Late National Artist Napoleon Abueva wins Titus Brandsma Award

The Order of the Carmelites conferred a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award to National Artist Napoleon Abueva in the ninth edition of the Titus Brandsma Award-Philippines in Quezon City Thursday, August 3.

Known as the Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture, Abueva was honored by the religious order for his consistent support to the ideals of truth, free expression, justice and peace.

“He was a dedicated academic and advocate of press freedom through his artworks and sculpture masterpieces. Prof. Abueva has inspired generations of old and young Filipinos to express and articulate their thoughts and ideas freely through different art forms,” the Award said.

Named to the Order of National Artists of the Philippines in 1976, the renowned sculptor was the youngest to receive the country’s most prestigious award for artists at 46 years old.

Abueva passed away on February 16, 2016 at the age of 88.

Some of Abueva’s major works were Kaganapan (1953), Kiss of Judas (1955), Thirty Pieces of Silver, the Transfiguration [Eternal Gardens Memorial Park] (1979), Sandugo [Bohol],  Mini-Waterfalls [Legaspi Towers 300] (1980), The Fredesvinda [Singapore] (1982), Dambana ng Kagitingan [Mt. Samat], Allegorical Harpoon [Cultural Center of the Philippines], Neptune and Aphrodite [La Mesa Ecopark], and Sunburst [The Peninsula Manila] (1994).

Many of his sculptures can be seen at his alma mater University of the Philippines in Diliman, such as the Gateway (1967), Nine Muses, the Spirit of Business, Magdangal, Tres Marias, among others. Other UP campuses also host his works, such as Ang Diwata at ang Dagat in the Visayas and Pegaraw in Los Banos.

The ninth Titus Brandsma Awards had Abueva as the lone honoree.

For freedom

Receiving the Titus Brands Award in his behalf, daughter Amihan said her father consistently opposed fascism.

She said Abueva suffered torture during World War II that also saw him and six siblings orphaned early after their parents were murdered by the Japanese Imperial Army for being part of the resistance in their native Bohol.

In the early years of the Marcos dictatorship, Amihan said her father supported her activism, encouraging her to attend rallies.

Named after the newly-canonized Dutch Carmelite Friar, the 23-year old Titus Brandsma Award has been previously given to 26 personalities and organizations, majority of whom are journalists.

Venerated as the Defender of Truth and Martyr of Press Freedom, Brandsma died in the infamous Dachau concentration camp after being arrested by German occupiers for having opposed Nazi propaganda in Catholic newspapers throughout during World War II.

The Philippine Carmelita Province of Saint Titus Brandsma was named after him even before he was proclaimed saint.

Titus Brandsma was beatified in November 1985 and was canonized by last May 15, 2022. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

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DISCLOSURE: The reporter is a member of the Titus Brandsma Award-Philippines Board.

ABS-CBN reporter named 2020 McLuhan fellow

Three months after the forced closure of their media company, an ABS-CBN reporter was named the 2020 Marshall McLuhan Fellow at the conclusion of today’s Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Seminar.

Christian Esguerra was presented the prestigious distinction by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) in the first ever online version of the annual event.

Esguerra was cited for the quality of his reports on television and online along with’s Camille Diola who in turn received this year’s Award of Distinction.

Esguerra and Diola were among this year’s seminar panellists with Rappler’s Lian Buan, ABS-CBN’s Mike Navallo, GMA Network’s Raffy Tima and ABS-CBN’s Chiara Zambrano.

“More than the personal recognition, I‘m hoping for greater courage and solidarity among journalists. Journalism, especially at this time, is not for the timid and subservient,” Esguerra said of his award.

Esguerra also received the Titus Brandsma Emergent Leadership in Journalism Award in October 2019, the latest of only three recipients so far.

This year’s Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Seminar discussed the coverage of various issues in the news in the past year: COVID-19, China and the West Philippine Sea, the relationship of the press and the government, the state of the press, and other governance issues.

The McLuhan Fellowship, named after the Canadian communication theoretician, had been sponsored by the Embassy of Canada in the past 24 years.

The fellowship consists of a two-week familiarization and lecture tour of Canadian media and academic organizations, and later, a lecture tour of Philippine universities.

It was first awarded in 1997 and among its 21 fellows were Sheila S. Coronel (Columbia Journalism School and Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism), Yvonne T. Chua (VERA Files), Ed Lingao (TV5), Carolyn O. Arguillas (MindaNews), and Cheche Lazaro (ProbeTV), among others. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Kodao’s Villanueva accepts Titus Brands Award

Kodao Productions’ Raymund Villanueva was awarded the Titus Brandsma Award 2015 for Emerging Leadership in Journalism in a ceremony last November 27.

The award is given to an “outstanding young journalist who possesses an impressive and commendable track record in his or her professional performance and who has shown fidelity to the journalism code of ethics.”

The award is also given to journalists for their “use of the tools of media in fresh and innovative ways and has displayed courage in speaking the truth about issues involving peace, social justice, and the integrity of creation.”

The Titus Brandsma Award is a biennial recognition of outstanding journalists and social communication practitioners given by the Order of Carmelites in the Philippines.

This year’s award is the seventh time the awards have been held. Villanueva is the only second recipient of the Emerging Leadership in Journalism award.

Asian Institute for Journalism and Communication president Florangel Rosario Braid, PhD served as this year’s jury chair.

In this acceptance speech, Villanueva cited Kodao’s efforts to establish community radio stations for vulnerable communities all over the country.

He also mentioned Kodao’s workshops and training for marginalized sectors in the Philippines and abroad.

Villanueva is a veteran broadcaster, journalist and photographer for various alternative media organizations. He is now head of Kodao’s radio department.

This is a video of Villanueva’s acceptance speech.