“Saludo”. This national language is synonymous to paying sincere compliment and outmost respect to somebody who has achieved something great in his field and has been recognized for such. “Saludo” also means bestowing honor for someone worthy of his reputation. And “Saludo” is akin to remembering the gestures of somebody and being grateful to him.

As a tribute to the different Filipino artists who have made significant contribution to the development of Philippine arts, namely music, dance, theater, visual arts, literature, film broadcast arts, architecture, and allied arts, the Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod Performing Arts and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts will perform “SALUDO: Tribute to Philippine National Artists” in the cities of Bacolod, Bago, Silay and Valladolid in Negros Occidental this National Arts Month of February.

The exhibit of the Filipino National Artists are now on display at the Main Lobby of the Provincial Capitol Building. Profiles and photographs of great Filipinos who have performed well in each of their crafts can be seen and read on this show. Starting last Wednesday afternoon, at the stage fronting the Capitol Building, the CSA_B group as been presenting the great films of Bernal and Brocka. Next week, they will be bringing the show to the other aforementioned local cities and municipality.

Who are the national artists featured, by the way? In the field of music, loud drum rolls go to: Antonino R. Buenaventura, Levi Celerio, Ernani Joson Cuenco, Felipe Padilla De Leon, Jovita Fuentes, Lucrecia Kasilag, Jose Maceda, Antonio J. Molina, Lucio D. San Pedro, Andrea Veneracion, Honorata "Atang" de la Rama, Darryl Paul G. Catalan, Dan Vincent "DV" Catalan, Danielle John "DJ" Catalan, John Lorrenz "Owen" Quinto, Marc Sy, Dominic Eldrin Kabigting. For dance, we curtsy to: Francisca Reyes Aquino, Leonor Orosa Goquingco, Ramon Obusan, Lucrecia Reyes Urtula. For theater and film, an encore for Daisy Avellana, Honorata "Atang" de la Rama, Rolando S. Tinio, Salvador F. Bernal, Lamberto V. Avellana, Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero, Severino Montano. For the visual arts, our hats are off to: Napoleon Abueva (Sculpture), Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (Painting, Sculpture and Mixed Media), Fernando C. Amorsolo (Painting), Benedicto "BenCab" Cabrera (Painting), Victorio C. Edades (Painting), Carlos V. Francisco (Painting), Abdulmari Asia Imao (Sculpture), Jose T. Joya (Painting), Ang Kiukok (Painting), Cesar Legaspi (Painting), Arturo R. Luz (Painting), Vicente S. Manansala (Painting), J. Elizalde Navarro (Painting), Hernando R. Ocampo (Painting), Guillermo Estrella Tolentino (Sculpture), Victor M. Oteyza (Painting). For literature, credits go to: Francisco Arcellana,Virgilio S. Almario,Lazaro Francisco,N. V. M. Gonzalez, Amado V. Hernandez, Nick Joaquin, F. Sionil Jose, Bienvenido Lumbera, Alejandro R. Roces, Carlos P. Romulo, Edith L. Tiempo, Jose Garcia Villa, Standing ovation for the great names in the cinema in the likes of: Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Gerardo de León, , Fernando Poe, Jr, .Eddie S. Romero, Manuel Conde. In architecture, our appreciation to: Pablo Antonio, Juan Nakpil, Leandro Locsin, Ildefonso Santos (I.P. Santos). Credits for Fashion Design (also categorized under "Allied Arts") for Ramon Valera. And the brilliant works in historical literature (a new category created by President Fidel V. Ramos) for Carlos Quirino.

Project Director and CSA-B Performing Arts Director Rudy Reveche said that this year’s “Ani Ng Sining” celebration of the National Arts Month will carry on its thrust of celebrating the Filipino’s unique and world-class artistry, promote the different arts and the artists, and inculcate art awareness and culture among young people. Going to different areas in the province will not only highlight art education among our people, but also build the community spirit and strengthen our sense of national pride.

Bringing the exhibit to the Civic Center of Silay, the Balay Ni Tan Juan in Bago City and the town’s library of Valladolid will not only allow the locals to be informed of the Filipinos’ creative consciousness, but will also provide opportunity to the local folks to deepen their understanding of the Filipino craft. Moreover, Reveche stated that Valladolid was chosen as one project site of the “Lihok Bisaya’” program of developing art consciousness in rural communities.

So on Sunday, our Valentine’s and Chinese New Year celebrations all combined, will not be that expensive, but very artistic then. All we have to do is go to the Provincial Lagoon, and position ourselves near the stage. Typical of a Sunday-at-the-park happening, and over popcorn and soda, we should be ready to be enthralled with “Philippine Airs”, a medley of folk songs arranged by Lucio San Pedro to be interpreted by the CSA Brass Band; give away ourselves to laugh our hearts out with the localized “Away- Basketball”, a translation and adaptation of Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero’s comic play by CSA-B’s Kanlaon Theater Guild, and sway to the moves and the patterns of folk and neo-classical dances by the Kagayon Dance Troupe, and be informed of the presentation of the tribute to the National Artists from the Visayas.

CSA-B Brass Band Master Jerry Panisales, Fr. Wilson Capellan, CSA-B Vice President for Student Affairs, the Artistic Consultant of the Show, and Novella Radislao, Production Manager, together with Sir Rudy Reveche will be there to lend support to the performances comprising “Saludo”.

It is both our pride and honor to have Filipino men and women who artists-par-excellence. Much as we more dignified to have our country, the Philippines, chosen as the “Cultural capital” for 2010-2011, out of the 10 nations comprising the ASEAN. And it is from this view, that we salute our artists, our people and ourselves, for the remarkable, God-given talent put into proper use. “Saludo”, indeed.