Press Release
February 8, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara emphasized the need to support local talents in the arts and culture sector, in his keynote speech at the kickoff for the Philippine International Arts Festival 2011.

The program, held at the Senate, was led by the leaders of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to begin the series of activities slated for February, the National Arts Month.

"Our country has never been short on raw talent and vision. What we lack is state subsidy--a support system so that our undiscovered artists get the chance to study and enhance their skills, and exhibit their works all over the world," asserted Angara, a board member of the NCCA.

Addressing the students present during the program, Angara underscored the importance for them to appreciate the rich culture and history of our country, as recognized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN.

"The Philippines has the honor of being the ASEAN Cultural Capital for 2010 and 2011, the first country in our part of the world to receive such a distinction. We should take this as a reminder to strengthen our national identity while at the same time, fostering our relations with other nations," he said.

According to Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Culture and the Arts, the second month of the year now has a new significance for all of us.

"Ang Pebrero, hindi lang buwan ng pag-ibig, ito ay buwan ng pagkakakilanlan, kultura, at sining," he quipped.

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