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Lea Salonga on Nora Aunor as National Artist: ‘I’m surprised it hasn’t happened’

/ 12:04 PM October 29, 2018

Image: Instagram/@juansarte

Lea Salonga echoed the sentiments of action star Robin Padilla recently when the latter expressed his sadness over Nora Aunor’s exclusion from this year’s National Artist Awards.

Padilla, back in 2014, was one of those who opposed former President Benigno Aquino III’s rejection of Aunor’s National Artist nomination. Aunor’s nomination was once again rejected by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration — a decision that Padilla found disheartening: “Malungkot na balita ito.”

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Salonga took to her Twitter on Oct. 28, Sunday, to ask her five-million strong followers why they think Aunor has not been honored with the prestigious award, given all her talent and accolades.

“Here’s a question for you all: Why hasn’t Nora Aunor been honored with the National Artist Award?” Salonga wrote. “I ask sincerely, because given her talent and body of work, I’m surprise it hasn’t happened yet, her previous troubles aside. Thanks.”

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Salonga’s tweet has since garnered almost 3,000 favorites since the time of posting. Twitter users, too, engaged in discourse and took to her tweet to air out their sentiments.

“Sorry, but her ‘previous troubles’ were the sole reason,” a certain James Mamaril (@james_mamaril) told Salonga. “That is according to the previous [Aquino] administration.”

Another commenter, a certain Noel Dolor (@Noel_Dolor), told Salonga that Aunor may not be perfect, but her achievements in Philippine cinema were nothing short of extraordinary.

“Previous troubles aside, Nora is not perfect, she’s only human like us. But let us consider the extraordinary achievements and that special aura she possesses as a brilliant, award-winning actress,” wrote the netizen. “Plus, she has that special voice that propelled her to be the ‘Superstar.'”

It was also pointed out that Aunor’s personal struggles serve as inspiration and what made her become “The Nora Aunor” people know today. “Hers is a story of hope, and how strong the human spirit can be. Plus her sense of religiosity! Love that lady,” commented @james_mamaril.

It was in 2014 when former President Benigno Aquino III turned down Aunor’s nomination for National Artist for Film, citing the actress’ involvement with drugs as the reason behind the decision. As per Aquino, national artists are given honor for their contribution to Filipino culture and should be role models.

Aquino said then, “Ang naging problema ko lang dun ay alam naman natin lahat… naconvict po sya sa drugs.” (The only problem I had there is something you all already know about. She has been convicted for a drugs case.)

Aunor, on her end, has since stated on Oct. 25 that she was not interested in receiving the National Artist Award anyway.

“Hindi ko ito hinahangad,” Aunor told Radyo Inquirer 990 AM. “Sapat na sa akin ang respetong natatanggap ko sa mga kasamahan ko sa trabaho.”

(It is not something I aspire for. The respect I receive from my peers is enough for me.)

Aunor added, “Kalimutan na natin ang National Artist na yan.”

(Let us forget about that National Artist award.) JB

RELATED STORIES: 

Jim Paredes defends Cayabyab’s National Artist title: ‘Ryan has tons of great work’

Nora Aunor: ‘Kalimutan na ang National Artist na yan’ 

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TAGS: Drug Addiction, drug use, Lea Salonga, National Artist, Nora Aunor, President Benigno Aquino III
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