President Benigno S. Aquino III confers the Order of National Artists for Cinema (Posthumous) to the late “King of Philippine movies” Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, popularly known as Fernando Poe, Jr., represented by FPJ’s wife actress Susan Roces, in a ceremony at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall, Malacañang Palace on Thursday (August 16, 2012).
Roces refused to accept the posthumous award during a conferment ceremony at Malacañang in June 2006, during the incumbency of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Poe ran against Arroyo in the 2004 presidential elections, the results of which were questioned by FPJ before he passed away on December 14, 2004.
"Who doesn't know FPJ or has not watched his films? More than being actor, writer, producer, and director, he is a humble Filipino always ready to help others," the President said.
Aquino said Poe has lived an almost mythical life.
"He is a hero to most Filipinos - a defender of the oppressed and protector of justice," he said.
The citation of the award lauded Poe for his "mythic screen personna" and for bringing to life before the big screen the story of common Filipinos.
According to National Commission on Culture and the Arts head Emily Abrera, Poe is the sixth National Artist awardee for cinema.
Poe, fondly called Da King in the movie industry, now joins the rank of directors Gerardo de Leon, Lamberto Abellana, Ishmael Bernal, Eddie Romero, and Lino Brocka.
"He is different from other directors because he was more known as an actor. In fact, he is perhaps the most famous Filipino action star," Abrera said.
Poe, who was a founder of the Movie Workers Welfare Fund (Mowelfund), produced over 200 films during his lifetime.
He was nominated for the award by Mowelfund head Boots Anson Roa and fellow National Artist Eddie Romero.
Poe's widow, veteran actress Susan Roces, said she was not able to sleep in excitement.
"It is worth waiting for that my husband's award is confirmed by a duly elected President," Roces said
The Order of National Artists (Order ng Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) is the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who made significant contributions to the development of Philippines arts; namely, Music, Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film and Broadcast Arts, and Architecture and Allied Arts. The order is jointly administered by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
Witnessing the ceremony are Poe’s daughter Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, grandson Bryan Poe Llamanzares and NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon, Jr.
(Text- InterAksyon & Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) FB/ Photos by: Jay Morales / Malacañang Photo Bureau)
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