Recognizing the achievements of cultural workers in the Visayas

Published August 6, 2021, 1:18 PM

by Joe Priela

Kudos to all those who work for the promotion and preservation of Visayan arts and culture

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Kaisa Sa Sining recently accounced the recipients of the first ever Kaisa Ini sa Sining, Lunsay nga Artistang Pilipino (KSSLAP) Awards. An event that aims to give recognition to deserving Visayan individuals and organizations who have exemplified commendable work and services in cultural and artistic endeavors. Recipients of the award have been at the forefront of research and development in education, promotion, and preservation of arts and culture for at least 10 years or more.

CCP KSS awardees

When asked why is it important to acknowledge the achievements of the region with artists, cultural workers, and organizations, Anita Illenberger, former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Central Philippine University in Iloilo City, said, “The KSSLAP Award serves as an inspiration to fellow Visayans as it becomes a proof of the value of work, gives approval and gratitude for excellent work, embodies a sense of ownership that makes the community become aware of the shared outstanding accomplishments.”

“In time, significant work of art becomes part of the cultural heritage of the region which gives the people sense of unity, sense of belonging, and personal identity to help every generation understand the region’s cultural life, values and traditions,” the former director of the CPU Cultural Affairs Office and former president of the Iloilo Arts Council explained.

Rene Hinojales (photo from Betsy Negrese)

“KSSLAP Awards go out on a limb to acknowledge valuable and commendable contributions of artists, cultural workers and organizations to the research, development, preservation, education and promotions of Philippine art and culture, specifically in the Visayas,” Rene G. Hinojales, professor at the University of St. La Salle Bacolod City, said. “Of course, recognition is not going to be perfect, especially when it comes from your peers. It may not always reinforce all the behaviors we are hoping to foster. But it sets a model! It creates that potential—and it fuels the idea that every person plays a role in building a positive world. And that is a powerful thing to recognize! On this first year of KSSLAP Awards Visayas, I trust and expect that this biennial act of recognition has and will continue to help everyone else understand what being exceptional looks like, sounds like, and feels like!”

Kaisa Sa Sining Regional Art Centers

Chinggay J. Bernardo, CCP CED department manager, said, “In our four decades of community cultural outreach work, we have experienced the unique and exceptional artistry, dedication and perseverance of many Visayan artists and cultural workers. It is indeed high time to institutionalize an awards program that will give recognition to outstanding achievements of Visayan artists, cultural workers and organizations. The KSSLAP Awards, an initiative of the CCP KSS Visayas Network and facilitated by the CCP Cultural Exchange, will serve as an inspiration for the artistic and cultural communities in the Visayas to aim for excellence and do public as well as community service.”