Gloc-9, '70s Bistro, Ebe Dancel, and Rak of Aegis Among Recipients of Inaugural NCCA Awards for Music


There is no shortage of award-giving bodies handing out trophies to artists in the music industry, but only one comes from the country’s highest policy-making body for arts and culture. The inaugural SUDI Awards conferred by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts honors outstanding musical achievements of artists, musical pieces, journals, cultural workers, or institutions that have defined the past two decades. The name comes from the Ilocano word for “illustrious,” “renowned,” “celebrated,” or “famous.”

Some of the country’s most distinguished names in music and the arts comprised the technical working group (TWG) and the jury that chose the recipients of this singular honor.

“We had a TWG, aided by the committee on music by the NCCA, and then we threw in a lot of nominees,” said Noel Ferrer during the virtual launch of the awards. “Dossiers were done for all of the nominees, which included personalities, educators, groups and institutions not just in Metro Manila but throughout the country. These dossiers were then passed on to the jury.” 


“Grabe yung selection process,” he added. “We’re talking about their achievements for the decade and their impact na hanggang ngayon nararanasan natin (that we still feel even today). Did they make a significant contribution? And nanganak ba yun? (Did it bear fruit?)”

2021 SUDI Winners

Recipients of the first SUDI Awards for the years 2000 to 2009 are Prof. Benicio Sokkong; Prof. Carmencita Guanzon Arambulo; radio station 98.7 DZFE-FM “The Master’s Touch”; Dr. Grace Nono; Mr. José Iñigo Homer Lacambra (Joey) Ayala; Loboc Children’s Choir; Prof. Josefino Toledo; Dr. Raul Sunico; and the UP Singing Ambassadors.

For the years 2010 to 2020, the winners are Acapellago; Ateneo Chamber Singers; Mr. Vincent Ferdinand Dancel a.k.a Ebe Dancel; Mr. Gerard Salonga; Mr. Aristotle Pollisco a.k.a Gloc-9; Mr. Jonathan Manalo; Mr. Noel Cabangon; the musical Rak of Aegis; the Philippine Madrigal Singers; and The 70’s Bistro Bar.

Meanwhile, special citations will also be given to the following: Akapela Open; Elements Music Camp; Philpop MusicFest Foundation; Pinoy Playlist Music Festival; Bayanihan Musikahan; Mr. Bob Aves; Prof. Danongan Sibay Kalanduyan; and Route 196.

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Photo by NCCA.

The NCCA SUDI Awards board of jury is composed of Bobby Barreiro, Andre Allan Alvarez, Maria Rachelle Gerodias, Francis Reyes, Lutgardo Labad, Christian Bautista, Dr. Felipe De Leon, Jr. Dr. Elena Mirano, Melchor Villena, Dr. Jose Buenconsejo, and chaired by National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab.

The technical working group, meanwhile, is chaired by Mr. Noel Ferrer, under the recommendation of former NCCA chairman and National Artist for Literature Dr. Virgilio Almario. Members include National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab, NCCA National Committee on Music head Dr. Felipe de Leon, Jr., Organisasyon Ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit and Philpop executive director Dinah Remolacio, Elements Music Camp founder Twinky Lagdameo, Homonym founder and managing director Mike Constantino, and Filipino world music artist Bayang Barrios.


A few awardees who were present at the virtual launch reacted to being chosen for the honor. The overall feeling was one of surprise and gratitude.

“We were in the middle of our planning,” said Mark Anthony Carpio, who was representing the Philippine Madrigal singers. “All we wanted was to provide our followers with a musical experience, and suddenly may ganito from the NCCA. We feel grateful and honored. And happy that we are being recognized." 

“When I got the email for the Sudi Awards I was like, at last,” said Jojo Velasco of the Ateneo Chamber Singers. “Yun ang naramdaman ko (That’s how I felt). Choral groups, (we) don’t perform for awards, apart from when they compete. But locally, kanta lang kami nang kanta (we just sing). We spread the goodwill of choral singing. Every time we receive an award, it is so special for us.”

“We weren’t sure if it was for us,” said Tiffany Gabuya, station manager of DZFE. “We weren’t sure that what we’re doing is recognized as a contribution, so we’re very thankful that that’s how (the NCCA sees) it. It’s really different when you receive an award that you don’t nominate yourself for.” 


Di ako sanay tumingin ng formal emails,” said Gloc-9. “Pero natuwa ako when I got the email. Dahil nung nalaman ko na galing sa NCCA yung award, na-realize ko na di ko kelangan sumakay sa alon ng iba, kaya ko gumawa ng sariling alon.”

According to Maestro Cayabyab, choosing the initial batch of winners for the SUDI Awards wasn’t difficult or tedious because there were just so many eligible recipients and it just became a matter of whittling the number down.

Di pwede one per year, it had to be one decade, dahil nakikita kung sino ang malaki talaga ang kontribusyon sa larangan ng musika,” Cayabyab said. “Yung hindi mo maiikakaila. It was tedious in a way kasi andaming pangalan na outstanding. Siguro mas mahirap sa susunod na taon.”

According to the NCCA, there will be a special two-episode podcast to get to know the awardees before the actual awarding ceremony. The first episode will be published on August 14 with the Decade 2000-2009 winners while the final one, which will feature Decade 2010-2020 winners, will be published on August 18. It will be available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.


The awarding ceremony for the 1st NCCA SUDI Awards will be livestreamed via NCCA’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel (@NCCAOfficial) in two parts on August 21 and August 28 at 7 p.m.

The NCCA plans to bestow the next batch of awardees in 2023.   

To learn more about the NCCA SUDI National Music Awards and the list of awardees, visit this site.


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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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