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August 15, 2011

ANTHONY NASH O. DE LEON

The “King of Talk,” and Philippine International Arts Festival (PIAF) Art Ambassador, Boy Abunda, is the first speaker of the lecture/seminar series hosted by The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Leandro Locsin Auditorium, which started last July 14, 2011.

The NCCA lecture-seminar aims to educate the community and share that the country’s culture and arts goes beyond entertainment. It also aspires to give importance to the country’s valuable treasures- tangible and intangible heritage- in a modern world. The lecture seminar carried the theme, “Culture and Communications.”

The event formally opened with Ms. Marlene Ruth Sanchez, NCCA Deputy Executive Director, delivering the opening remarks and welcoming Mr. Abunda as the official speaker.
In his lecture, Mr. Abunda stressed the importance of branding culture to sell it to the public. He said, “Branding helps in creating a trademark on our culture. It can help in making the people remember what the Filipino culture is all about.”

He also encouraged the student journalists and leaders to be a bridge that will create a tight relationship between the whole studentry with the NCCA because it can help them greatly in knowing their true identity as Filipinos. He said, “The NCCA can help in educating and exposing the students to the cult activities not only in Manila but across the country. It offers a literature for information and knowledge about the country’s culture and history.”

He also stressed that the students’ strong involvement can be a key towards the country’s development, “As students, you must always remember that it’s never too late to love your culture and your country. Do not be afraid of who you are. Celebrate who you are because by doing so, you are celebrating your being a Filipino…. Love hard, play hard, and pray hard.”

Gelli Annabelle S. Cahulogan, a Mass Communications student from PLM, was enlightened and awed by Mr. Abunda’s speech. She said, “He really has strong faith in the studentry in helping the NCCA attain its mission. And it gives me, as a student great pride and joy that someone believes in what I can do to help make a better change.”

Meanwhile, Emmo Nicolas, a mentor from Diadem Christian Academy in Antipolo, took his time to be educated on culture and found a better view of it after hearing Mr. Abunda’s speech. He said, “Before, I lack appreciation for the arts and culture because it seems irrelevant. But after hearing Sir Abunda, it made me realize that we should start the change in order for our culture to be not only known here in our country but also in other parts of the world.”

The event was well received and there were a total of 250 attendees including students, media, and other professionals. Some of the top universities in Manila such as De La Salle University (DLSU), Philippine Women’s University (PWU), University of the East Manila (UE), University of Sto. Tomas (UST), Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), Far Eastern University (FEU), Philippine Normal University (PNU), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Centro Escolar University (CEU), Colegio De San Juan De Letran, University of the Philippines Diliman (UP), Philippine Normal University (PNU), and Lyceum of the Philippines (LPU) were present in the said event. It was also covered by media entities such as TV5 and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Famous artists like Ma. Isabel Lopez and Leila Chikadora also attended the event.

Besides being the PIAF Art Ambassador, Mr. Abunda is also the Ambassador for Goodwill of the United Nations, Ambassador for a UK based non-government organization, and senior political adviser for the LGBT community’s party list called, Ladlad.

The event was hosted by Ms. Maricel Diaz of NCCA’s International Affairs Unit, and Mr. Rene S. Napeñas, head of the NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO).

The lecture seminar was sponsored and organized by Figaro Coffee Company, and NCCA PAIO. The NCCA and the Figaro Coffee Company are one in its mission to strengthen the Filipino values, culture and traditions.