Among his award-winning works as director of photography are: Karnal (Carnal), 1983, Urian and Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) awards; Pahiram ng Isang Umaga (Lend Me One Morning), 1989, with Eduardo Jacinto and Nonong Rasca, Urian and Star Awards; and Misis Mo, Misis Ko (Your Wife, My Wife), 1989, Star Awards. Abelardo went to the United States to train as scenic artist in early Hollywood films, such as Footlight Parade, 1933, and Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, 1936.
As film editor, he won the Urian award for Brutal, 1980, with co- editor Mark Tarnate. In local movies, he pioneered the art of cinematographic wizardry. His parents are Rafael Accion and Filomena Bautista.
Abelardo was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Film Academy of the Philippines in 1985 for his outstanding contributions to the movie industry. In 1939 he was recruited to work in Sampaguita Pictures by Pedro Vera, a provincemate who was one of the founders of the studio.
He received the Natatanging Gawad Urian from the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino in 1990 for his outstanding achievements in film. He started as a clapper boy in the films of director Carlos Vander Tolosa.
His other movies that received nominations in the best- cinematography category are: Tanikala and Working Girls, Urian; Brutal, Moral, and Desire, MMFF; The Graduates, Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa (You Were Merely Plucked From the Earth), and Nagbabagang Luha (Blazing Tears), Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Awards; and Hari sa Hari, Lahi sa Lahi (King to King, Race to Race), Star Awards. To him have been attributed such awesome and wondrous cinematic effects as human princes turning into figures of stone and vice versa in Ibong Adarna (Adarna Bird), 1941; the fantastic floating castle in Prinsesang Basahan (The Princess in Rags), 1949; the biblical Red Sea parting at the stroke of a cane in Tungkod ni Moises (Moses’ Cane), 1952; handsome Jaime de la Rosa transformed into a horrifying bat creature in Taong Paniki (Bat Man), 1952; Bayani Casimiro dancing upside down from ceiling-to-wall-to-floor in Big Shot, 1956; and the terrifying giant reptile monster sowing havoc in Tuko Sa Madre Kakaw (Gecko at Madre Cacao), 1959. Francisco aka Botong Francisco for the production design of some films that he directed, among them: Haring Kobra (King Cobra), 1951, where a mythical Balinese country near the Philippines was created; and Higit sa Korona (Above the Crown), 1956, where the illusion of ancient Egypt provided the backdrop for the longest swordfight in local movie history. He finished high school at the University of Manila.