Noli producers receive KOR-NY Heritage award

Noli producer Edwin Josue receives the Cultural Heritage Award from (from left) KOR-NY President Mariano Aquino, CEO Loida Nicolas Lewis, Consul General Claro Cristobal and judges Elizabeth Cueva and Romulo Aromin, Jr. Co-producer Jerry Sibal was in Manila during the November 15 ceremony held at Carnegie Hall.

The producers of “Noli Me Tangere, the Opera” led the roster of honorees of the first Dr. Jose P. Rizal Heritage Award organized by the New York Chapter of the Knights of Rizal.

Producers Jerry Sibal and Edwin Josue were the recipients of the Cultural Heritage Award for their “significant contribution” in reawakening interest in “Noli Me Tangere,” the novel written by the National Hero Rizal exposing the abuses of the Spanish officials during the colonial period. It is considered an important work of historical fiction – written in 1887 – and one that ignited a revolution.

“Noli Me Tangere, the Opera” was composed by Felipe Padilla de Leon and librettist Guillermo Tolentino and sung entirely in Tagalog.  To celebrate the novel’s 60th anniversary, Sibal and Josue staged the opera at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2017 and again in 2019 to celebrate the CCP’s 50th Anniversary. The production – sponsored by the Philippine Department of Education, the National Commission for Culture and Arts, and the CCP – seeks to promote a better understanding and appreciation of the culture.  

“This award (is) a testament to our advocacy of promoting, continuing, and preserving the legacy of our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal through his famous and important work,” said Josue in his acceptance speech.

In a congratulatory message, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the Noli production “provided a great opportunity for high school teachers and students to explore a period in Philippine history presented through vivid artistic performance as well as to promote nationalism and a sense of patriotism.”

“Dr. Jose P. Rizal was essential in the struggle for Philippine independence. It took an immeasurable amount of sacrifice on his part in the 1890s reform movement when he offered not just his literary skills and writing ability, but also his life which he courageously put on the line for the sake of the country’s freedom and the people’s right to know,” she stated further.

The cast of Noli: ‘Vivid artistic performance.’

Also awarded by KOR-NY were the following:

Exceptional Youth awardee Eizle Salonga is Communications Director for the Nursing Students’ Association of New York State.  

Andrea Cadornigara is a graduate of the New Explorations in Science, Technology and Math. She was most recently awarded National Engaged Leader Award in 2018 by the National Society of Leadership Success.  

Academia awardee Venessa Manzano founded the Filipino School of New York & New Jersey which promotes the country’s “language cultural arts and heritage…through its programs, workshops, special events and other educational activities.”    

Visual artist Angelo Maristela exhibited in 22 solo and group presentations. His works have been featured in Chianciano Biennale 2015, Italy, International Biennale, Miami, FL, and New York City.  

Carmen Meliton, from PWU, is a long-time nursing and hospital administrator in New York State’s Department of Health. She is a member of the American Red Cross Disaster Team, the Philippine Nurses’ Association in New York, and has participated in numerous medical missions to the Philippines.  

Dr. Edgar Lerma has been honored by USA Medical Alumni Association as Most Outstanding Alumnus for Academic Achievement. He is noted for his work as a Clinical Professor, Section of Nephrology, at the University of Illinois, Chicago School of Medicine.    

For Community Service, Roxanne Cajigas, an educator and member of the FilAm Teachers of America, was conferred the LINKAPIL Award in 2018.

Jovani Tablezo, an alumnus of Rizal Youth Leadership Institute — an undertaking of the Order of Knights of Rizal — was cited for his involvement with Balik Turo Caravan, sharing learning tools and techniques with teachers in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu and Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

KOR-NY President Mariano ‘Nongsky’ Aquino said the annual awards recognizes Filipino Americans who have excelled in their fields.

The Awards Committee was headed by Romulo Aromin, Jr. The judges were Imelda Cruz Banting (Health & Science), Maria Dulce Valdes Barangan (Community Service), Fidel Lim (Academia), and Elizabeth Cueva (Exceptional Youth).  

© The FilAm 2020

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: