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Mr. Edgar "Egai" Talusan Fernandez, Consultant Curator of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Manila, was the keynote speaker during the 10th Culture and the Arts Center (CAC) Anniversary and 1st Arts Month Celebration of the Visayas State University. The opening program was held on February 3, 2012 at the VSU Convention Center with the theme "Advancing Local Creativity in the Arts."


In his message, Mr. Fernandez revealed that this is his first time to be in Baybay City and that he can't help but love the beautiful scenery and the people's hospitality. He was also pleased to know about the efforts of the people of Baybay in protecting its environment. "Climate change is a reality and the NCCA believes that there must be a synergy in the issue of environmental protection and the culture and the arts," Mr. Fernandez quipped.

Mr. Fernandez expounded his message based on the theme of the celebration as well as that of the NCCA which is "Tradition and Innovation." He emphasized that what is important in culture and the arts is our love of the place and sharing this love to other people through artworks. He specifically mentioned that beyond the successful tourism in Thailand is the people's respect for the environment. "Before they cut a tree, they would talk to the tree and pray that this would help improve their livelihood. Their relationship with nature is so close that they understood the pain it would bring to them if they destroy the environment," explained Fernandez.

He also said that in the earlier years of culture and the arts in Indonesia, the artists offer their artworks to the Creator as a way of expressing their gratitude for the talent and the blessings that they receive.

In relation to this, Mr. Fernandez said that the NCCA is pleased that there are celebrations like this during the Heart's Month. "May our artworks reveal what is in our hearts, show the beauty of the environment and the blessings that we receive every day. Let us show our talent to the world through innovations," he pointed out.

Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin, VP for Planning and Resource Generation, on the other hand, said that "A university without culture and the arts is not complete for they contribute to the total development and transformation of the institution."

Meanwhile, Baybay City Administrator Deogracias E. Pernitez was impressed by the probable gains and benefits that could be achieved from the month-long celebration in VSU. "This is practically our mission to develop the potentials of our students in line with the advancement of local creativity in arts," he averred.

In her message, Dr. Paciencia P. Milan, former VSU President and Mother of CAC, said that it has been her dream that VSU will not only excel in academics and knowledge generation but also in the performing and visual arts. She noted that the CAC has started to bear fruit by winning in various competitions that brought the student performing artists and some CAC staff to participate and represent the region in national contests.

One of the highlights of the opening program of the 10th CAC Anniversary and 1st Arts Month Celebration was the unveiling of the Visual Arts Month Logo designed by Asst. Prof. Jude Nonie A. Sales, as a symbolic interpretation of the theme "Advancing Local Creativity in the Arts."

The month-long celebration kicked-off with the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon by Dr. Milan and Mr. Fernandez, assisted by Vice Mayor Michael L. Cari of Baybay City, Dr. Tulin, and Mr. Pernitez, signaling the opening of the INNOVARTE (An art exhibit for a cause) at the new VSU Balay Alumni. The exhibit features the artworks of Domingo Flandez, Jude Nonie Sales, Mizael Cerna, Lolito Caňa and Virgilio Pomida who are members of the Hugpong Sabado (Baybay Visual Artists Group), and Rico Palacio, artist/illustrator of the Agricultural Training Institute-Visayas based at VSU.