Dynamizing Arts and Heritage for Cultural Identity and Empowerment: the Bohol Experience
The flowering of culture is the height of human development. It is honoring the legacy of the past, it is strengthening identity, it is establishing a meaningful connection with the present taking pride in the beauty and lessons of history.
The Center for Culture and Arts Development (CCAD) was established in March 1997 to implement a unified strategy in bringing closer the Boholanos to the richness of their cultural heritage. These are the achievements of the CCAD: (1) a trained pool of artists and cultural workers; (2) a core group of private and public school teachers to strengthen art studies in academic institutions; (3) the flourishing of community-based artistic groups; and (5) a growing number of cultural patrons from here and abroad.
Over 300,000 students all over the province have participated in various activities highlighting Boholano culture. Around 200 students and teachers undergo art workshops every summer thereby increasing the number of cultural performers and art advocates every year. Travel and tour agencies also make use of Boholano cultural shows to attract guests and visitors, thus boosting local tourism. Historical sites and landmarks have likewise received restoration grants from the Department of Tourism and the National Historical Institute.
Half of the 47 municipalities in the province have sent their representatives to the annual summer at workshop. Fourteen others have invited cultural groups organized by CCAD to perform in their area and have sought technical assistance in order to establish their own cultural programs. At present, these local government units have allocated a budget for this purpose and formed multi-sectoral art councils in their respective localities. Significantly, having a pool of home-grown talents has saved local government units and civil society large sums of money to pay for professional fees of hired performers during fiestas or major town events. It has also tapped countless artistic propensities by putting idle time into creative use especially for young people. Art workshops were even conducted in fishing communities in collaboration with LGUs. The provincial government, the municipalities, church, academe, NGOs, NGAs the business sector and constituents are active partners in this cultural awakening. At present, there are six theater groups, two dance groups, two historical landmarks and four church museums. Performing groups have already gained national prominence and have even participated in cultural missions overseas. Cultural landmarks have also encouraged local and foreign tourists to stay in the province much longer, thus contributing to its ever-growing popularity.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 2000 Galing Pook Awards.