The prestigious UMPIL (Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas) has awarded the MSU-IIT Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) the Gawad Pedro Bukaneg for 2015.
The Gawad will be IPAG’s second from the UMPIL after the Writers Union also awarded the IPAG Artistic Director with the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas (Drama in English and Filipino) in 2014.
The Gawad is the highest honor bestowed on a literary company. The award named after the pre-Hispanic Ilokano writer of the epic “Biag ni Lam-ang” honors a significant group that has continuously molded Philippine Culture through the Arts.
Awarding ceremonies were held at the Ateneo de Manila last August 29 during the annual Umpil congress when IPAG Artistic Director Dr. Steven Patrick C. Fernandez delivered his acceptance speech. Well-known economist Winnie Solita-Monsod delivered the keynote lecture. On occasion to hand IPAG and Fernandez the award was National Artist for Literature Rio Alma assisted by UMPILSecretary General Michael Coroza and some of the most distinguished literary figures of Philippine Literature.
The citation reads: “In showing the world the colorful and various cultures of Mindanao, and in bringing Filipino theatre closer to the people of the whole archipelago and the world, the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) of Iligan City nobly shoulders the task of sowing and cultivating consciousness towards the ultimate improvement and greatness of the art of playwriting and the art of staging plays in the Philippines. Since the members of the IPAG have ceaselessly hned themselves to achieve high talent and skills in research, derivation, and adaptation into the contemporary sensibility and social reality of native forms and virtues of theater from the cultural heritage of Mindanao specifically of the Philippines in general, the group has exerted its influence and has served as model for other starting organizations, especially in the field of creative production, cultural education, raising standards of artistry, management of creative resources, and the advancement of social concerns, and organized movement. Always, a play or cultural presentation of IPAG is an unforgettable esthetic experience (because it is pure art), and equally an ethical one (because it is connected to relevant social issues).”
Few have been recipients of these recognitions, an honor for IPAG that has collected bodies of works that are today treasures in the country’s cultural endowments.