Text by Krysten Mariann Boado
Infographic by Pau Caparas
(Editor’s note: This story is included in the first print issue of TNP for Editorial Year 2014-2015)
(Update: Changes have been done on the text and infographic to correct mistakes. Sorry for the misinformation.)
MANILA – The breeze blows against her raven hair as she gathers the courage to profess the truth that there are no gods, no miracles, no curses, no visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her mouth moves to allow more words to escape, but after a shot rang in the air, the only thing escaping is blood from her chest.
Being one of the most iconic roles in Philippine cinema, Nora Aunor’s portrayal of faith healer Elsa got her the Best Actress award from the 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival and a nomination for the 1983 Gawad Urian Awards. More than thirty years after, Ate Guy remains in the helm of excellence as she is this year’s Gawad Plaridel awardee.
According to the Gawad Plaridel 2014 press release, Nora Aunor is cited as this year’s recipient for her “unique artistry and versatility as a singer” and for “portraying with keen intelligence and uncommon sensitivity an amazing range of cinematic roles.”
Born Nora Cabaltera Villamayor on the 21st of May 1953, the first sparks of stardom of what would be the Philippines’s future Superstar were rooted in the humble town of Iriga, Camarines Sur.
Her career skyrocketed after she got top prize in Tawag ng Tanghalan, an amateur singing competition. She bagged both the hearts of her audience and her ticket to show business, after which she became a professional recording artist and began to star in youth-oriented films and TV shows.
Tower Records gave Nora her first starring role alongside Tirso Cruz III, also known as Pip to fans of their love team, launching the renowned actress into fame.
“Iba si Nora Aunor as an actress (Nora Aunor is truly different as an actress.),” Jill Raz, sophomore UP Diliman Speech Communication student and self-confessed Noranian since she was eight, claimed. “Everything she does is honest. The fact that she manages to make you feel everything even by merely staring into space is astounding.”
From portraying a defenseless domestic helper with a death sentence to a struggling pregnant prisoner, the name Nora Aunor was etched into the heavens not only for her superb acting skills but also for her unbelievable flexibilty.
“Nora Aunor is undeniably a brilliant actress,” UP CMC Associate Dean Danilo Arao said. “People say that whenever she acts, she doesn’t need convincing dialogue. It’s her eyes that speak already, and that takes skills that only actors of Nora Aunor’s caliber can deliver.”
Her recent exclusion in the National Artist Award did not dull her shine as the superstar of show business. Rather, the iconic actress from Iriga has constantly proven that her critics are not curses but challenges to conquer in the great obstacle course that is the entertainment industry.
Indeed, it is no miracle that she is this year’s Gawad Plaridel recipient.