Seven renowned media personalities and UP College of Mass Communication (CMC) alumni are set to be recognized as the recipients of the 2021 Glory Awards in a virtual recognition ceremony on Nov. 27.

Held annually by the UP CMC Alumni Association from 2017, the Glory Awards acknowledges the college’s profound alumni whose bodies of work transcend earnest excellence.

This year’s roster of awardees include Maria Luz Balmaceda (corporate communications), Atty. Maria Kristina Conti (social advocacy), Abner Mercado (broadcast journalism), Cathy Garcia-Molina (film), Felix “Nonon” Padilla (performing arts), Rowena Carranza-Paraan (social advocacy), and Dr. Marianne Dayrit-Sison (mass communication education).

The Glory Awards pay homage to the legacy of Dr. Gloria Feliciano, the pioneering dean of the 56-year-old mass communication program of UP from 1965 to 1985. 

The seven recipients will receive the Glory trophy, sculpted by Professor Emeritus Gigi Javier Alfonso. This award embodies the excellent work and impact they have given to their respective communities.

Distinguished members of the selection body include Ces Drilon (broadcast journalist), Emerita Monina Movido-Escalada (Visayan State University professor), Danilo Gozo (ex-deputy press secretary), Malou Mangahas (investigative journalist), Bibeth Orteza (actress and writer-director), and permanent jurors Arminda Santiago (UP CMC dean) and Jing Magsaysay (former news director representing the Feliciano family). 

The Glory Awardees

Maria Luz Balmaceda 

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Balmaceda is at the forefront of SGV & Co.’s corporate communications unit. The company stands as one of the leading auditing and professional services firms in the country today. She also served as the company foundation’s executive director and spearheaded entrepreneurship and education programs for the youth. 

Moreover, she was the country’s program manager at Ernst & Young’s global search for “Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Atty. Maria Kristina Conti 

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As a staunch advocate for human rights, Atty. Conti stood for imprisoned journalists, political detainees, urban poor evictees, student activists, and alleged quarantine violators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She is also a member of the legal team in aid of the bereaved families of the government’s war on drugs victims. Moreover, she played an integral role in prosecuting the convicted Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan who was held liable for the disappearance of two UP students in 2018.

Abner Mercado

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Mercado is an esteemed documentarist on politics, social issues, cultural anthropology, and environmental matters. Among his groundbreaking work was his 2006 expedition of Mount Everest, where he historically waved the Philippine flag from its summit. After 21 years of service at ABS-CBN, he was among the first set of displaced employees prompted by the network’s franchise denial. 

He previously received a bronze medal at the New York Film and TV Festival and the special jury prize at the Moscow International Festival of Mountaineering and Adventure Film.

Cathy Garcia-Molina

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Garcia-Molina emerged as a household name in Philippine cinema upon directing “Hello Love, Goodbye” (2019) and “The Hows of Us” (2018)—the two highest-grossing Filipino films in history. These, among her long list of classics with ABS-CBN’s Star Cinema, spurred an array of nominations and recognitions for her directorial prowess. 

She is a two-time Movie Director of the Year recipient from the Philippine Movie Press Club Star Awards, winning the award in 2019 for “Hello Love, Goodbye” and in 2007 for “One More Chance.” Also, she won the award for Most Popular Film Director at the Guillermo Mendoza Box Office Entertainment Awards six times.

Felix “Nonon” Padilla

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Padilla directed and staged over a century of plays in his career, as well as being a renowned music composer and set designer for theatre groups nationwide. He is the founder of Tanghalang Pilipino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and launched the Actors’ Company, which gave birth to some of the country’s multi-awarded primed artists like John Arcilla, Pen Medina, and Nonie Buencamino.

He served at the Philippine Educational Theater Association as one of the pioneers of the training curriculum for their prospective artists. Padilla’s works were globally staged in countries such as Canada, Japan, Singapore, and the United States. 

Rowena Carranza-Paraan

Carranza-Paraan was the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines’ decade-long president, chairperson, and secretary-general. She devoutly sought justice for the victimized media workers in the 2009 Ampatuan massacre. 

To date, she is the head of the News and Public Service department of ABS-CBN and is the producer of “Bayan Mo, I-patrol mo” and “Lingkod Kapamilya.” Among her leading advocacies are media literacy and voter’s education.

Dr. Marianne Dayrit-Sison

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Working in the field of public relations, Dr. Dayrit-Sison served as an academic leader, convenor and founding chair of the Asia Pacific Public Relations Research and Education Network (APPRREN). She is also the 2019 Public Relations Institute of Australia’s Educator of the Year. 

The International Association of Business Communications (Philippine chapter) awarded her with the Communication Excellence in Organizations (CEO EXCEL) in 2020. Furthermore, Dayrit-Sison worked at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology as the former deputy dean of media and communication and an honorary university fellow. DZUP

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