By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) reaffirmed its commitment to give importance to culture and the arts as part of the competencies of the 21st-century learner as it showcases the skills and talents of learners.
In an effort to unlock doors to creative economics focusing on arts for life and livelihood, the Department of Education (DepEd) led the opening of the 2019 “Sining Pangkabuhayan Para Sa Kabataan” in Davao City.
In a statement, DepEd quoted Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and Project Management Service Tonisito Umali as underscored the “legal bases on why culture and the arts are given importance” – especially in agency.
In his speech during the opening program at Malayan Colleges Mindanao, Umali cited Article 2, Section 17 of the Philippine Constitution which “stipulates that the State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism.” He also noted that in Article 14, Section 14 that the “State shall foster the preservation, enrichment, and dynamic evolution of a Filipino national culture based on the principle of unity in diversity.”
DepEd, Umali said, has been undertaking various initiatives to importance to culture and the arts as part of the competencies of the 21st-century learner. Among these is the conduct of the “Sining Pangkabuhayan” – a showcase of skills and talents, arts and crafts, and workshops to strengthen arts and culture in the school.
Recent data from DepEd showed that while there 10,000 students are under the Arts and Design track of the Senior High School (SHS) Program, “this number only comprises 1.5 percent of the total population” of SHS learners.
Given this, Umali expressed hope for a change in “mindset” when it comes to arts. “Let us change the mindset of the Filipino people towards arts” as he cited the “notion that there’s no money in the arts.” For instance, he cited the case of eight-year-old Arkin Yohann Solitario who is the youngest exhibitor. The Sining Pangkabuhayan event is Solitario’s second exhibit with 20 new paintings. In his first exhibit in the 2017 Regional Festival of Talents, he earned P33,000 from his works. The amount is kept in his own bank account.
In the message of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio read by Councilor Pilar Braga, she said that the arts are more than a means of escape or expression. “Involvement in the arts means celebrating our talents and our unique cultures, reminding us what it means to be human and what it means to be a Filipino,” she said.
Duterte-Carpio also commended DepEd “for allowing learners from all over the country to come together and make a livelihood out of their craft as they showcase authentic Filipino culture through the arts.”
The second part of the opening day consists of a trade fair, exhibits, and cultural presentations.
DepEd Region XI OIC Director Evelyn Fetalvero read the message of support from DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones who highlighted the importance of inculcating the values of livelihood, entrepreneurship, frugality, critical thinking, and problem solving among learners. “The event is a platform to preserve and enrich our culture that reflects not only what is beautiful and refined, but also what is real and inspiring,” the DepEd chief said in her message.
As told by DepEd Region XI Administrative Officer V Maria Gemima Valderrama, DepEd – together with the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCAA), Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, other national government agencies, and the City Government of Davao – welcomed almost 1,000 delegates from all regions in the country including Special Program for the Arts (SPA) students and those taking the Arts and Design track, their teachers, and officials from DepEd and NCAA.
The three-day event, Valderrama said, included workshops on music performance, music technology, photo and video for events coverage, acting workshop, creative writing, basic public speaking and hosting for events, ballroom dancing, jazz, hip-hop, portrait making, arts, crafts and marketing, ballroom arrangement, and jewelry making.