Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has commended renowned sociologist and journalist Randy David for being the first Filipino to win the grand prize in this year’s prestigious Fukuoka Prize which honors groups and individuals who preserve and create the cultures of Asia.
The lady Senator from Bicol said David is deserving of the award because his works promoting social justice and advance academic and cultural exchanges among Asian countries are “truly laudable” and has brought pride and honor to the Filipinos.
“My sincerest congratulations to Prof. Randy David for winning this year’s prestigious Fukuoka grand prize!” she said in a statement.
“Undoubtedly, your insightful discourses to bring hope and reforms in our society and government continue to inspire many of us to persevere more in our duty as public servants,” she added.
The Fukuoka Prize is given to individuals like David who have “made outstanding contributions to the preservation and creation of Asian culture, and have exhibited the significance of Asian culture to the world through the internationality, universality, popularity and/or creativity of their work.”
With his recent accolade, David joins the roster of Filipinos who received the Fukuoka Prize in the past, including public historian Ambeth Ocampo, filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik, historian Reynaldo Ileto, the late film director Marilou Diaz-Abaya, and the late architect Leandro Locsin.
He is however “the first laureate from the Philippines to receive the Grand Prize” since the Fukuoka Prize established by Fukuoka City, Japan, in 1990, said the Fukuoka Prize Committee. “Professor Randy David has played a dynamic part in achieving social justice in the Philippines by sharing his knowledge as a sociologist widely through university education, TV programs, and newspaper columns, and has made great efforts to promote academic and cultural exchange among Asian countries and to deepen their mutual understanding,” his citation read.
De Lima said she believes that his deceased wife, former housing chief and chairperson of the Civil Service Commission Karina Constantino-David, “is beaming with pride in heaven.”
“Again, congratulations, Prof. Randy! We are proud of you!” said De Lima, a close friend of Constantino-David.
Aside from the grand prize, the organizers also awarded this year’s Academic Prize to historian Leonard Blusse of the Netherlands, and the Arts and Culture Prize to playwright and stage director Sato Makoto of Japan. David, a professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines, writes a weekly column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He is the elder brother of Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, a critic of Mr. Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.