Mandiriwang Ganap

Throughout the ages, stories of Creation have been told and passed on thru oral traditions. We then turn them into a book, an artwork, a beadwork or a song. Whatever it is, we refuse to let a golden past die.

By Marleena Litton

CULTURE AND the Arts have long been part of human existence and society. It has, in significant ways, shaped our history. Civilizations have come and gone, but the evidence of their existence remains—and this was made possible by the hard work of artisans, painters, performing artists, architects and designers who have worked alongside with the equally dedicated historians and culture bearers.

This fact is nothing short of what our society cannot do without today: culture-based governance, when given rightful support, contributes in resolving conflicts and in uplifting the spirit of a nation that has long been divided.

Art or cultural work is inspirational, and perhaps not seen as a practical means in securing a nation’s stability or progress. However, the arts, when valued and allowed in its independent paradigm, solicits illumination—the kind of glow that our very own souls bear and is attuned to. After all, we are all made in the image of the Divine.

Pinagmulan was created and put together with this story; upon the belief that our origins and source ring louder than the noise of our confusion. Similarly, Gat Jose Rizal taught us: Wisdom eludes those who fail to look to the past and see the value of one’s origins.

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But how far must we look behind? And how far can we really look into the future?

It is here that designers come together given their advantage: they are skilled, talented and are born visionaries. We are co-creators in our own right. We invent and innovate. We pioneer things and look to the future as our canvas. We do this because we know that what we do today, is for the many generations to appreciate and make use of. Such makes our spirit strong, fertile, and truthful. And nothing out of pure and sincere intentions can be delivered as false.

Our roots inspire us because we are hungry to learn; to see the dichotomies as well as the interconnectedness in life. Nature, for example, serves as our inspiration, which our ancestors have also revered. Throughout the ages, stories of Creation have been told and passed on thru oral traditions. We then turn them into a book, an artwork, a beadwork or a song.

Whatever it is, we refuse to let a golden past die.

It is such what culture-based governance brings: citizens who are aligned to the values our ancestors have long said are in harmony with who we are. Thereby, we gain a society that is truly at home—a people that are no longer strangers to each other. Here, we gain peace and prosperity in bridging the gaps of indifference.

Joey Ayala taught us that our music is the kind that carries the audience along with it: It is a slur that turns into a cradle where we sit and sing along because we belong to it. By all means, let us own our culture and support the arts. Let it be the medium where our nation expresses transcendence and aspiration. Let it be a tool for progress and partner in building a compassionate society.

Tonight, we are grateful as artists because we are able to communicate. We are glad that you have come to join us as we celebrate a night of remembrance and affirmation of our interdependence!
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NCCA logoMandiriwang Ganap is the Welcome Note delivered for the Pinagmulan exhibit
opening gala
held at the Art Cafe Circle Cafe Makati on August 7, 2016.
Songs by Joey Ayala: Ultimo Adios are excerpts/adaptations of Dr. Jose Rizal’s poem
set to music. Arranged by Ronnie Quesada. From the album 16LoveSongs.
Ani ng Sining is the official theme of Ani ng Sining, the NCCA‘s
annual Philippine International Arts Festival.