PLUS: Patricia Evangelista comes out swinging--
[T]he award is not the white tower that Caparas styles himself as the challenger. The works of Nick Joaquin, Lino Brocka and many others have proved themselves both nationally significant and nationally recognized during their time. And yet to use the standards of Caparas is to protest that Willie Revillame and the Viva Hot Babes have not yet been considered National Artists...
[Cecile Guidote] Alvarez laments the tempest her award has created. “It is unfortunate that our country is divided by politics. It is through arts that our people can be united. I pray that culture as the nourishing womb will eventually bond together our nation toward the betterment of our citizens.”
Beautiful words from one of the guardians of the country’s culture, ironic in the face of the events establishing just how little Ms Alvarez cares about the state of the arts--certainly not enough to put the reputation of the institution over her personal ambition. [boldface mine]. It is an attitude very much like that of the President she serves. And Caparas--the directorial hand behind such classics as “The Myrna Diones Story (Lord, Have Mercy!),” “Humanda Ka Mayor! (Bahala na ang Diyos),” “The Cecilia Masagca Story: Antipolo Massacre (Jesus Save Us!),” “The Vizconde Massacre Story (God Help Us!),” “The Untold Story: Vizconde Massacre 2 (God Have Mercy on Us!),” “Lipa Arandia Massacre (Lord Deliver Us from Evil/God Save the Babies!),” “The Maggie dela Riva Story (God ... Why Me?),” “Victim No. 1: Delia Maga (Jesus, Pray for Us!)” and “The Marita Gonzaga Rape-Slay (In God We Trust!)”--may have discovered that to have President Arroyo in your corner ensures an ending far happier than having the ear of God. The Carlo J. Caparas story, if it ever gets produced, may very well have a different deity for its subheading.