THE city government inaugurated the "Santungan ning Kalalangan", a cultural hub project installed in the Abacan loop bridge, just in time for the 31st anniversary of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. personally led the opening ceremony as well as the unveiling of the installed mural here, saying the project represents the hard work and resiliency of Angeleños, especially the local artists who have been gravely hit by the pandemic.

“This cultural hub, built in one of the very places affected by the onslaught of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, truly indeed, represents how Angeleños have risen from the ashes,” Lazatin shared.

“Today, during the 31st anniversary of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, we also celebrate the hard work, talent, and resiliency of our local artists, who may have been hit by the pandemic, but stood on their feet,” Lazatin said.

Executive Assistant IV Reina Manuel, who supervised the project with Chief Adviser IC Calaguas, City Tourism Officer-in-Charge Anneleen Antonio-Sugui, and renowned artist Norman Tiotuico, said this initiative of Mayor Lazatin aims to uplift the cultural scene in the city and to develop cultural awareness among Angeleños through art.

Apart from this, Antonio-Sugui also mentioned the generous assistance of the Widus Foundation Inc. and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in helping realize the project.

Prior to the opening ceremony, the City Tourism Office also conducted an on-the-spot painting activity in the Santungan ning Kalalangan cultural hub.

To recall, it was on October 2021 when Calaguas presided the preparation meeting for the Santungan ning Kalalangan cultural hub project with Manuel, Antonio-Sugui, and Tiotuico.

“Noong October po nasimulan natin yung mga preparation para sa project. Besides the Abacan loop, we are also eyeing to install this project in the Heritage District,” Calaguas said.

Meanwhile, Antonio-Sugui also thanked those who attended the event — Vice Mayor Ma. Vicenta “Vicky” Vega-Cabigting, Herminia Pamintuan (wife of Clark Development Corporation Chairman Atty. Edgardo Pamintuan), City Councilors Dr. Joseph Alfie Bonifacio and Jesus Sangil, Archbishop Emeritus Most Rev. Father Paciano Aniceto, Ronnel Golimlim of Widus Foundation Inc., Veronica Amboni and Joshua Isidera of NCCA, Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Internal Vice Pres. Chuck Gueco and Vice Pres. for Operations Rowena Pangilinan.

Department Heads and Chief of Offices namely Evangeline Malonzo, Business Permit and Licensing Division Head and Concurrent General Services Officer, Atty. Ralph Vincent Macalino, City Legal Officer, City Librarian Erma Manalo, members of the Culture and Arts Council of Angeles, Barangay Balibago Captain Rodelio Mamac and Barangay Council were also present during the ceremony.

The event was also attended by personalities from different field of arts —Norman Tiotuico, Andy Bondoc, and Dr. Vitorio Pantig (visual arts); Robert La Rue (film/cinema); Peter De Vera (dance); John Jurado (drama/theatre); Architect Augusto Angeles (architecture and allied arts); Kuliat Foundation Inc. President Lincoln Baluyut and Carmen Mctavish; and Rosette Ramos-Biag (fashion and beauty).

The administration of Lazatin continues to provide programs for struggling artists, hosting various exhibits in partnership with malls and business establishments. (PR/Angeles City Information Office)