MANILA, Philippines – Five National Artists announced on Monday, February 14, that they are backing Vice President Leni Robredo’s bid for the presidency.
At an event titled “Pusuan ang Sining at Kultura; State of the HeART” at the Miriam College Covered Courts, National Artists Ben Cab (Visual Arts), Alice Reyes (Dance), Ramon Santos and Ryan Cayabyab (Music), and Virgilio Almario, also known as Rio Alma (Literature) made public their decision to endorse Robredo.
“She needs us, we need her. Gawin natin lahat (Let’s do everything) for the love of this country,” Reyes said.
Robredo, who was present at the event, also received a copy of the Arts and Culture Kartilya (Guidebook) from Rio Alma.
“Malaki po ‘yung pagpapasalamat ko na ibinigay kayo sa bansa natin. ‘Yung isinakripisyo niyo, ‘yung naiambag niyo, kung tutuusin lubos lubos na pero ito kayo, handa ulit na mag-ambag pa para sa kinabukasan ng mga anak natin,” she told the National Artists.
(I’m incredibly thankful that our nation has each of you. You’ve sacrificed so much already, but here you still are, ready once more to offer yourselves for the future of our children.)
“Hindi lingid sa kaalaman namin na pag pinag-usapan ‘yung sining at kultura, parang parati siyang nare-relegate in the background. Parating iniisip na hindi siya kasing importante ng iba pang mga isyu at bagay na kinakaharap,” she added.
(It doesn’t escape us that whenever the arts and culture are brought up, they always end up pushed to the background. People always think they’re not as important as the other issues we face.)
“Kaya napakabigat ng kartilya na binasa kanina kasi doon natin mare-realize na ‘yung kultura, na ‘yung sining, ‘yung kasaysayan, malaking malaking bahagi ng pang-araw-araw na buhay ng bawat Pilipino na kinalimutan na natin.”
(So the guidebook that was read out today bears weight, because it’s in its words that we realize how culture, the arts, and our history are huge parts of every Filipino’s daily life, but are things we’ve forgotten.)
A book of poetry, 100 Pink Poems for Leni, by San Anselmo Press, was also launched at the event.