Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, an alumnus of the University of San Carlos (USC), commended Cebu City for its latest recognition as a UNESCO Creative City.
“This will further advance creative excellence in the country and help cultivate national pride, advance innovation, and boost our growing creative economy,” Pernia said in a forum at USC Talamban on November 20, 2019.
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He pointed out that Cebu is known not only for being one of the most prosperous economic hubs in the country, but also for its culture.
He cited the Sinulog, a religious and cultural celebration every January that attracted more than 200,000 tourists in 2018.
He also cited Cebu’s guitars. In culinary arts, Cebu is well known for lechon (roasted pig) and mangoes.
Cebu is also known as a rich wellspring of local music and even Filipino music, in general, he said.
“For example, Ang Pasko ay Sumapit is a popular Tagalog Christmas song but it (was) derived from Kasadya Ning Taknaa, which originated in Cebu,” he said.
Pernia said he, as chairman of the USC Board of Trustees in 2011-2014, along with Board Member Magdaleno Albarracin, pushed for research into the origins of Cebuano music in general in terms of its inspiration and authorship of individual tunes and their respective lyrics.
“I’m so glad the effort of the USC Cebuano Studies Center, led by Dr. Hope Sabanpan-Yu, has finally reached fruition,” he said. Pernia finished AB Economics at USC in 1967.
Pernia said the innate creativity in Filipinos cannot be denied. It is enjoyed through culinary arts; manifested in various forms such as architecture and allied arts; expressed through dance, literature, dramatic arts; and popularized through film, visual arts, besides music.
The government recognizes this by promoting the creative industry. Under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, two key strategies to promote Philippine culture and values are listed, namely (a) valuing our diverse cultures, and (b) advancing pagkamalikhain or creative excellence.
“The Philippine government believes that that investing in the promotion of creativity and the arts cannot only benefit our economy, but also foster social cohesion and spur innovation,” he said.
To achieve this, he said there is a need to create strong linkages between the academe and the creative industry to generate opportunities for arts graduates and workers.
There is also a need to establish regional arts academies and create specialized programs on cultural education and arts at the secondary and tertiary levels, he added.
He noted that the National Commission on Culture and Arts is supporting the development of cultural hubs in Intramuros in Manila as well as in Bohol.
“In the next three years, we also look forward to the establishment of Local Culture and Arts Councils in LGUs and the stronger implementation of the Philippine Cultural Statistics Framework, where music is part of the Performance and Celebration domain,” he said.
Under the Department and Budget Management’s Local Budget Memorandum no. 78, s. 2019, LGUs are mandated to allot a budget for culture. (Ventures Cebu)