JOINING the board of trustees of the Cultural Center of the Philippines has given me a softer perspective on healing the nation. With public administration, policy, regulatory and enforcement as a background, I have cruised all these years by hardballing my way through change and implementation. The revelation wasn’t until I was suddenly in need of immersion in arts and culture. I knew that I lacked that instant connection and bond that only arts and culture can provide. I would like to narrate the feeling I got from this realization; I will humbly admit I found the soulmate to corrective public administration in this new chapter of my life of discovering and applying the arts and culture in everything.
I grew up looking up to my father as the best public administrator because he was a local government unit head (governor). His response to the requirements of his constituencies was always immediate, not letting the hours go by without a solution implemented. That meant moving the sun and moon all the time for anyone and everyone. So, this was my orientation; service delayed is service denied. After serving as my father’s chief of staff of (1998-2007), I moved to the national government, as energy undersecretary (2009-2010). My department loved the way I did things, fast cost-effective and not requiring to much staff. I actually restructured the regional offices in two months, had the DoE gym funded and funds downloaded to the DoE in four days, had my office, boardroom, and staff room renovated in two days and so on and so forth. But all these were taxing in my overseeing capacity and stressing me unnecessarily. I knew something was lacking in my way of governance to affect a larger scale of recipients. And I knew that there must be a more effective and non-combative way, more persuasive, nurturing and loving.
Last week, I had cancelled dinners so I called Barbara Kitane, and Anna M. Rosete (my two go-to for almost anything related to this field of learning, culture, arts, architecture and its implementation) to provide me with some insights. They spoke seamlessly, discussing myriad ideas and topics on engaging the public on knowledge, concepts, realizations and hair-raising societal changes. I gave them scenarios on national issues and bombarded them with questions on how I may implement a certain solution. They showed me how communication of the arts can help foster a developing nation in all of its aspects. So there, I know I need to experience more on this for its further application in loving governance and effective change.
But more importantly, I saw the importance of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. I became more inquisitive on how it is the mother vessel of reintroducing to the general masses the appreciation of being Filipino, the love for strengthening the family as the basic unit of society where love, respect, hope and appreciation for hard work is the key to strengthening the communities (nation building). In this age of expediency, marked by easy access to information, we need to stop the decay gnawing at our thinking society. This rampant wave we are experiencing is destroying and hampering the growth of our nation. With this in mind, we need all the help to communicate and re-integrate the appreciation of Filipino values, thus the arts and culture are avenues to help this happen.
As much as the CCP complex is geographically but a speck in our landscape, it has programs and ongoing events that should evolve towards specifically addressing the masses, especially the Filipino migrants abroad and the OFWs, a population that our President’s agenda serves. It will foster service to the marginalized, recognizing the nation’s top talents.
The author is a member of the board of trustees of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. https://www.linkedin.com/in/usecmagsaysay/