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6 artists receive Presidential Medal of Merit

May 21, 2006 6:20pm
Six outstanding artists received on Saturday night the Presidential Medal of Merit for their contribution to Filipino art and culture.

The awardees are conductor-violinist Oscar Yatco, and painters Romeo Tabuena, Juvenal Sanso, Anita Magasaysay-Ho, Fernando Zobel de Ayala (posthumous), and Nena Saguil (posthumous).

A Palace statement said the six were cited for their "artistry, ingenuity, and life-long achievements both here and abroad."

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also bestowed the Order of Lakandula, Rank of Bayani (Grand Cross) to Fr. James B. Reuter S.J., who marked his 90th birthday on Saturday.

Reuter is a playwright and long-time media practitioner.

The awarding ceremony was held at Malacanang’s Rizal Hall. It was part of the festivities of National Heritage Month.

Saguil, an abstract painter, is the first woman to earn successive European art scholarships including the prestigious Walter Damrosch Scholarship in Paris in 1954.

Painter Ho’s works include "In the Marketplace," which fetched a price of P15 million in a Christie’s auction sale recently in Singapore.

"Although both of Spanish decent, Sanso and Zobel honed their early talents in the Philippines. Sanso is known for holding the first one-man print show in Philippine art history, while Zobel de Ayala was a painter, critique, and philanthropist whose donations of art served as the nucleus of the present Ateneo Art Gallery," the Palace statement said.

Yatco — a conductor, violinist, and teacher — brought classical music to the masses with the establishment of "Concert at the Park."

Tabuena is known for his still lifes, and a series of figures known as "Mujer" and "Hombre."

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will bestow the awards abroad on Yatco and Tabuena who were not present during the awarding ceremonies. - GMANews.TV
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