsals. But her strategies proved to be effective as her talents became even more prominent as they moved on and pursued their career further in performing arts, even sharing their knowledge and passion for the craft. Among her students were Audie Gemora of Trumpets, Robbie Guevara and Joel Trinidad of Upstart Productions, and Wilson, who put up New Voice Company.

Amador’s stage career reached 45 years, until her death due to lung cancer in 2004.

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Cultural scholar

A prolific scholar and researcher, Hornedo received his undergraduate degree from the University in 1961, as well as his post-doctorate degree in History and Political Science in 1977 and 1985, respectively.

Born in Sabtang, Batanes, Hornedo has come a long way in making a name for himself in the field of philosophy and culture. His vast study of the Ivatan culture has marked him as one of the country’s authorities on cultural heritage research.

Hornedo has also produced numerous publications, which include books and articles in both local and foreign journals. Some of his works include The Philosophy of Freedom, Laji: The Ivatan Folk Lyric Tradition, and Panitikan II: An Essay on Philippine Ethnic Culture.

Hornedo’s accolades have earned him countless awards such as the Don Carlos Palanca Award for Literature, the Pilak Award from the CCP, the Batanes Provincial Achievement Recognition for Cultural and Social Research, and the Recognition Award for Social Research from the UST College of Education Alumni Association, Inc., Hornedo was also a recipient of the Varsitarian’s Parangal Hagbong for Lifetime Achievement in Letters, and the Most Outstanding Thomasian Alumnus in the Arts and Humanities in 2011 and 2006, respectively.

Hornedo held many positions in the academe. He has had teaching stints in the University, Ateneo de Manila University, and St. Dominic College of Batanes. He is also a commissioner of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines.

Another Thomasian who will receive the award is poet Cirilo F. Bautista. Other recipients are Brenda Fajardo for Visual Arts, Agnes Locsin for Dance, Ramon Santos for Music, and Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon for Film and Broadcast Arts. The awarding ceremony will be on Feb. 27.

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