Editorial: In touch with our culture and arts-A A +A
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
YESTERDAY, a loose group of media practitioners who spearheaded the holding of a Davao Media Freedom Day every November 23 since 2010, who identify themselves as FreeMedia, held its first month forum on culture and the arts.
FreeMedia composed of top editors and reporters of local newspapers, executives and reporters of broadcast media, as well as online media, came to be last year after the 3rd Davao Media Freedom Day celebration, which coincides with the anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.
Initiated by Sun.Star Davao on the first anniversary of the massacre, the celebration, albeit still small in scale has become a reminder of how a culture of impunity can lead to diabolic acts. But a culture of impunity cannot be erased with just a yearly activity. Thus, the question: What should be mainstreamed to highlight the good in all of us.
The answer: local arts and culture and the local artists.
For so many years, an art in Davao City is barely perceived, and yet there is a vast pool of artists whether in visual, performance or film. The media for mass communication, however, are not looking as often as it needs to impart a consciousness and appreciation for what we have.
Thus, right before the Davao media will once again commemorate the 4th anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre and celebrate the 4th Davao Media Freedom Day, the group gathered at the Park Inn by Radisson for a morning round-table that would have easily extended past lunch as the informal forum generated a lively discussion primarily on film development in the city and the realities that beset the barely supported but very active local filmmakers.
From that forum comes the realization that there are a lot of things that need to be addressed, a lot of things that has to be done. But the discussion wouldn't have been brought to light had the venue not been provided for these concerns and realities to be raised.
Davao City is growing very fast, faster than many of us can keep up with, we should all keep up and celebrate our distinct culture and home-grown art. We believe that a metropolis that doesn't celebrate its own arts and culture is a metropolis without a soul. Aside from that, we also have to realize that more and more people are migrating to the city to partake of our city's resources and enjoy what we have been enjoying through all these years, with this influx will come their own arts and culture that can easily relegate what can be called Davao's own to the sidelines if not in forgotten realms if we do not thrust what is ours to the general public's consciousness.
This is just the first, and it will just be monthly. But that’s all we really need for the moment, small positive steps to raise awareness about our city’s soul. Baby steps first, before we soar.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 06, 2013.