Lutgardo L. Labad, Musical & Theater Director, Loboc Children’s Choir: XU-Ateneo de Cagayan Fr. Francisco R. Demetrio SJ Awardee

Apr 9, 2014

by Ma. Elena L. Paulma, Ph.D.


In recognition of his outstanding contributions to Philippine culture and arts, especially in the field of music, theater and film, but most of all for revitalizing communities through the arts, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan conferred the Fr Francisco Demetrio SJ Award on  Lutgardo L Labad during the Convocation for the University’s 75th Commencement Exercises 2014 held 27 March 2014 at the XU gymnasium.


“From the very start, I really felt music would be my calling and would be a big part of my life,” says Lutgardo Labad, who credits his parents for paving the way to a highly creative life in music, theater and film.


Loboc Children's Choir Musical & Theatre Director Lutgardo L. Labad is confered the Fr. Francisco Demetrio SJ award by XU Pres Fr Bobby Yap

A native of Baclayon, Bohol, and belonging to a musically inclined family, he is currently Head of the National Committee on Dramatic Arts of the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA).  He is also a member of various local and international cultural organizations such as the UNESCO International Theatre Institute and the Bohol Arts and Cultural Heritage Council.


“Gardy” has composed the theatre score for productions commissioned by the NCCA and produced by the Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA). He has composed and music-directed about 85 movies from 1974 till 2010 for various movie companies and film directors, among them award-winning Lino Brocka.


He has had numerous experiences as Theatre, Artistic, and Staging Director of various cultural productions spearheaded by local and international organizations and governments, among them the TUBOD European Concert of the Loboc Children’s Choir and the “Panata sa Kalayaan” PETA/ USA/Canadian/European Theatre Tour.


Xavier University, in fact, was fortunate to have him as Director of “Pulong sa Kahayag” and Workshop Director of Exploratory Workshops through the Integrated Arts Approach in 1973, under the auspices of the Xavier University Folkloric Studies led by Fr Francisco R. Demetrio SJ.  “Gardy” has given workshops and lectures to schools nationally and abroad under the PETA Training program. He led the PETA faculty in developing the PETA curricula for people’s theatre.


A dedicated advocate for the preservation of Philippine culture and the arts, he has been to various national and international conferences to present papers on such topics as the “Filipino Traditional Theatre” and “Asian and Bohol Creative Industries.”  Founder of the Bohol Cultural Collectives Network and co-founder of the LIHOK BISAYA Cultural Network in seven provinces, he is festival director, cultural organizer, exhibit curator, and author, among others.


Labad’s art has touched real people beyond the stage. From 1969-1994, he was engaged in various community works as PETA artist-teacher in different depressed areas in the country, developing cultural programs among OFWs in other countries as well. From 2004-2007, he was part of the UNESCO-UNDP-NCCA program on arts for poverty alleviation across the country.  From 2008 until today, he helped establish art programs that raised the quality of life in Bohol, touching on issues such as environmental protection, cultural revitalization, and economic equity.


For all these, he has deservedly garnered numerous awards such as the FAMAS, Metro Manila Filmfest, Golden Screen, Manunuri Urian and Film Academy of the Philippines Awards for Best Film Score for several films. Included in this long list are honors awarded by UNESCO, CCP, Aliw Awards, and Galing Pook.


Beyond his contributions to the field of music, theater and film, “Gardy” is a stalwart supporter of community organization through the arts, a true Filipino artist whose work has preserved, enriched and cultivated our Philippine cultural identity.




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