There is a renaissance of arts in our beloved Queen City, thanks to the efforts and teamwork of Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama and Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia, who is the chairman of the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission. Both lovers of art, they have fully supported the setting up of the Cebu City Arts Month in August each year.
As a fitting end to the monthlong celebration this year, the Cebu City Government hosted a Gala Dinner and Awards Night for Cebuano Artists and Art Movers at the Arctic Hall of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. Co-presentors included the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission and the Cebu City Tourism Commission.
Highlight of the festive evening was the giving out of the Sugbuhanong Bahandi awards to six individuals for their significant accomplishments in their respective fields of art. As Vice Mayor/CHAC chairman Garcia puts it, “Such award encourages, motivates and empowers each citizen to perform exemplary deeds of services for the benefit of the city and the community.”
The 2023 Sugbuhanong Bahandi awardees are multi-awarded National Artist for Literature Resil Mojares, who is an educator and scholar, essayist and fictionist, and cultural and literary historian; internationally acclaimed danseur in classical ballet Nicolas Pacaña, now retired but acts as artistic director of Balletcenter; Jose “Kimsoy” Yap Jr., one of our country’s foremost watercolorist whose works manifest “a fusion of Western influence and intrinsic Filipino essence;“ Romulo Galicano, a renowned painter hailed for his ability “to capture the soul of his subjects and for his dedication in preserving Filipino culture and tradition;” Msgr. Rodolfo Villanueva, admiringly called “a renaissance man of music and the written word” because he is a composer as well as a multi-awarded writer under the pen name Renato Madrid; and Kenneth Cobonpue, an avant-garde celebrity furniture designer with an international clientele known for his artistry, ingenuity and unique designs.
The Sugbuhanong Bahandi Awards give honor to the Cebuano talents and achievers who make Cebu proud.