Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and pop singer Julie Ann San Jose were named new ambassadors for the country’s culture and arts while songstress KZ Tandingan renewed her commitment to continue helping the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) with its mission to promote Philippine heritage.
The NCCA press conference on January 28, 2020, hailed the fourth Filipina Miss Universe Catriona Gray as its new Arts Ambassador, Asia’s Pop Sweetheart Julie Ann San Jose as the new Music Ambassador, and 30th SEA Games Opening headliner KZ Tandingan retained as Music Ambassador for her second year.
The NCCA media event was staged ahead of the opening of the Philippines’ annual National Arts Month (NAM) in February.
For this year the National Arts Month Organizing Committee, under the leadership of NCCA officials Teddy Co and Shirley Halili Cruz, prepared a month-long celebration filled with different activities spread throughout the different parts of the country.
NCCA Executive Director Al Ryan Alejandre said the NAM is held to celebrate Filipino artists across the nation. “Meron tayong Presidential Proclamation noon na no. 618 bigyan nating halaga at pagpupugay ang ating mga Filipino artists sa buong bansa” Alejandre said.
KZ Tandingan thanked the crowd who came to the formal opening of the event. “Sana po ay huwag lang nating i-limit sa buwan ng Pebrero ang pagmamahal at pagsusuporta sa ating sining, kasi lahat po tayo ay responsibilidad natin na mahalin ang ating kultura at sining. Kasi ito lang ang pwede nating iregalo sa mga susunod na henerasyon at kailangan po natin itong mahalin kasi ito po ang ating pagkakakilanlan”.
Catriona Gray posted on her Instagram account, “I believe artists always create with intention. And in my pursuit to conquer my universe and to achieve my dream I sought to take the opportunity to celebrate our national Philippine heritage, art, history, textiles, music and dance to bring forth a new found interest in Philippine Arts to the younger generation. It brings me great pride to continue sharing our unique, Filipino heritage in the arts to my universal platform as it has become my advocacy, aside from advocating for education and HIV/AIDS, to advocate for love of country.”
Julie Anne San Jose posted an Instagram picture of her plaque of recognition that she received from NCCA and wrote, “Thank you, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for making me your newest Music Ambassador, for the warm welcome and for providing more opportunities for Filipino artists to pursue their passions! I am grateful and honored to be chosen as one of the advocates for Filipino music, culture, and arts, along with @catriona_gray and @kztandingan. Mabuhay ang ating sining at kultura!” San Jose also sang for the audience of artists, cultural workers, and media present at the event.
The 2020 National Arts Month celebration was launched in Manila on February 1, 2020, at the Rizal Park with the NCCA in the lead in partnership with the National Parks Development Committee with a showcase of “Ani ng Sining” 7 arts: Architecture and Allied Arts, Cinema, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Literary Arts, Music and Visual Arts.
Various performers delivered amazing performances at the NAM launch:
Halili Cruz Dance Company, Prolette, a poet and writer from Olongapo for Literary Arts, Kislap Sining Dance Troupe of Philippine Normal University, Junior New System (one of Asia’s Got Talent’s Best Acts), Pilita Corrales (Asia’s Queen of Soul), Ang Tanghalang Bagong Sibol (community theater group from Malabon and a winner of the NCCA’s dance competition), Bayanihan (National Dance Company of the Philippines), and Lara Maige (who sang the National Anthem and invocation).
The performers even had a flash mob dance of the Tala dance craze.
To celebrate the nation being bonded as one, performers and audiences did the unity dance. The Unity Dance is a tradition in the NCCA’s celebration to promote to promote unity through the arts. For the NCCA, “art is not just for entertainment, it is food for our soul. Art is also an advocacy, dance, in particular offers an eye avenue people of diverse culture to unite”.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Catriona Gray, Julie Anne San Jose, KZ Tandingan, and the NCCA family for bringing Filipino culture and arts to the forefront of people’s minds as we celebrate the National Arts Month!
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