Gawad Dr. Pio Valenzuela Conferred Upon UE Prof-Filmmaker

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UE College of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design professor and filmmaker Richard Soriano Legaspi was awarded the Gawad Dr. Pio Valenzuela for Film by the City Government of Valenzuela on July 11, 2019, in commemoration of its local hero’s 150th birth anniversary.

The award is the highest and most prestigious recognition conferred by the local government to Valenzuela City residents who have excelled in their respective fields, made significant contributions to the welfare of the city, and lived true to the values of the late Dr. Valenzuela.

Prof. Legaspi had earned his degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising Arts in 2000 from the then UE College of Fine Arts. He is a two-time Gawad CCP awardee, a recipient of the Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2012 for his screenplay “Primera Bella,” a recipient of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts grant in 2009 for “Kinulayang Kiti” and in 2012 for “Pipo,” and a Cinema One Originals winner for “Paano Ko Sasabihin?” which was partly shot in UE Caloocan, in 2009, among others.

He was a 2012 Cinemalaya winner for his short film “Manenaya,” which has been acknowledged anew this year through the retrospective photo gallery at the Cultural Center of the Philippines these past two weeks on the occasion of Cinemalaya’s 15th anniversary.

Prof. Legaspi is a graduate of Ricky Lee’s 14th scriptwriting workshop, as well as a directing fellow at the Asian Film Academy in Busan, South Korea, and a recipient of the UNESCO Laureate artist recognition in 2013, eventually becoming a resident artist of the Università delle Idee in Italy. He was also invited by the Taoyuan Cultural Department in Taiwan to Sianguang 2nd Village to work on his socially engaged art projects.

Prof. Legaspi went on to win the Silver Prize for moving images at the International Photography Awards in 2017 and was recognized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines on the same year as one of its Film Ambassadors for winning in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Barangay Maysan, Valenzuela-hailing Prof. Legaspi acknowledged the big role played by the city in his works. In his acceptance speech, the proud Valenzuelano said, “Halos lahat ng munting pelikula ko at iba pang mga likhang-sining ay bunga ng mga kuwento mula sa mga pabrika, mga pamahiin, pagtakbo sa sementeryo dahil may shooting, panghuhuli ng tilapia sa Tagalag, pagtawid-sakay ng bangka mula Arkong Bato hanggang Isla, pamimitas ng makopa sa Mabolo, panghuhuli ng isdang kataba, tagu-taguan sa Paransilyo at praktis ng dula-dulaan sa Poblacion.”

The six other Gawad Pio Valenzuela 2019 awardees are ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) political correspondent Christian Esguerra (journalism); the Our Lady of Fatima University and Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities President, Dr. Caroline Marian Enriquez (education); the De La Salle University-Manila Filipino Department Chair, Dr. Ernesto Carandang II (literature); One Valenzuela blogger Rochelle Silverio (social media); Department of Education Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla (government service); and Dr. Elpidio Serapio (community service; posthumous).

The 2019 Gawad Dr. Pio Valenzuela search committee was composed of historian Ambeth Ocampo as Chair and the following members: Atty. Arnel Banas, Senate Deputy Secretary General for Administration and Finance; Dr. Nedy Torralba, President of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela; Dr. Benjie Samson, DepEd Valenzuela Assistant Superintendent; Ateneo School of Government Prof. Edgardo T. Valenzuela; Valenzuela City Cultural Officer Jonathan Balsamo; curator Michael King Urieta; and Atty. Librado Valenzuela, President of Museo Valenzuela Foundation.

Congratulations, CFAD, Cinema and Valenzuelano Warrior!

(Report and photo courtesy of Seymour Barros Sanchez)

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