From left: Independent filmmaker and Gawad Plaridel 2009 awardee Kidlat Tahimik, UP President Alfredo Pascual, Gawad Plaridel 2011 awardee Eloisa “Lola Sela” Canlas and Chancellor Caesar Saloma. JOSHUA MARK DALUPANG

By Hajilyn Javier

Radio drama pioneer Eloisa Cruz-Canlas, the 2011 Gawad Plaridel Awardee, urged media students to be fearless in their work and to never forget their obligation to the country.

Maging matapang sa pagsasabi ng katotohanan. Huwag kayong matakot. Alamin natin ang totoo at i-broadcast natin (Be brave in speaking the truth. Do not be afraid. Let us discover the truth and broadcast it),” Canlas said at the awarding ceremony Wednesday at the University of the Philippines Film Institute.

Canlas, known as Lola Sela Bungangera in her radio program, also said, “Paglingkuran natin ang ating bayan with a clear conscience – now na! Sapagkat pag pinabayaan natin ang ating bayan, sinong magdudusa? Tayo pa rin (Let us serve our country with a clear conscience – right now! Because if we will abandon our country, who will suffer? It will still be us).”

Taking on the tones of a little girl, an impish young boy, a toothless old woman and even a chicken and goat, Canlas demonstrated her talent in radio drama, the field for which she was well-known. She even sang “Bayan Ko” in four different voices as part of her lecture.

She encouraged the youth to support radio drama – which, Canlas said, was her “first love” – and continue its legacy.

Ang drama ay buhay ng tao (Drama is the life of man),” Canlas said. “Kayo ay magsikap upang huwag mawala ang drama sa radyo. Ayokong ito ay mamatay. Ito ay propesyong di manakaw kailanman (You must persevere so radio drama would not fade away. I do not want it to die. It is a profession that cannot ever be stolen).”

Students from different universities attend the awarding ceremony of Gawad Plaridel 2011 on July 20. The award was given to radio drama veteran Lola Sela. MICHELLE ANGELICA SORIANO

Canlas is the seventh recipient of the Gawad Plaridel, the highest honor given to media practitioners by the UP College of Mass Communication.

UP President Alfredo Pascual, UP Diliman Chancellor Cesar Saloma, CMC Dean Roland Tolention and Journalism professor Luis Teodoro were all present to award Canlas the Gawad Plaridel.

Eric de Guia, popularly known as Kidlat Tahimik, the 2009 Gawad Plaridel Awardee for Independent Film, was also present to support the Gawad Plaridel and Canlas.

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