Here tonight I rise, in humility and gratitude, to accept this honor on behalf of all those around the world who have joined the search for a meaningful theater. At the core of this search is man, in his relationship with society and with his own self. Only when this dual relationship finds its harmony does man achieve his completeness.
Man, perhaps, laid the foundations of society out of a sense of necessity. But it is in the nature of man that he is compulsively driven to overcome the dictates of mere convenience. In the early days of civilization, as he needed to draw water, he invented the urn. The urn was filled, but not his heart. So he began now to decorate it with color, geometric patterns, and his imagination. What an incomprehensible and strange craving!
Thus, too, in the sensual urge, he had to establish the innate presence of love. Thus again, the necessity of having to live together had to find expressions in relations that are sacred between the son and the mother, the brother and the sister. Why so? We do not know yet, nor can we fully perceive the nature of the intimate man who is in us. Nor can we fathom the depth where he resides. Who knows how far back he stretches out into our membrane of consciousness?
That is, perhaps, why we are threatened by inevitable disequilibria, a loss of sense of balance, as society is increasingly rigidly organized and shaken by the explosion of technology. Man finds himself unable to satisfy his creative and humane faculties within the limits of the organized society which he structures around himself. As the mechanism of creature comforts piles up, he is restless. He is alienated. And he is seized by hopeless greed and violence.
It is now clear that personal religion which prompts in us the finer sensibilities, the craving for love, the touch of affection and the persuasion of compassion, all spring from the valley of our ancient pastoral world. These sensibilities are daily eroded as we crowd ourselves in the dehumanized metropolises of the world. And yet, there is no road by which to return. This is today’s drama. The afflictions of today’s man and his tragic efforts to find his bearings with his social self are at the very center of the contemporary theater movement.
Every age throws up its own peculiar fundamental questions, and it must come up with an answer relevant to the times. A relevant theater is one that plunges into the deepest recesses of these issues, where man is ever seeking to come to peace with himself.
In this search of man for man, we are all partners, wherever we are and whatever we do. On behalf of all I pay my homage to the undying ideals of the late Ramon Magsaysay, in whose name we are gathered here tonight.