Monday, February 10, 2014
MANILA-In celebration of the National Arts Month, Senator Loren Legarda today said that the country should regularly showcase Philippine Art through exhibitions that will enrich the cultural awareness and attachment of Filipinos.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, said that showcasing Philippine art and culture through national and international exhibitions fosters the critical development of Philippine art and the professional growth of the Filipino artists within and outside the country, and strengthens the role of the Philippines in the local and global community as a nation of and destination for contemporary art in the 21st century.
“From indigenous to contemporary, the Philippines is rich in arts and artistic Filipinos. We have already spearheaded several initiatives and programs that aim to promote and protect the cultural diversity and sovereignty of our people through the powerful technology of exhibitions,” she said in her privilege speech.
The Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles, the country’s first permanent textile gallery, and the Baybayin: Ancient and Traditional Scripts of the Philippines, which are both housed at the National Museum, are among Legarda’s initiatives.
“Supporting these exhibitions are several bills that I filed in the Senate to create the Department of Culture, to preserve the country’s folk arts through the National Museum’s regional branches, to safeguard the cultural property rights of the indigenous communities, to guarantee equal employment opportunities to the members of the Indigenous Cultural Committee, to include ethnic origin in the national survey, and to prohibit discrimination based on ethnicity, race, religion or belief, language, disability or other status,” she said.
Legarda also said that she is equally determined to promote Philippine contemporary art and culture at home and abroad.
“I believe that our indigenous communities who continue the tradition of our ancestors inspire and inform the current practices of the Filipino artists whose works also constitute our cultural legacy. Through exhibitions of the everyday and the epic, we have the opportunity to commemorate our ancestors and learn the lessons of the past and celebrate our contemporaries and pave the way for their bright future,” she stressed.
“In the spirit of the National Arts Month this February 2014 and my utmost belief that arts and culture are indispensable tools of national integration and international diplomacy, I invite you to join me in this bold and far-reaching endeavor to establish the necessary local and global links to better serve our nation and shepherd our people with pride, dignity, and honor,” Legarda concluded.
CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac-Apart from rigorous campaigns upholding peace and order, Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has continuously reinforced its three-year Internal Peace and Security (IPSP)-Bayanihan program by establishing school projects in several communities within its area of responsibility.
“We have persisted in executing IPSP-Bayanihan programs and school projects by partnering with ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya Foundation, Shimizu Nagasaki Foundation of Japan and other civic organizations in the country,” NOLCOM Commander Lieutenant General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said.
This resulted in the construction of 35 school buildings in regions 1,2,3 and Cordillera.
Recipient provinces include Abra (5 school buildings with 9 classrooms), Bataan (2 school buildings with 4 classrooms), Nueva Ecija (1 school building with 3 classrooms), Bulacan (1 school building with 2 classrooms), Tarlac (8 school buildings with 18 classrooms), Mt. Province (6 school buildings with 12 classrooms), Kalinga (1 school building with 2 classrooms), Isabela (1 school building with 2 classrooms), Ifugao (4 school buildings with 8 classrooms), Pangasinan (3 school buildings with 6 classrooms), Benguet (1 school building with 2 classrooms), Aurora (1 school building with 2 classrooms), and Nueva Vizcaya (1 school building with 2 classrooms).
“Moreover, 11 projects which were financed by ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya Foundation are being built. These are located in Kalinga, Apayao, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, and Nueva Ecija,” Catapang disclosed.
Meanwhile, NOLCOM has tapped various engineering units of the AFP in the construction of water systems, toilet facilities, playgrounds, and libraries within the vicinity of the schools.
The military official pronounced IPSP-Bayanihan as a comprehensive campaign package, which highlights a significant interplay of peace and development in sustaining progress and growth within the northern part of the country.
“NOLCOM is instrumental in winning peace in Northern Luzon. Through our IPSP-Bayanihan programs inspired by a genuine Filipino tradition of explicating cooperation and camaraderie, numerous projects and programs were pursued to create an environment conducive for sustainable development and a just and lasting peace,” Catapang emphasized.
MANILA-Various bills that would provide support to financially-challenged students nationwide, and institutionalize open and distance education in high school and college are among the leading measures the Congress is committed to tackle and pass throughout the 16thCongress, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said today.
“The improvement of our education system remains as one of our most pertinent legislative agenda and these proposed measures are designed to widen the reach of delivery of educational services across major deterrents such as poverty and logistical difficulties,” Drilon said.
According to the Senate chief, the priority bills to be vigorously pursued by legislators are the institutionalization of distance learning system in secondary and tertiary levels, the establishment of an open high school system for out-of-school youth and the formation of a national student loan program available for underprivileged students nationwide.
Drilon noted the presence of several measures which seek to “institutionalize the availability of open and distance learning system for secondary and tertiary levels of public education.”
Under open learning systems, students will acquire their education via the use of different forms of media and learning technologies following approved curriculum, while distance learning programs permit the accomplishment of education through approved self-instructional materials and independent study methods.
“The presence of several bills filed in Congress confirm the potential of alternative learning programs in addressing socio-economic, geographical and physical barriers which so much plague our conventional classes,” Drilon said, as he confirmed that a consolidated, encompassing version of an alternative learning systems bill is “in the works.”
“We need to make our education in our country more available and closer to the youth by all possible means, if we want to increase enrollment levels in high school and college,” he added.
Drilon also pointed out that the Congress will deal with the implementation of student loan program across the entire country “to provide financial support for underprivileged students in paying for their tuition and subsistence allowance.”
He said there are a number of students who are close to finishing college, but would eventually drop out due to financial limitations, and “it is therefore for the government to establish a national financial support system –backed with sufficient funding– that students can avail of in times of need.”
The Senate president then made clear of the senators’ attention to such bills: “At this point in our legislative schedule, we are best-suited to aid and improve the educational system with finding out how to maximize the government’s resources and assets in allowing critically-needed education to reach the most number of citizens.”
The Senate chief said he sees a more harmonious and cooperative relationship between the House of Representatives and the Senate in ensuring the prompt passage of measures critical to the fight against corruption and maintaining a robust economy.
“We are confident that the two chambers will be able to pass these relevant bills throughout the rest of the 16th Congress, and we would implement a coordinated and synchronized legislative strategy to maximize our legislative performance,” said Drilon, who had previously met with House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to firm up their legislative agenda.
CABIAO, Nueva Ecija – The husband of late former mayor Abundia Garcia snubbed last Friday the awarding rites in honor of his wife arranged by the latter’s political rival, Mayor Gloria Crespo-Congco.
Incumbent municipal councilor Joe Garcia was a no-show in the “Gabi ng Parangal” awards night at the Sen. Freddie Webb gymnasium here, creating a stir among the organizers of the fourth “Paistima Ka sa Kabyawan Festival” led by the municipal government.
Ex-mayor Garcia, more popularly known here as “Biding,” was selected as one of two posthumous awardees by the executive committee whose overall chairman was Congco’s ally, Vice Mayor Ernesto Talens Jr. The other posthumous awardee was the late former councilor Alberto Miranda who died of a cardiac arrest last December 25.
The awarding rites were one of the highlights of the week-long festival, which kicked off last February 3, to celebrate the town’s 166th founding anniversary.
Municipal accountant Noel Gamboa, chairman of the festival’s executive committee, said the other highlights were the search for the Binibining Cabiao 2014, street dancing competitions, ground demonstrations, parade of floats, munting tinig ng Kabyawenyo, drum and lyre competitions, booth competitions, harana and serenata among others.
Talens said Councilor Garcia did not send any representative to receive the award in behalf of his wife.
“It is sad but we still expect to hand the award to Councilor Garcia during our session on Monday. It’s up to him to receive the award in behalf of his wife or not,” Talens said.
Abundia, a close ally of Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali, was first elected mayor in 2007, beating a former three-term mayor. It was her first and only election victory after failing in four previous tries at the mayorship.
She sought reelection in 2010 but lost to Crespo-Congco who returned after three terms. Abundia filed an election protest but died on January 27, 2011 while waiting for the outcome of her protest.
During her wake, a controversy erupted after the funeral hearse bearing her remains allegedly was denied entry inside the municipal compound where it was to be displayed for public viewing, earning the ire of Abundia’s relatives, allies and supporters.
One of Abundia’s children complained that when the funeral procession passed at the town hall, none of the councilors welcomed it. Worse, the gate of the compound was padlocked.
Abundia, her relatives claimed, were also denied a fitting “luksang parangal (tribute)” befitting a former public official.
One of them said the award was only a conseulo de bobo and was no longer necessary. “We were waiting for her to be given the appropriate award just when she died then but she was deprived. Why only now? They can have the award,” one of Abundia’s relatives angrily remarked.
Crespo-Congco said Abundia was given the award which was but only fitting for someone who has contributed to the development of the town. “Politics was long behind us. Mayor Biding was a former mayor who I am sure contributed to the growth of Cabiao so we feel she deserved the award,” she said.
Talens said that politics had nothing to do with the award and the awarding ceremonies themselves were apolitical. He denied the claims of Garcia’s relatives that the funeral procession was not allowed to enter the municipal compound.
“That was farthest from the truth. In fact, I, and our municipal councilors waited for Mayor Garcia’s body to be brought to the town hall. We were waiting for her there but they did not come,” he said.
He recalled that Crespo-Congco even ordered the town councilors to all dress up in white and line up themselves up at the compound but the funeral hearse never came.Councilor Dante Umali agreed, saying he was one of those who waited for the ex-mayor’s remains but ended up waiting for nothing. – Manny Galvez
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