Six UPCMC alumni named 2020 Glory awardees

| Written by Oscar Gomez

Two journalists, an arts community advocate, a development communicator, an education innovator, and a producer-writer of hit television shows are this year’s six outstanding alumni of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UPCMC) who will receive the coveted Glory award.

The “Glory” honors UPCMC alumni who did not only produce excellent work consistently but also made an impact in mass communication and society.

Selected by a jury of their peers, the 2020 Glory awardees are Karen Davila (broadcast journalism), Dr. Rey de la Cruz (special education), Deo Endrinal (television arts), Dr. Monina Movido-Escalada (development communication), Lutgardo Labad (arts & culture advocacy), and Criselda Yabes (literary journalism).

UPCMC Alumni Association president Malou Choa Fagar announced that due to the continuing public health crisis, the Glory awards presentation on November 14 will take place in a virtual environment.

The Glory Awards were inspired by the legacy of honor and excellence of Dr. Gloria Feliciano, the founding dean of UP mass communication programs, who served from 1965 to 1985. UPCMC produced some of the best practitioners in broadcasting, film, journalism, and communication research in the past 55 years. Many alumni also shone in allied fields like marketing communication, social advocacy, public relations, and the performing arts.

The seven distinguished jurors of the 2020 Glory Awards were UPCMC dean and film professor Dr. Arminda Santiago; UPCMC communication research department chairperson Dr. Julienne Thesa Baldo-Cubelo; PR expert and former UP vice president for public affairs Tessa Jazmines; broadcast news veteran Jose “Jing” Magsaysay, who also represents the family of Dean Feliciano; writer-director and 2019 Glory awardee Floy Quintos; noted film and TV director, writer and educator Jose Javier Reyes; and 2018 Glory awardee Luz Rimban, executive director of the Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University.



Broadcast journalist Karen Davila is a veteran news anchor and correspondent of ABS-CBN. Her long-running daily Q&A show Headstart on ANC puts newsmakers on the proverbial hot seat to illuminate current and controversial issues. Davila began her career as a writer-presenter of documentaries for The Probe Team and was part of the ABS-CBN investigative journalism series The Correspondents. She also moderated presidential debates and the televised sessions of the World Economic Forum-East Asia Summit. She bagged international prizes for her in-depth reporting about children and street drugs, children in jail, and the Marcopper Mining environmental disaster. Davila also won the TOYM (The Outstanding Young Men) and TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) awards and was the Rotary Club of Manila’s Journalist of the Year in 2004. Recently her popular program about successful micro and small entrepreneurs, My Puhunan, was cancelled as a result of the non-renewal of ABS-CBN’s congressional franchise. Nonetheless she is continuing to present inspirational stories of hope and resilience (particularly during the pandemic) on her own social media pages.


Author and special education expert Rey de la Cruz is also a Palanca award-winning playwright, pioneering alternative filmmaker, gender-equality advocate, and developer of innovative teaching strategies. Peer-reviewed journals and conferences recognized his research showing the effects of creative drama on social and oral-language skills of children with learning disabilities. Drawing from his versatile range of disciplines, De la Cruz originated and disseminated the classroom use of the ancient Philippine board game sungka in teaching social and math skills engagingly, for which he received a diversity award from the Illinois Council for Exceptional Children-Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners. He was an adjunct professor in Chicago State University where he taught special-education courses to undergraduate and graduate students. In recognition of his exemplary achievement in the education field, the Illinois State University College of Education inducted him into its Alumni Hall of Fame.


As head of ABS-CBN’s content production unit Dreamscape Entertainment, Deo Endrinal is one of television’s top ”showrunners” who has overall creative authority and management responsibility for TV shows. He started as a writer and producer for GMA Network (Martin After Dark and Lunch Date), TV5 (Pops) and ABS-CBN, his home network for the past three decades. Some of the most successful ABS-CBN programs from the 1990s up to the present bear his imprint—from Showbiz Lingo, The Buzz, Today with Kris, Game Ka Na Ba?, Mula Sa Puso, ASAP and recent hits May Bukas Pa, Tayong Dalawa, Walang Hanggan, On The Wings of Love, Kadenang Ginto, The General’s Daughter, and Ang Probinsyano. Since 2018 Endrinal has been producing movies for the digital platform iWant such as Glorious, Bagman, Call Me Tita, and the recent Love Lockdown, which experimented on new ways of filming in a pandemic. He orchestrated the movie’s efficient production under strict physical distancing protocols. The denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise pushed the network to find a new home on Youtube and Facebook, where Endrinal helped Kapamilya Online Live garner millions of subscribers in record time and where he continues to introduce new content.


Monina Movido-Escalada is an internationally acclaimed development communicator and a professor emeritus at the Visayas State University in Baybay, Leyte. She rose from a research assistant to assistant professor of broadcast communication in UP Diliman in the 1970s. In the past three decades, her research pursued a deeper and better understanding of farmers’ management and decision-making practices. The findings enabled her to develop learning strategies that include entertainment-education approaches using radio soap operas, for example. Her research design, monitoring, evaluation and scaling up initiatives resulted in favorable behavior change in the way farmers manage their resources. Escalada has been honored by the World Bank, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the UN Environmental Program, and the governments of Vietnam and Japan for her agricultural innovations. She also won the St. Andrews Prize for Environment, the United Kingdom’s only international prize for environmental achievement.


Lutgardo Labad has stood at the vanguard of Philippine arts and culture advocacy for almost half a century. He is a multi-awarded theater artist, teacher, cultural worker, and arts & heritage promoter. Labad was instrumental in developing the creative arts and theatre curriculum of the Philippine Educational Theater Association. As PETA’s pedagogy and artistic director for 25 years, he conducted workshops for disadvantaged provincial communities, the urban poor, and the indigenous peoples of Mindanao.“Gardy” is probably best known as a musical scorer. He has worked on 85 films, winning nine awards for scoring the cinema classics of National Artists Lino Brocka, Eddie Romero and UPCMC distinguished alumnus Maryo de los Reyes such as Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (1974), Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (1976) Pakawalan Mo Ako (1982), Bilangin Ang Mga Bituin sa Langit (1990), Magnifico (2004), and Naglalayag (2004). After resettling in his home province of Bohol in 1994, Gardy organized community theater groups across the Visayas to make them integral to sustainable development thrusts, especially in ecological and cultural tourism. He received the Galing Pook award for best local government unit cultural program and was honored by Philstage with a lifetime achievement award in theater in2019. He used to chair the dramatic arts committee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. He is also the international staging director and impresario of the world-famous Loboc Children’s Choir.


Criselda Yabes is a veteran freelance journalist and award-winning author of 10 books. Her long-form journalism written in engaging literary style has been the trademark of her craft, just like how she immerses herself for lengthy periods in her subjects and locales. Yabes released her newest book last August 31 (National Heroes Day) entitled The Battle of Marawi, her gripping account of the five-month urban warfare between Philippine government forces and radical Islamist rebels in 2017. She began her journalism career reporting on the restored democracy, restive military, and raging insurgencies of the 1980s. That period inspired her first book, The Boys from the Barracks: The Philippine Military after EDSA, in which she traced the history of dissent within the military through intimate portraits of the soldiers who took part in several uprisings. Yabes remarkably won the top writing laurels in two different categories of the UP Centennial Literary Prize in 2008—one for her creative non-fiction book, Sarena’s Story: The Loss of a Kingdom, about the fall of the Sulu Sultanate, and another for a book under fiction, Below the Crying Mountain, a weave of love stories set against the backdrop of the Moro rebellion that broke out in the 1970s. “Below the Crying Mountain” was the only Filipino-written novel nominated for the prestigious Man Asian Literary Prize in 2010. It was re-published by Penguin Books Southeast Asia in 2019.