Legarda Bats for More Exhibitions to Showcase Philippine Art

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.