Journalist, artist are this year’s Datu Bago awardees

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 March) —  An editor in chief of a daily newspaper and a visual artist were conferred the Datu Bago Awards Wednesday night at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.

The Datu Bago Awardees Organization, Inc. through its chair, Dr. Guillermo P. Torres, Jr., with the concurrence of Mayor Sara Duterte, conferred the Datu Bago Awards 2017 on Amalia “Amy” Bandiola-Cabusao and Rey Mudjahid “Kublai” Ponce Millan.

Amalia Bandiola Cabusao, editor in chief of the Mindanao Times (3rd from right) and Rey Mudjahid “Kublai” Millan are this year’s Datu Bago awardees. Milan was represented by his father, Rey (beside Amy) at the awards rites at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City on 15 March 2017. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Amy is being recognized for her contribution “in promoting press freedom and building capacities of campus and community journalists” while Kublai is being recognized for his contribution “to the development of Davao’s culture and arts.”

Thursday’s conferment, a major even in the celebration of the 80th Araw ng Dabaw, was the 47th since the award, the highest the Davao City government bestows on its constituents, was established.

The Datu Bago awardees are recognized for their outstanding, exemplary and selfless contribution to the growth and development of Davao City and for their invaluable contribution to the preservation of the Dabawenyo culture heritage.

Kublai is still in Europe and was represented at the awards rites by his father Rey Millan.

The Datu Bago Awardees Organization, Inc. described Amy, editor in chief of Mindanao Times, the oldest running newspaper in Mindanao, as a “veteran journalist and staunch promoter of campus and community journalism” who also hosts a radio program host and is into documentary filmmaking.

“Not content with just writing and publishing community stories, she dedicates her life to building the capacities of young people, especially women and girls and indigenous youth, in communicating and story-telling,” it said, adding that Amy also “organizes regular summer workshops in journalism for local and international writers and promotes peace and conflict sensitivity in reporting Mindanao.”

Amy  recently launched the GE Torres Institute of Journalism based at the University of Mindanao in Davao City, which aims to develop media research, provide venues for continuing education among journalists and mass communication students and offer internships for them in the region.

Mindanao Times editor in chief Amalia Bandiola Cabusao is this year’s Datu Bago awardee. The other awardee is visual artist Rey Mudjahid “Kublai” Millan, was represented at the awards rites Wednesday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel by his father, Rey (beside Amy). MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

In 2015, Amy was awarded the prestigious Ninoy and Cory Aquino Fellowship for Professional Development, for journalism, “for her dedication to upholding press freedom and journalistic ethics, and for providing valuable training opportunities to promising Filipino journalists.”

She was a fellow at the International Center of Journalists in Washington, DC and is part of the World Editors Forum.

Amy is one of the founding members of MindaNews and served as its training director.

The Datu Bago Awardees Organization, Inc. described Kublai as a “prolific artist who infuses his works of art with humanity and indigenous culture,” his creations “deeply rooted in the social context of Mindanao’s grassroots communities.”

“He is Davao’s favorite culture and arts ambassador as his many art works can be seen all over Davao City and Mindanao. His unique sculptures and art installations have become cultural landmarks and enjoyed by Davao residents and visitors alike,” it said.

Kublai also works with disadvantaged children – children in conflict with the law, orphans, abused children, and indigenous children – through free art workshops and fundraising exhibits for children’s artworks.

Kublai has showcased Davao City’s art and culture in the national and global stage through his creations. He is the first Dabawenyo and Filipino artist to create and display a life-size Nativity sculpture at the St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, Italy for the entire Christmas season in 2010.

His huge sculptural pieces have become landmarks in various cities and provinces in Mindanao.  (MindaNews)