Cebu City gears up for arts and culture ‘renaissance’

Cebu City gears up for arts and culture ‘renaissance’

The Cebu City government, led by the Vice Mayor’s Office and the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (Chac), with the support of the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation Inc., marked the start of National Arts Month on Feb. 1, 2023, with the theme “Harvest of Art, Fruit of Greatness.” The event held at the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu also served as the unveiling of the new Chac logo.

Additionally, the celebration aimed to showcase the thriving arts and culture scene in Cebu. Also present during the event were Borbon Vice Mayor Roy Melgo, and Cebu City Councilors Dondon Hontiveros, Jaypee Labella, Joel Garganera and Jun Alcover.

The event also featured performances by Yna Margarette Cajipe and Emman Casquejo from the musicale “Daddy Long Legs,” directed by Penelope Ong, a performance by soprano Izarzuri Vidal—a former Cebu arts council foundation scholar—and dance numbers by KanSugbo Dance Fusion.

Cebu City Vice Mayor and Chac Chairman Raymond Alvin Garcia noted in his opening remarks that Chac, under his jurisdiction, will be more active in promoting the arts and culture, especially to the youth. He emphasized the importance of celebrating National Arts Month as a time to appreciate Philippine art, specifically Cebuano art and culture.

“I wholeheartedly believed in the purpose of celebrating the National Arts Month. It is important to devote this time in appreciation of Philippine Art, especially and specifically Cebuano art and culture. You will find phrases of the different time periods of Cebu’s rich history embedded in our paintings, sculptures, buildings and even in our songs. Local art, much like our Cebuano identity, is diverse, is vibrant and is exceptional,” Garcia said.

The new Chac logo, designed by Rej Closas, who won the logo competition, represents the faith and unity of Cebuanos. According to Closas, the design features the “puso” or hanging rice, and the lines connecting the middle of the logo symbolize the convergence of Cebu’s diverse cultures. Garcia also wanted a modern, contemporary design yet one that was also timeless.

The government has also committed to prioritizing the arts in its recovery efforts, with an increased budget allocation for the field, subject to approval, to prioritize the preservation and restoration of Cebu City’s heritage sites, among others.

Dr. Vivina Chiu, President of the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation Inc. and a practicing pediatric kidney specialist, also spoke at the event and emphasized the importance of preserving and promoting cultural heritage.

The Cebu City Government also announced plans to create a heritage district in the downtown area and to renovate and restore the 1920s Vision Theatre. The government aims to cultivate the rich history of Cebu, the oldest city in the Philippines, and to pass it on to future generations.

“Rest assured that although the city has many problems like lack of water, traffic and spaghetti wires, we will never forget art and our culture. Let this be the renaissance of Cebuano art,” the Vice Mayor added.


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