Capiz has two national artists

GNews Staff
ROXAS City – Do you know that Capiz has produced two national artists?

Aside from Jovita Fuentes, a national artist for music, Daisy Avellana was also from Capiz.

Avellana was a national artist for theater. She died in Manila just last month, on May 12, at the age of 96.

She was born Daisy Hontiveros on January 26, 1917, in this city, a daughter of a lawyer and a violinist. Her husband was Lamberto Avellana, national artist for film.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines had held a necrological ceremony to pay tribute to Avellana, who was proclaimed national artist for theater in 1999 and was “long regarded as the Grand Dame of Philippine stage.

Avellana was considered a pioneering actress, director and writer who greatly influenced and contributed in the development of modern theater in the Philippines.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) also cited Avellana as someone who “elevated legitimate theater and dramatic arts to a new level of excellence by staging and performing in breakthrough productions of classic Filipino and foreign plays and by encouraging the establishment of performing groups and the professionalization of Filipino theater.”

Together with her husband and other artists, Avellana co-founded the Barangay Theatre Guild in 1939 which had a dramatic effect on the popularization of theatre and dramatic arts in the country as it utilized radio and television.

When she was conferred the National Artist Theater Award, Avellana was cited as a consummate actor, inspiring director, pioneer in stage acting, and for having devoted most of her life for the establishment of professional performing groups and the professionalization of theater, according to the CCP website.

Avellana was best remembered as Candida Marasigan in Nick Joaquin’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.

Avellana was buried at the Loyola Park in Marikina City.

Meanwhile, Fuentes was the first female national artist for music in 1976. Her significant contributions included the publication of Filipino compositions and the organization of the Boys Town Band Concert.

A theater artist, Fuentes made a name in European operas and best remembered for portraying the role of Cio-cio-san in Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

She was given the unprecedented award of "La Embahadora de Filipinas a su Madre Patria" by Spain.

An internally acclaimed artist, she also did performances in Manila, Japan and the United States. (PNA)

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