“Old Roots, New Fruits” is the theme of the Cebu leg of the National Heritage Month (NHM) celebration of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Although NHM is celebrated every May as mandated by law, it is part of the year-long Taoid Heritage Program of the NCCA Subcommission on Cultural Heritage (SCH).
“Taoid is the grassroots cultural heritage program of the NCCA. Its objective is to assist communities to identify, protect, and manage local heritage,” said lawyer Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto, head of NCCA’s National Committee on Monuments and Sites (NCMS).
“NCCA partners with local governments, NGOs, the academe and the religious to implement this program,” she added. “Activities in the past included lectures, workshops and focus group discussions to determine what a community’s needs (regarding) heritage preservation.
“Among its activities now is cultural mapping to help LGUs identify what their local heritage is and assist them in complying with their duty under the Heritage Law to create an inventory of their tangible and intangible heritage.”
Among Cebu’s heritage icons is the Santo Niño, the miraculous image of the child Jesus that was recently feted in connection with the 450th anniversary of its finding by the Legazpi expedition in 1565.
As part of Taoid 2015, visual artists will pay tribute to the oldest Catholic icon in the Philippines in the exhibit, “Art & Soul: 10 Years of Kristo Manila and the Kristo Niño in Cebu City,” May 16-30, at the Art Center, 2/F, Main Mall of SM City Cebu. (The art show runs concurrently with the Manila leg at NCCA Gallery in Intramuros, May 11-30.)
Cebuano identity is rooted in the Sugbuanon culture that Taoid aims to preserve. “The heart of heritage preservation is the people and their stories,” said Isberto.
“The thrust of Taoid is for communities to discover their heritage by going back to their roots, tell their stories and share their dreams. Cultural heritage is a valuable resource that can be used to make a community’s dreams come true. As part of our nation’s patrimony, cultural heritage should be conserved and developed. Being a grassroots cultural heritage program, Taoid will also bring to the grassroots the fruits of cultural heritage embodied in various art forms by celebrating and showcasing local arts.”
Also to be mounted is “Mga Sugilanon Sa Kulturang Sugbuanon: A Stroytelling Session and Exhibit Depicting the Rich Cultural Heritage of the Cebuanos.”
The event will include “Art to Heart,” a workshop by artists Wilfredo Offemaria Jr. and Cebu-based Anthony Fermin for select public-school students. This will be in tandem with the books donation program of the Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development through a joint initiative of the NCCA’s National Committee on Libraries and Information Services and National Committee on Art Galleries.
Storytelling and art workshop will be held 1-5 p.m. on May 15 at the Cebu City Public Library.