Miss Universe 2018 and new National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) ambassador Catriona Gray opened National Arts Month (NAM) in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, the Luzon leg of the annual celebration.
Gray underscored the importance of the arts since these “enable us to tell a story of all those who came before us, and of who we are, how we express ourselves, what we hold dear.”
The impressive opening program included dance performances and tenor Ervin Lumauag, who was awarded the Gawad Parangal para sa mga Alagad ng Sining in Palawan, along with Tagbanua visual artist Elordie Mesoc, filmmakers Aureaus Solito (“Maximo Oliveros”) and Dante Nico Garcia (“Ploning”), and café and gallery owners Maria Teodora Conde-Prieto, Luzerino “Ka Lui” Oliva and Bea Zobel de Ayala Jr.
The monthlong NAM celebration in the province included art and dance workshops, art installation project, a talk on the Palawan contemporary art and a host of cultural performances.
Ceasar Magbanua, manager of the Palawan Culture and Arts program, said the celebrations were part of the Sikatugyaw (Sining, Kanta, Tugtog, Sayaw) Festival.
Puerto Princesa Vice Mayor Maria Nancy Socrates thanked the NCCA for the Palawan celebrations.
“We stand united with you and in full support of the Commission’s mandate to encourage the continuing and balanced development of a pluralistic society by the people themselves, to conserve, promote and protect the nation’s historical and cultural heritage… and to preserve and integrate traditional culture and its various creative expressions and dynamic part of the national cultural mainstream,” she said.