While not nearly as vociferous an objector to the recent National Artist selections, I nevertheless had to turn in to last night's "Media in Focus," which featured Butch Dalisay, Alexis Tioseco (film critic of Philippine Free Press), and, of course, Carlo J. Caparas. I felt certain I would capture a lot of memorable sound bites. I did, and the most memorable line, uttered very early in the show, now graces the title of this post. And as if that could not possibly be emphasized enough, this morning again, on "Punto for Punto", Caparas repeats:
"Wala akong balak isoli! Alam kong bagay sa akin!"
A real class act, that Carlo J. Caparas.
As I understand it from Butch Dalisay's explanation, Caparas' name came up first in the screening committee for Literature. The committee rejected Caparas and passed him on to the Visual Arts, which also rejected him on the first pass. Since he could not pass in either category, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made him...(wait for it)...
National Artist for Visual Arts in Comics AND Film!
Caparas claimed that he's as good an artist as any, even better than most. As proof, he brought his drawings (on loose sheets of brown paper, unfortunately never shown clearly on screen) to show to Ma'am Cheche Lazaro.
"Ito yung kaya kong gawin na hindi kaya ng ibang pintor!"
Despite his, ah, drawing abilities, Caparas apparently forwent illustration duties for economic reasons. "Kung ako ang magdo-drowing, tatlong araw ko bago matapos ang isang serye. Kung magsusulat ako, nakakagawa ako ng 22 scripts in one sitting!"
It didn't take long for Caparas to rationalize the objections.
To Butch Dalisay: "Nandyan kasi kayo sa akademiya!"
To F. Sionil Jose: "Habang lumalabas siya sa sinehan, pinapanood ang pelikula ko ng apat na milyong Pilipino!"
To the youthful Alexis Tioseco: "Bata ka pa lang...."
Caparas was not all venom, as he reserved ebullient praise for a select few.
Of Willie Revillame: "Nagpapasaya siya sa maraming tao! Ang dami niyang nabibigyan ng trabaho!"
Of GMA: "Napakahusay at napakasipag na presidente natin..."
And of his efforts in his art: "Pinag-ubusan namin ng dugo!"
In gratitude to GMA for elevating him to the rank of National Artist, I feel that the only sufficient thanks Carlo Caparas could give in return is to direct her life story. Really, it should not be long until "I...Am...Sorry: The GMA Life Story" screens in theaters all over the country (although a friend contends he is more eager to see "Tiyanak sa Palasyo.") Indeed, GMA should star as herself because, well, bagay sila.