Press Release
November 25, 2009


In his keynote speech at the opening of the Philippine Furniture and Furnishing (PFF) Show yesterday, Sen. Edgardo J. Angara urged Filipinos to support Philippine-made products that showcase Pinoy creativity and workmanship.

He also stressed the importance of patronizing locally designed and produced furniture and home accessories, warning that expensive and imported luxury household items will only further dent Filipino families' income. Instead, he suggested, Philippine-made products designed by local talents must be in every Filipino's home.

"Our natural creativity presents a wide window of opportunity for Filipinos. Already, Pinoys around the world are showcasing their talent and creativity as performing artists, musicians, singers, dancers, composers, choreographers, designers, architects. We are also among the best designers of furniture and home furnishing. The creative arts is one of our prized niches," said Angara.

Renowned furniture designer from Cebu, Kenneth Cobonpue, is internationally envied as the maker of a bed handpicked by Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt.

Angara added that we should harness our creative potentials for high-paying jobs in both the domestic and global workforce.

"We are now shifting more and more to an economy built on the inventive, empathic, creative and holistic, using more and more the right side of the brain, seeing a society of creators. Artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers will now reap society's richest rewards," he said. Angara, a renowned patron of the arts and father of the Heritage Law, told the crowd that since his youth he has been an avid fan of visual arts and furniture design.

Internationally, the number of graphic designers has increased tenfold in a decade. More people in the US now work in the arts, entertainment and design than work as lawyers, accountants and auditors. Writers and musicians earn 30-50% more than they did in the 1970s. In the UK, the creative sector is producing goods and services valued at $200 billion each year. Angara projected that in 15 years the sector will be worth nearly $6.1 trillion internationally.

Angara is author of laws and bills in Congress that promote and protect the arts industry and the rights of the country's artists. Among them are the National Historical Commission Act and the National Cultural Heritage Act. He was the principal author of the law that created the National Museum and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

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