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UP Gawad Plaridel honors Rosa Rosal

Ms. Florence Danon Gayda, more popularly known as
Rosa Rosal, 2012 UP Gawad Plaridel awardee

(August 2)— Despite her fragile frame, 80-year old veteran film and television actress Florence Danon Gayda, more popularly known as Rosa Rosal, arrived early on July 31 at the UP Film Institute’s Cine Adarna wearing a red gown—the same color that symbolizes the institution she had selflessly served for six decades— to receive the prestigious 2012 UP Gawad Plaridel Award.

She was accompanied by her daughter, TV host Toni Rose Gayda, and her grandson John Lim.
Her friend, Delia Razon, another veteran film and television actress, and several volunteer-members and officers of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) also came at the awarding ceremonies to cheer for her.

A bit overwhelmed and teary-eyed after accepting the award, Rosal thanked everyone and expressed her undying commitment to PRC.

In her speech she said, “I have been with the Red Cross for 62 years and for me, those are meaningful years...At ako po ay magpapatuloy hanggang sa kahuli-hulihang sandali ng aking buhay (And I will continue [to serve] until the last days of my life).”

In addition she said for as long as she can, “Patuloy po akong mamamalimos para sa Philippine Red Cross (I will continue to beg [for help] for the Philippine Red Cross).”

The Gawad Plaridel award, named after the Philippine hero Marcelo H. del Pilar’s nom de plume, Plaridel, is the College of Mass Communication’s (CMC) distinction for Filipino media practitioners who have excelled in any of the media (print, radio, film and television) and have performed with the highest level of professional integrity in the interest of public service.

Rosal was recognized “For introducing public service to Philippine television through her landmark programs Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko and Damayan, that continuously provided for the last four decades medical and other forms of aid to indigent Filipinos, who are sick and disabled.”

Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma

She was also chosen to receive the prestigious award “For using her fame as a popular star of the silver screen and as a respected actress of art films like Badjao, Anak Dalita, and Biyaya ng Lupa not only to solicit all forms of help from private individuals and public institutions but also to raise public consciousness through television about the donation of blood, medicine, and food to the needy and the prevention of AIDS, dengue, and other life-threatening diseases.”

UP President Alfredo E. Pascual, UPD chancellor Dr. Caesar A. Saloma, CMC dean Dr. Roland B. Tolentino and PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon awarded her a trophy designed by National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva. The citation on the certificate of recognition was read by CMC professor emeritus Dr. Nicanor Tiongson.

According to CMC, Rosal is an accomplished film and television actress whose career spans six decades. She became a volunteer-member of the Philippine Red Cross for its blood program in the 1950s and later was elected to its Board of Governors in 1965 and has been in the Board up to the present.

She entered the movies in 1947 with a minor part in the movie Kamagong starring Leopoldo Salcedo and landed a starring role with Jaime Dela Rosa and Pugo in the film Biglang Yaman. She received her first Best Actress award from the Filipino Academy for Movie Arts and Science (FAMAS) in 1955 for her role in the movie Sonny Boy. In 1956, she was given a FAMAS International Prestige Award for the film Anak Dalita.

She crossed over to television in the 1960s and appeared regularly on National Artist Cecille Guidote Alvarez’s dramatic series Balintataw on ABC-5 (now TV-5). On December 1, 1975, she hosted along with Orly Mercado and Dr. Antonio Talusan the public service program Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko on GMA Channel 7.

(From left) In photo are CMC Professor emeritus Dr. Nicanor Tiongson, UP President Alfredo E. Pascual,
Chancellor Saloma, CMC dean Dr. Roland B. Tolentino, and emcees broadcast journalists Julius Babao and
Christine Bersola-Babao.

Rosal now joins the roster of Gawad Plaridel awardees namely, Eugenia Duran-Apostol (2004), Vilma Santos-Recto (2005), Fidela “Tiya Dely” Magpayo (2006), Cecilia “Cheche” L. Lazaro (2007), Pachico A. Seares (2008), Kidlat Tahimik (2009) and Eloisa “Lola Sela” Canlas (2011).

CMC dean Tolentino delivered the closing remarks. The event’s emcees were broadcast journalists and CMC alumni Julius Babao and Christine Bersola-Babao.

During the program, an audio-visual presentation in honor of Rosal was shown to the audience. It was directed by CMC Professor Fernando A. Austria Jr.

The UP Staff Chorale provided the intermission numbers and performed National Artist for Music Nicanor Abelardo’s Bituing Marikit and musical scorer and composer Miguel Velarde Jr.’s Buhat.—H.C.P.