THE Centenary of Philippine Cinema officially runs until September this year and I look forward to a more participative and meaningful celebration across the regions. I was not able to attend the 12th year of Cinema Rehiyon in Naga City from February 24 to 29, 2020 that pays tribute to "Sine Sandaan" as our oath-taking with President Rodrigo Duterte took place in between those days.
The President administered the oath of office to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) officials from the chairman down to the volunteer Executive Council members representing the various committees under NCCA for 2020-2022. It is my second three-year term to represent the indigenous peoples nationwide in the cinema sector and it falls within my retirement period from government service which now allows me to travel without applying for leave-of-absence. For my sector, something is actually brewing in Baguio for the cinema but it is still too early to tell.
Taking the cue from television director Arsenio "Nick" Lizaso, who is now the new chair of NCCA, who said that "We have the brains and the skills but we also need to use our knees in reaching out to the creative and cultural communities."
I shall also be linking up with other IPs not only with the Northern Cultural Communities but possibly with the central and southern indigenous peoples (IPs) as well.
During our "NCCA Pasasalamat" program and orientation of new members in Quezon City, I met other fellow Baguio residents representing the other committees like Becca Lim Nulud for Dance, Beni Sokkong for Music, Chit Asignacion for Galleries and two others, Arvin Villalon and Joey Soliman whom I haven't had the chance to meet as there were around two hundred of us coming from all regions. We missed academicians and literati Priscilla Macansantos whose name was cited as an honoree.
I remember what our chair Nick Lizaso said during our orientation program that a desk is not the right place for an NCCA Chair and he certainly walks his talk because his Cultural Center of the Philippines team and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) were in Baguio last December and they performed to a big crowd during a concert dubbed "An Enchanting Baguio Christmas" held at Rose Garden of Burnham Park. Baguio residents were treated to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite masterpiece and we were at that concert with my wife and grandson Akiboy and CCP's Nightingales, Bernadette Mamauag and Nerissa De Juan also serenaded the audience.
Baguio boy Brian Galang who couldn't stop his leg from wriggling danced the night away especially when the set covered the Sister Act anthem "I Will Follow Him" and a Beatles medley that moved the crowd to sing along ing before the huge crowd.
On my personal cultural journey, one thing that I'd like to be involved with is the NCCA's program on Cultural Mapping Program which also helps LGUs identify and account for their cultural properties.
The NCCA is tasked under Republic Act 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, through the appropriate cultural agencies and local government units (LGUs), to establish and maintain the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP). Why is Cultural Mapping important? Well, fundamentally, through cultural mapping, LGUs and other stakeholders can identify the distinct cultural resources of their community and at the same time can properly record a heritage resource for future reference.
Moreover, the process can generate interest in heritage resources among users and non-users of cultural properties. Accordingly, they can also develop or establish a heritage conservation council who shall lead in the conservation of the local cultural heritage as well as develop legislation, bills, and guidelines for safeguarding the cultural heritage of the community.
Further, the objectives of the Cultural Mapping Project is to understand the basics on culture and heritage, appreciate the value of the various cultural resources of the community, apply the different tools and methods for gathering, classifying, and analyzing local cultural data and information through the conduct of cultural mapping.
As a chronicler of events especially to my less known Bago or Bagbag-o tribe, to consolidate local culture profiles and generate baseline data for cultural statistics. To fellow IPs in the Northern Cultural Communities, I can make myself available and share a few of my teaching modules on cultural documentation, smartphone filmmaking and basic visual communications and I can be reached through my email firstname.lastname@example.org.