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PIA Press Release

RP named ASEAN cultural capital for 2010-2011

by RG Alama

Benefits in arts seen

Davao City (28 January) -- With the Philippines being named as the cultural capital of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region for 2010 and 2011, this will usher in new opportunities for the country's culturescape.

Speaking at a media gathering held last January 27 in Davao City, National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Executive Director Cecile Guidote Alvarez, said that arts and culture particularly among the regions will be showcased not just in the country but also the ASEAN as well.

Alvarez said that during the ministers of culture meeting in the country, they will be showing the different arts and culture from each region which in turn will be a magnet for the media.

She said that the 24 months that the country is holding the title as the cultural capital of the ASEAN will give ample time for each region to feature their culture and also the artists to ASEAN.

The focus on culture will also mean more funds for the arts and culture as an administrative order issued by the President to the Department of Budget and Management to allocate the budget for culture according to the division of work each agency is being called.

She said that some government offices and entities like the Clark Development Corporation are also pouring in funds particularly in building venues. CDC in particular has spent P1.5 million for venues alone which performing arts needed.

Alvarez said that despite the political transition this coming 2010 elections, efforts to celebrate Philippine culturescape during its tenure as cultural capital will still continue.

"There are certain things in spite of political change that won't be thrown out." Alvarez said referring to the country's arts and culture programs during its incumbency as the ASEAN cultural capital.

Being named as such brings tremendous benefit to the country. And only an insane leader she says would reject such distinction.

Currently the NCCA is readying for the 19th National Arts Month this February which is part of the 2nd Philippine International Arts Festival which carries the theme "Ani ng Sining." (PIA XI) [top]

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