COINCIDENCES, for individual or social groups, can be very interesting or even historically oriented. Upon my arrival from several months travel abroad some years ago, mainly in British Columbia, Canada it was a very interesting coincidence to receive an invitation as a director of the Negros Occidental Historical Council, Inc. from the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental to a forum on the relevance of cultural resources and economic growth. This brief workshop forum on history, culture and economic growth was sponsored by the Provincial Government last September 20, 2014 with material and technical support from the Canadian Government under its local support program in the Philippines.
For me, the coincidences were very timely because my visits to Canada were not only bonded with family and friends but also interacted with various Canadian active private and public sector groups in Canadian society which were globally notable, among others, for their very interesting multi-cultural society.
The other unique coincidence being shared in our column today is that the most current contemporary historical situation has connected in some other ways the lives of Filipinos and Canadians. To cite one interesting aspect of this historic relationship, Canada has been one of the biggest donors of material and financial assistance to the millions of victims of typhoon "Yolanda" in the past decades in central Philippines. This brief forum was related as well to the overall continuing assistance of Canada to the Philippines. As indicated earlier, the brief workshop focused on the related values of cultural resources and economic development in initially selected local government areas of Bacolod, Talisay and Silay in Negros Occidental. With the hope that more areas and Negrenses can be involved in this program in the coming years, our column today will simply share the main aspects of this activity as a brief initial presentation. Incidentally, while the lead national government agency in this program was the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Provincial Government participation was ably managed by the Provincial Tourism Office. The overall activity manager was Mr. Jeff Evenson, the Vice President of the Canadian Urban Institute, based in Toronto, Canada. As part of the overall framework discussed at the workshop, the first main basic topic presented was the "Cultural Resources Framework."
Discussed briefly here were the following aspects or types of cultural resources, namely: cultural industry; cultural occupation; cultural organizations; cultural spaces and facilities; natural heritage; cultural heritage; festivals and events and intangible culture. In simple layman's terms, these are the various cultural resources which in general concerns all countries of the world. Having identified these various cultural resources, local communities concerned can begin to develop a workable framework plan to actualize the development of cultural economic progress. Among other aspects, a simple plan framework was focused on telling stories or background information, build or develop capacities and envision the creation of what the workshop manager calls "Great Places" which are potential tourism, historical, cultural and eventually economic growth resources. This writer looks forward, in behalf of the Negeros Occidental Historical Council, Inc., to join the follow up activities of this Canadian assistance project for the enhancement of history and culture in the economic progress of Negros Occidental. We will share more relevant details on these activities in our coming columns.