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Awards: The CCP Kaisa Sa Sining Visayas network announces the recipients of the 1st KSSLAP Awards

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Kaisa Sa Sining (KSS) Visayas network announces the recipients of the 1st KSSLAP (Kaisa Ini sa Sining, Lunsay nga Artistang Pilipino) Awards. Due to the present quarantine and travel restrictions, the KSSLAP Awards Ceremonies will be held virtually this August 24-27, 2021 and will be aired via the CCP FB page in September.  

The awardees are Lutgardo Labad (Bohol / theater and cultural administration), Alphonsus Tesoro (Capiz / cultural administration), Marilyn Gamboa (Negros Occidental / cultural administration), Ian Rosales Casocot (Dumaguete / literature), Peque Gallaga (Bacolod / film and theater), Jess de Paz (Tacloban / dance), Dr. Jesus C. Insilada (Calinog-Iloilo / literature and cultural education), Dr. Elizabeth Susan Vista-Suarez (Dumaguete / music), Dennis Sugarol (Cebu / music), Negros Cultural Foundation, Silliman University Culture and Arts Council, Calbayog City Arts and Culture Office, and the Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts (Dumaguete).

The Kaisa sa Sining Regional Arts Centers is a partnership program of the CCP thru its Cultural Exchange Department (CED) that was launched in 2014 and is aimed at strengthening further the CCP’s linkages and cooperation with regional educational institutions, non-government organizations, and local government units in order to broaden public participation in the arts, promote and showcase artistic excellence and facilitate a vibrant collaboration between and among communities. In the past seven years, the cooperation and exchanges between and among CCP and the KSS network have become more dynamic. To date, the KSS network has already grown to a total of 56 organizations in 46 areas/communities in the regions: 21 in Luzon, 17 in Visayas, and 18 in Mindanao.


The KSSLAP Awards: a recognition for outstanding artists, cultural workers, and organizations, was one of the action plans and projects that the KSS Visayas agreed to implement during a KSS regional forum held in Roxas City last 2018. In fulfillment of this plan, the CCP CED facilitated the conceptualization and planning of the project. In the last quarter of 2019, a five-member technical working committee (TWC) was formed composed of key representatives from four KSS Visayas organizations with CED as the lead facilitator.  The program guidelines were made and disseminated to all the KSS Visayas network in February 2021. The nomination period was from February-May 2021. The Selection Committee (SC) was formed in May 2021 composed of prominent leaders/artists/ practitioners from various communities and sectors in Visayas. The final evaluation and selection were held online on July 8-9, 2021.

The KSSLAP Awards aim to give recognition to deserving Visayan individuals and/or organizations who have exemplified commendable work and services in cultural and artistic endeavors and have been at the forefront of the research, development, preservation, education, and promotion of arts and culture in Mindanao for at least ten (10) years or more. The general criteria indicate that an awardee must have made exceptional accomplishments in creative work, leadership, resource management, education, artist support, audience development, community service, solidarity, and partnership.

When asked why is it important to recognize the achievements of the artists, cultural workers, and organizations in Visayas, Dr. Anita Illenberger, former Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Central Philippine University Iloilo City; former Director of the CPU Cultural Affairs Office; and former President of the Iloilo Arts Council said, “The Ksslap Award serves as an inspiration to fellow Visayans as it becomes a proof of the value of work, gives approval/gratitude for excellent work, embodies a sense of ownership that makes the community become aware of the shared outstanding accomplishments.  In time, significant work of art becomes part of the cultural heritage of the region which gives the people sense of unity, sense of belonging, and personal identity to help every generation understand the region’s cultural life, values, and traditions.”

Rene G. Hinojales, Professor at the University of St. La Salle Bacolod City, former Chair, USLS Performing Arts Dept., and Artistic Director-Jean Baptist Dance Co. shared his thoughts. “KSSLAP Awards go out on a limb to acknowledge valuable and commendable contributions of artists, cultural workers, and organizations to the research, development, preservation, education, and promotions of Philippine art and culture, specifically in the Visayas. Of course, recognition is not going to be perfect, especially when it comes from your peers. It may not always reinforce all the behaviors we are hoping to foster. But it sets a model! It creates that potential — and it fuels the idea that every person plays a role in building a positive world. And that is a powerful thing to recognize! On this first year of KSSLAP Awards Visayas, I trust and expect that this biennial act of recognition has and will continue to help everyone else understand what being exceptional looks like, sounds like, and feels like!”

Marianito J. Luspo, Consultant of the Center for Culture and Arts Development, Province of Bohol and Director of the Cultural Affairs and Development Office, Holy Name University, Tagbilaran City articulated expressed, “Artists and cultural workers are like stars in the night sky. They not only lighten up our otherwise dreary existence, but they also capture our attention and inspire us to look up to realities higher, more transcendent dimensions of human life. Moreover, when we recognize each star, each cluster – Sirius, Betelguese, or the Southern Cross – lone artist, independent cultural worker, or group, we humanize them, making them easier for us, yet earth-bound fellow travelers, to emulate and aspire for. We therefore congratulate the CCP Kaisa sa Sining Visayas for giving recognition to our outstanding artists and cultural workers in the Visayas. The award will surely go a long way in encouraging our people in dedicating their lives to the pursuit of creative endeavors.”

CCP CED Department Manager, Chinggay J. Bernardo added, “In our four decades of community cultural outreach work, we have experienced the unique and exceptional artistry, dedication and perseverance of many Visayan artists and cultural workers.  It is indeed high time to institutionalize an awards program that will give recognition to outstanding achievements of Visayan artists, cultural workers, and organizations.  The KSSLAP Awards, an initiative of the CCP KSS Visayas Network and facilitated by the CCP Cultural Exchange, will serve as an inspiration for the artistic and cultural communities in the Visayas to aim for excellence and do public/community service.”

The 17 members of CCP KSS Visayas network are: Province of Capiz, University of Antique,  Central Phil. University-Iloilo City, Municipality of Sta. Barbara-Iloilo, University of St. La Salle-Bacolod City, Negros Cultural Foundation, City of Bago, City of Himamaylan, Municipality of Murcia, Silliman University-Dumaguete City, Holy Name University-Tagbilaran City, Arts Council of Cebu, Calbayog City Arts and Culture Office, University of Eastern Phils.-Catarman Samar, Leyte Normal University-Tacloban City, City of Ormoc, St. Joseph College-Maasin Leyte.

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