If you’re a history buff, you most likely know Ambeth Ocampo, the historian who has made studying Jose Rizal fun. It looks like it’s not just us who like his work, because the public historian, newspaper columnist, author, and cultural administrator was awarded the Academic Prize, an award given by the Fukuoka Prize in Japan.
The Academic Prize is given to individuals who “have made outstanding achievements in the field of Asian studies, contributing to the world’s understanding of Asia.” In the past, it was given to AR Rahman, an Indian composer famous for his Oscar award-winning work for the film Slumdog Millionaire.
The Fukuoka Prize is an award-giving body that recognizes individuals from East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia who have “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.”
Ocampo is an associate professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he teaches a course on Rizal and the Philippines’ pre-colonial period. In the past, he has chaired the National Historical Institute and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. He has also written several books.
In his citation, the Fukuoka Prize states:
As an outstanding historian and intellectual, Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo has made a great contribution to academic, cultural and social progress in the Philippines, through his university teaching, his writing for newspapers and magazines, and his service in historic and cultural administration.
His clear and accessible explanations of the wider global context in which the country developed during the period of the Spanish and American colonial regimes have helped promote a more open sense of nationalism, and facilitated the advancement of international exchanges both with Asia and with the West.
Ocampo and his fellow awardees will be awarded on September 16, 2016. He will receive Y3 million (roughly P1.26 million).
Have you attended any of his talks or classes? Share your experience below!