Cultural center at old Davao airport

A CULTURAL center will soon be built at the old airport in Sasa, Davao City, to highlight Mindanaoan traditions and heritage.

The center will also serve as the alternative seat of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) outside Metro Manila.

In a press conference on Monday during Kapehan sa Dabaw at The Annex of SM City Davao on Monday, July 24, NCCA executive director Rico Pableo, Jr. said they are already in initial discussions on the creation of an artist village at the old airport that would be the center of culture and arts as well as an artist academe in the southern part of the country. They have yet to come up with the budget on the project.

"I am hoping that Mindanao... Davao City, will become the artist academe and to tell you, the former old airport that has been declared by the President as the BIMP-Eaga cultural center is also planned to be the place for NCCA," he said.

The cultural center is eyed to house different arts exhibits and the cultures of Mindanaoan artists as well as the venue for their workshops and programs.

Pableo is also mulling to develop the old airport as the NCCA's hub in Mindanao area.

"We will make, possibly, the old airport to be the hub. We thought that it should also become a knowledge center for Philippine culture and arts in the South," he said.

In fact, they are set to meet with councilor Pilar Braga, who chairs the education, science and technology, arts and culture, to further discuss the details of the cultural center.

Pableo believes that Mindanao is a home of talented artists and rich culture that is truly world-class and a pride of the country, therefore, they are bringing their office closer to the communities beyond Luzon to create deeper appreciation of Mindanao's traditions.

"I think, there are really a lot of good artists in Mindanao so that's the reason why I am now focusing on tapping and calling these artists," he said.

He also noted that as suggested to them by local artists here, they will uphold cultural sensitivity and nurture the kind of art that exists in the locality because the art perspective of Mindanaoan is different from the concept of those in Luzon.
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