Malacañang: Nora Aunor will be National Artist 'in God’s perfect time'

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is optimistic that actress Nora Aunor will  be named National Artist someday, even as it acknowledged that a judge for the esteemed award did not find her up to scratch.

"Ms Nora Aunor is still young and in God’s perfect time we are optimistic that she will be proclaimed as a National Artist," Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Thursday, October 25.

The spokesman said Aunor got a "majority vote" but not a unanimous one from officials of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Cultural Center of the Philippines, the two bodies that recommend individuals to the President for proclamation as National Artists. (READ: Duterte names 7 National Artists)

Aunor had been nominated several times in previous years for the title, the highest recognition given by the government to Filipino artists, but a proclamation has so far eluded her.

"The artistical and musical legend that is Nora Aunor may not have passed the critical eyes of a select juror to be bestowed the National Artist award but her enrapturing film artistry and musicality and mass acceptance surpass any technical recognition given by any entity or authority," said Panelo.

Malacañang heaped praises on Aunor, calling her the "crowned people's artist" and citing her "iconic stature as the country's Superstar."

Yet Panelo said her exclusion from the list might have been for the best, alluding to possible strong reactions if she was named National Artist. (READ: Looking back: The Nat'l Artist Awards controversies)

"Her non-inclusion is to spare Ms Nora Aunor from the emotional and psychological torment coming from the barrage of mixed reactions the event has brought," said Panelo. –


Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at