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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Artists, cultural educators, workers meet to push for cultural dev’t agenda in PH Dev’t Plan

By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – Cultural workers, educators and artists who are members of the subcommittees of the Sub-commission for Cultural Dissemination (SCD) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) have recently met to push for cultural development agenda in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

Marichu G. Tellano, NCCA’s chief for plan and policy formulation and programming division said that the gathering hopes to give new inspiration and new insights to the members of the different committees under the SCD, essentially to provide the national committee members and the sub-commissions a platform to discuss local cultural concerns and issues.

She added that the workshop intends also to identify local cultural genius and treasures vis-à-vis its role in local and national development.

All these, she said will be manifested when the sub-commission completes the crafting of a two-year development plan that defines priority programs of the sub-commissions in each island cluster like the National Capital Region (NCR), Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, which takes into consideration the NCCA outcomes.

Tellano further explained that the March 23-24 planning workshop at the Century Park Hotel in Manila was the first level planning involving the inter-committee within the sub-commission grouped according to regional representation.

The second level planning will be the island cluster consolidation of the plans of all the groups and or committees from the different sub-commissions to complete the plan and programs for the particular island cluster across the four sub-commissions of NCCA, namely: Sub-commission on the Arts, Sub-commission on Cultural Heritage, Subcommission on Cultural Dissemination, and Sub-commission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts.

In his message, NCCA Chairman Felipe M. de Leon Jr. said that the “lack of pride in being Filipino results in lack of commitment to the nation and, consequently, a low level of achievement or even mediocrity, the ‘pwede na ‘yan’ mentality,” which was the result of years and years under colonial rule.

“Rather than become innovators, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, producers and manufacturers, Filipinos, including graduates of elite schools, are just too happy to find employment, especially overseas,” he said.

He added the colonial experience has developed the negative programming of the Filipino psyche that resulted to the “cult of smallness” (anything small like the ‘bahay kubo’ and the maya bird became a national pride), “the celebration of defeat” (examples are the Fall of Bataan and recently the Fallen 44), and “the Doña Victorina syndrome” (the mestiza complexion and or doubt in the Filipino capacity for achievement).

“The underdevelopment of Philippine society is fundamentally rooted in this chronic loss of Filipino self-esteem due to centuries of colonization and miseducation,” de Leon stressed.

De Leon further observed that up to the present time, the country’s educational system remains colonial rather than culturally appropriate, causing a great loss of cultural energy.

“Our country has been spending valuable public money for the education of Filipino professionals in the arts and sciences and many other fields.  But since the cultural sources of their education are Western, it is inevitable that the expertise they acquire will be more applicable or appropriate to a Western industrialized society than to the rural, agricultural setting of most Philippine provinces. So a great number of our graduates will end up migrating to rich Western or Westernized countries,” he said.

For Chairman de Leon, promoting the arts primes a people for development, saying that promoting and developing the arts or cultural identity of a people inevitably inspires, brings about, and leads to all other kinds of development.

Also during the worshop, Edgardo Aranjuez II of NEDA presented the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.