THE Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), like all government institutions, has a new leader straight from the private sector, and to say that the DAP has been perked up a lot is an understatement.
This was apparent in the 44th anniversary celebration at their conference center (DAPCC) in Tagaytay City last June 23.
From the passive observer, the most striking change is in the fact that the sprawling lawn of DAPCC for the first time in years has been cleared, the grasses cut to manicured lengths.
What could send any art enthusiast to despair is how works of national artists were made to just fester in the most undeserved places in the center for decades. Imagine, a 1973 48” x 48” still life with fish on a table oil painting on canvas by Ang Kiu Kok adorning the kitchen like a poster of vegetable and fruits bought from the sidewalk. Blasphemy, yes.
But now, these paintings, which include two giant canvases -- the 35” x 145” oil on canvas “Banawe Mist” by Jose Joya painted in 1960 and the 133” x 53” oil on canvas by 1990 National Artist for Visual Arts Cesar Legaspi entitled Kapistahan, which he painted in 1973 – join other works by other national and contemporary artists in an art gallery, a temporary one, new DAP president lawyer Elba Cruz said, while she awaits the construction of a multi-story building in the campus.
“Pag nabuo na yung bagong building, one floor will be designated as the art gallery because DAP has many art collections,” she said, art works of great value that were not given the reverence they deserve.
Gawking at Kapistahan, we could just imagine how much it must cost by now.
Right across it is a 28” x 36” x 52” free-standing sculpture on wood by Arturo Luz.
Other famed artists that cram the temporary gallery are:
Hernando Ocampo, Angelito Antonio, Manuel Baldemor, and Romulo Olazo. These are joined by contemporary artists led by Mindanao’s Rey Mudjahid Millan, Aris Bagtas, and Rene Robles. An ongoing exhibit features winners and finalists of the Life of Dr. Jose Rizal in Europe International Painting Contest.
The gallery along with other works in the lobby and Millan’s two sculpture installations at the front yard were inaugurated last June 23.
The sculptures, The Good Seed, featuring an abstraction of a seed that has germinated and the head of a human that can be seen by the entranceway of the DAPCC, and One Flight, featuring abstractions of birds in flight placed right at the DAP façade, take off from DAP’s vision under lawyer Cruz to “fulfill the Academy’s mandate, and in realize its fullest potential as the government’s premier agency in pioneering ideas, capacitating individuals and organizations, and promoting partnerships for the good of society and the general welfare.”
DAP was established in June 1973 to assist in the country’s development efforts in two ways: as change catalyst and as capacity-builder. But like many initiatives of long-lasting effects made by erstwhile president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., DAP was among those that was just allowed to operate without much fervor.
Like many government institutions, it was there, doing its routine work of training and education, technical assistance, consultancy, research, advocacy, and publications, without much spark.
Cruz intends to liven things up and reclaim DAP’s premier role of being the government’s think-tank.
To deliver the message of excellence on productivity, DAP had the secretary general of the Asian Productivity Organization, Dr. Santhi Kanokthanaport, as its guest speaker.
Cleaning up is always a good way to start. Putting the treasures the institution possesses in a place where it can be viewed and appreciated raises the value of the institution itself to the public’s eye. Now, it’s back to the grindstone for everyone, to bring back the glory days of being a World Class National Development and Productivity Organization.