What better way to honor farmers and teachers but through a special arts program that recognizes their valuable contribution to community and nation building. This was what the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Cultural Exchange Department (CED) and the Province of Nueva Vizcaya did last March 31, 2023 at the Nueva Vizcaya Convention Center when they mounted Sining Alay sa Manggagawa (Art for Workers/Laborers) under the program Art in the Workplace. (AIWP).
This was the second year since a series of program tribute was organized by the CCP CED for farmers, teachers and fishermen under its AIWP program, an initiative that has been running since 2012 whose main objective is to bring arts closer to the various work sectors in government and in other industries.
In 2022, over 300 beneficiaries in Tagum-Davao del Norte, Roxas City-Capiz, and Munoz-Nueva Ecija attended the program, all of whom expressed nothing but gratitude for the tribute given to them for the first time. Some representatives of the three work sectors who gave responses spoke with teary eyes as they were truly touched by the gesture and thought that Philippine society has already forgotten them.
This year, the same scenario took place in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, the Luzon leg of the AIWP, where 53 farmers and 55 public school teachers were given tribute in a program filled with arts presentations from local and Manila based performing groups: Nueva Vizcaya Singers, Ari Tau Folkloric Society, Lakbai Guitar Duo and the Song Weavers Philippines. Special video performances were also shown featuring the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Hinugyaw Dance Troupe of Koronadal City and the Silliman Dance Troupe of Dumaguete City.
Our land tillers and educators were treated to an afternoon of dance and music showcases which touched their hearts as their hard labor was recognized and given importance. Some of them were either teary eyed as they shared their heartfelt joy.
Isang bagay na ito na hindi namin makakalimutan. Maganda pala na sa personal natin napapanood. At least, itong panahong ito naalis sa aming isipan ang malaking pagkalugi. Kaming magsasaka ay maliit lang ang kaligayahan, konting-konti lang. Kita ninyo na kahit galing sa malayo, pumunta dito at bumaba. Very good, maganda at saka sana, hinihiling namin, masundan po uli sana. – Arturo Baybayan (farmer)
This event, Sining Alay para sa Manggagawa, is an avenue for farmers and teachers to reflect and realize how important one’s role is in nation building. It is also an opportunity to recognize the efforts and sacrifices of teachers and farmers and for us to really continue their passion, commitment and service. – Jomar Kalipuso (teacher)
Thank you so much for this great opportunity of bringing Nueva Vizcaya in the wonderful world of arts. Thank you also for opening doors for each of us so we can appreciate and enjoy the beauty of arts. Lalo na pag feel natin na gusto na nating bumigay, ganito pala yung paraan para ma-boost tayo muli. This experience is valuable! Sana maulit muli! – Rosalie Hecobe (teacher)
Lubos ang aming pasasalamat dahil natawag nyo kami sa ganitong pasasalo-salo dahil ang aming buhay na magsasaka ay espesyal dahil kahit gaano man kahirap ay nagtitiis kami. Labis rin akong natutuwa dahil ngayon lang ako nakakita ng mga magagaling sumayaw, mag gitara at mga mukhang artista dito sa aking harapan. Kung wala ako rito, wala itong mga nakikita ko ngayon, baka kasama ko ang kambing ko habang sobra pinagpapawisan, nagtatanim, tumataas at bumababa mula sa bundok at pinapanood ang mga tanim kong mga gulay at bulaklak. Muli maraming salamat at maligayang pagbati. – Ciriaco Olipas (farmer)
CCP Office of the President consultant Alexander Cortez was present during the Nueva Vizcaya program and he has this to say: “The honorees who never had a treatment of this sort sincerely thanked the CCP and the local government of Nueva Vizcaya and their tourism office for this very heartfelt occasion. The little tokens might not be enough for their toils and labors for their communities’ sake but nonetheless they were not short of appreciating this genuine act of recognizing their contribution not only in the economy but on the improvement of the cultural aspects of their lives.”
CCP CED Department Manager Carmencita J. Bernardo shared to the Nueva Vizcayanos the cultural mission of the CCP’s outreach programs: “Kami sa sektor ng sining at kultura ay naniniwala na ang buhay ay walang saysay at sigla kung walang sining! Ang bawat isa sa atin ay may angking kasiningan, kagandahan at kabutihan. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit tayo ay nagtatagumpay sa buhay. Tayong lahat ay mga alagad ng sining at manggagawang pangkultura sa maraming paraan. Kaya naman, dapat nating ipagbunyi at ipagpasalamat na tayo’y may mayamang kultura at sining. Ang CCP ay may mahalagang responsibilidad na mapanatiling buhay ang sining at kulturang Filipino. Maisasagawa lamang ang gampanin na ito kung ilalapit ang sining sa mga mamamayan sa iba’t ibang komunidad sa buong bansa at maging sa mundo.”
AIWP continues this April to May in Palawan and Tawi Tawi.
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