Philippine national artists

Nora Aunor, Ricky Lee, Tony Mabesa among 8 new National Artists

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Nora Aunor, Ricky Lee, Tony Mabesa among 8 new National Artists

HONORED. Tony Mabesa, Ricky Lee, Marilou Diaz Abaya, Fides Cuyugan Asensio. Gemino Abad, Nora Aunor, Salvacion Lim Higgins, and Agnes Locsin have been named National Artists.

File photos/ Slims Fashion School's Facebook/ Agnes Locsin's Facebook

(1st UPDATE) Marilou Diaz Abaya, Gemino Abad, Fides Cuyugan-Asensio, and Salvacion Lim Higgins are also named

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has declared eight icons of Filipino arts and culture as National Artists on Friday, June 10.

After years of clamor, actress Nora Aunor was named National Artist for Cinema, alongside late director Marilou Diaz Abaya.

Screenwriter and novelist Ricky Lee, another film industry pillar, was named National Artist for Literature, alongside poet Gemino Abad.

Stage director and theater actor Tony Mabesa, who died in 2019, was named National Artist for Theater.

Choreographer Agnes Locsin, known for pioneering neo-ethnic dance, was named National Artist for Dance.

Legendary soprano Fides Cuyugan-Asensio was given the title National Artist for Music.

The late Salvacion Lim Higgins, known for reinventing the terno, was named National Artist for Fashion.

The Order of National Artists recognizes Filipinos who have made significant contributions to Philippine arts and letters. Previous honorees include composer Ryan Cayabyab, dancer Alice Reyes, actor Fernando Poe Jr, writer Bienvenido Lumbera, and architect Leandro Locsin.

National Artists are granted a number of privileges, including a cash award of P100,000 for living awardees and P75,000 for posthumous awardees, payable to their legal heirs.

They also receive a monthly life pension, medical and hospitalization benefits, life insurance coverage for those who are still insurable, a state funeral and burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, as well as a place of honor at national state functions and recognition at cultural events. –

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