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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Culture and arts as gateway to fight poverty and to pump-prime the economy

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (14 February) -- The second National Schools Arts Festival was successfully held in the city last February 10-13. It showcased the rich cultural heritage of the country, through the participation of more than a thousand delegates from country's 17 regions.

The festival includes street parades, exhibit, art camps, plenary sessions and performance showcase from each of the regional contingents.

During the opening program after the street parade, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Executive Director Cecile Guidote Alvarez told the delegates that "everyone is born with a God given talent that must be developed, the human capital, the wealth and the resources of our country which is going to allow us to meet any crisis, and this is what the participants have shown - confidence and capacity rooted in the pride habitat, heritage history, language and sensibility."

According to Alvarez, culture and art is a creative industry, it creates money and can help the country's people and economy, given the fact that our artists all over the world is second to none, conquering numerous festivals (like singing in dancing). What we just need is the mindset and to develop a pessimistic attitude and this is what our present artists can give - confidence and capacity building.

In support to the President's initiative in fighting poverty, director Alvarez said, they are encouraging artists to give a part of their time, talent and energy, and to share it, use it in relevant training or program in order to develop hidden talents or possible talents from the youth.

In a press statement, Department of Education Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya explained that the main purpose of the festival is to make culture relevant to the students and every individual, during this month of arts. It also aims to support Baguio City on its centennial anniversary this year, he added.

ASEC Malaya also explained that activities like this pump-prime the economy. As an example, he cited that this festival can boost Baguio City's economy, through tourists arrivals.

This second National Schools Arts Festival is spearheaded by the Department of Education, in partnership with the NCCA, the city government of Baguio and the Department of Tourism Cordillera. (PIA) [top]

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