WHAT is a city without its artists? A city with no soul.
For it is in the works of artists that we can understand the soul and humanity of the city, including its historical, political, and social conditions.
A city is best known for the works of arts produced by its artists in visual arts, theater, music, literature, dance, cinema, and architecture and allied arts.
Serious tourists first visit the art galleries and museums of the city they are visiting in order to understand the place and its people.
As catalysts for change, artists are the medium by which we engaged citizens to reflect and criticize the ills that plague our society.
Bacolod truly has a dynamic artistic community. Its MassKara Festival, renowned as one of the best in the world, has flourished because of the active support of its artists for the past 34 years.
So it is but fitting that the city pays tribute to its outstanding artists, for their indispensable contribution to the development of arts in the city.
The tribute was held as a proper culmination to the Bacolod Arts Month, in observance of February as the National Arts Month.
Dubbed, “A Toast to Artists,” the event was held at the Government Center, now called the People’s House. It was spearheaded by the Bacolod Arts and Culture Council chaired by Mayor Monico Puentevella, with Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue as vice-chairperson, and in cooperation with the Arts Association of Bacolod-Negros (AAB-N) and various organizations.
Sigue, chair of the SP Committee on History, Arts and Culture, said they have honored Bacoleño artists who have brought honor to the city through their national and international awards, and for being an inspiration especially to the younger generation to appreciate art and hone their own talents and skills.
The awards also recognized individuals, groups and organizations which have contributed to the community by undertaking and conducting trainings and projects related to arts and culture, and who have promoted Bacolod arts.
The honorees were:
Architecture and Allied Arts: Antonio Ascalon (+), Jerry Ascalon, Ma. Soledad Alquizar, Perfecto Marzoña (+), Silverio Ureta, and Kirsten Regalado (Fashion);
Cinema: Alfonso Torre III, Erik Matti, Jay Abello, Joel Torre, Mariano Montelibano, Milton Dionson, and Peque Gallaga;
Dance: Kenneth Po, Nunistell Mae Fulo Lee, Emil June Bantolo;
Literature: Cristobal Hofileña (+), Dr. Elsa Coscolluela, Miriam Bayles, and Modesto Sa-onoy;
Music: Gerry Grey, Joel “Bagguer” Villaluz Sr., Leopoldo Bautista, Norma Sylvia Aquino-Garbanzos, and The La Salle Chorale;
Theatre: Cecile Sicangco-Ibarrola, Eduardo Sicangco, Louie Dormido, Lyd-Lyd Gaston, Rene Hinojales, and Tanya Lopez
Visual Arts: Arthur Bayles, Bogie Alvarado, Charlie Co, Dante Mediz, Dorothy Gatuslao, Edgardo “Budot” Lizares (+), Edmund Bacia, Ely Santiago (+), Jecky Alano, Jesus Ayco (+), Joan Honoridez, John Jacosalem, Jose Inocencio, Larry Tronco (+), Lino Severino (+), Lorenzo Sumagasay (+), Ma. Soledad Alquizar, Marcial Buelba, Marianito Vito Jr., Nunelucio Alvarado, Nunistell Mae Fulo Lee, Rafael Paderna, Rex Cuenca, and Rodney Martinez.
Sigue said the “toast” was held to publicly express the appreciation of Bacolod community to all its artists.