by Kimberly C. Villegas
Photo by Alanis Magbanua, TNP Resident Photographer
Behind every great acting lies a great man of scriptwriting.
A year after Superstar Nora Aunor was given the same recognition, the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication granted “Himala” scriptwriter Ricardo “Ricky” Lee the 2015 Gawad Plaridel, Wednesday.
The award, given annually since 2004, honors “Filipino media practitioners who have excelled in film, radio, television, print and other media, with the highest level of professional integrity in the interest of public service.”
The college recognized Lee primarily for his body of works in film and literature “marked by excellence” and which “introduced new subjectivities that tackled taboos and modern moralities in Philippine cinema.” Among the movies he penned were the timeless Himala, Jaguar, Salome, Moral, and Karnal.
“Nang magsimula akong manalo ng mga awards, hindi ako naniwala kailanman na ako ang best scriptwriter. Walang ganoong nilalang. Kung humusay man ako, iyon ay dahil sa mga direktor na katrabaho ko, at dahil din sa mahuhusay na writer na kasabayan ko (I never considered myself as the best scriptwriter despite recognitions that has been coming my way. There is no such person. If I have become a greater writer, it is because of the directors I have worked with, as well as excellent contemporary writers),” Lee said during his lecture at the U.P. Film Institute.
Lee said he also ventured on different media such as journalistic articles, novels, poetry, comics and song writing.
“Hindi ako natakot magkamali…Anumang tagumpay na narating ko ngayon, nakatungtong ako sa isang bundok ng mga pagkakamali (I was not afraid of making mistakes. Whatever success I have today is built on a mountain of failures),” he said.
Through workshops, the veteran writer has also been sharing his craft for young playwrights since he started scriptwriting, though veterans used to question his skills.
“Naniniwala kasi ako na habang natututo ka, doon ka dapat nagshe-share (It is during the course of your learning that you must share lessons with others). The act of creating necessitates the act of sharing,” said Lee.
Lee is the 11th recipient of the Gawad Plaridel after Aunor, Jose “Pete” Lacaba, Florence “Rosa Rosal” Danon-Gayda, Eloisa “Lola Sela Bungangera” Canlas, Kidlat Tahimik, Pachico Seares, Cecilia “Cheche” Lazaro, Fidela “Tiya Dely” Magpayo, Vilma Santos, and Eugenia Duran-Apostol.
It is the latest of the 51 awards granted to Lee, including a 2003 Natatanging Gawad Urian Lifetime Achievement Award from the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino.
Lee is also set to conduct the first UP Gawad Plaridel Masterclass on scriptwriting on September 12, 19 and 26.