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Writers honor ABS-CBN for contributions to education, culture and film

UMPIL recognizes ABS-CBN's efforts in cinema appreciation through its ABS-CBN Film Restoration unit

THE Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) or the Writers Union of the Philippines recently honored ABS-CBN with the Gawad Pedro Bucaneg for the network’s exceptional contributions in cultivating literary education, literary culture, and appreciation of Philippine cinema.

The largest organization of Filipino writers in the country acknowledged ABS-CBN’s innovations in educational TV with programs such as “Sines’kwela,” “Mathtinik,” “Hiraya Manawari,” “Bayani,” and “Pahina.”

It also recognized the Kapamilya network’s promotion of Filipino culture in its topnotch TV and film productions, and its efforts to archive, digitalize and restore Filipino films through the ABS-CBN Film Archives and ABS-CBN Film Restoration.

“Tinatanggap ng ABS-CBN ang gawad na ito at gagamiting inspirasyon para bumangon, gaano man kahirap,” said ABS-CBN’s senior writer Jerry Gracio, who received the award for the network in the virtual ceremony held August 29 on the UMPIL Facebook page.

“Naniniwala ang ABS-CBN na tulad ni Lam-Ang, sa epikong ipinalalagay o isinulat ni Bucaneg, muling mabubuhay ang istasyon matapos lamunin ng dambuhalang isda upang ipagpatuloy ang paglilingkod nito sa mga Pilipino, saan man sa mundo,” Gracio added, comparing the potential rise of ABS-CBN to the Ilokano epic hero.

This award came at the heels of the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal last July 10 and the earlier shutdown of its broadcast operations on May 5.

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Despite the challenges, ABS-CBN remains committed to its efforts in education, culture, and film. It has brought back its iconic educational programs and resumed the production of new content during this pandemic for airing on cable and satellite TV via Kapamilya Channel and online on iWant and Kapamilya Online Live.

ABS-CBN continues its commitment to assist in educating the Filipino youth via Knowledge Channel. Recently, Knowledge Channel introduced its “School At Home” programming, which airs educational shows that aim to support the government’s alternative distance learning efforts amid the health crisis.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN Film Restoration, which has digitally-restored 190 timeless Filipino films, will release more preserved classics available for the public to view soon. The network’s movie preservation unit also recently held a free webinar on film restoration last August 29, in partnership with student-organization PILAK.

Apart from the ABS-CBN, which received the award named after the great Ilokano epic poet, UMPIL also feted this year several remarkable Filipino writers with the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Francisco Balagtas (for literary arts) and the Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez (for literary education). The group usually hands the said awards during the National Literature Month festivities of April, but with the pandemic, the writers’ union instead held a virtual ceremony.

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