Theater icon Cecile Alvarez, founder of the Philippine Theater Association (PETA), distinguished actress-stage director, and Philippine center head of the International Theater Institute based in New York, sounds a clarion call. Her appeal is for urgent financial and material assistance of government agencies and civic organizations to handicapped and disabled youth.
In this regard, Cecile herself has done her share and unwaveringly continues to do so through the Earthsavers Dream Ensemble she has organized, trained and directed for performances here and abroad. Because of these performances, the UNESCO has declared the handicapped but talented members of the ensemble “Artists for Peace.”
Cecile also draws attention to the street children, particularly those with disabilities, the abandoned, the sick, those in trying circumstances, refugees and victims of the endless armed conflicts, disasters, calamities and climate change.
Recalling Pope Francis’ message of love and compassion, Cecile reminds the rich to share their wealth with the less privileged, those who are living and working in the most miserable and wretched conditions. The visit of His Holiness should move the upper segments of society to extend immediate succor to those closest to the Pope’s heart—the poorest of the poor.
Abdul Imao as National Artist
Cecile expressed her deep sorrow over the passing of visual artist Abdul Imao. She recalls that his nomination as National Artist was bypassed by the NCCA and CCP Council of experts and board members. However, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo exercised her presidential prerogative and privilege to name Imao the first Muslim National Artist. He was nominated by the President herself, with the nomination communicated by the presidential adviser on the peace process, Teresita Deles and vetted by the honors committee in Malacañang. Among the resource persons asked to defend the President’s selection of Imao as a National Artist, Cecile is gratified with her role, believing Imao fully worthy and deserving of the honor, which he bears for his Muslim brothers and the whole nation.
Recently, Cecile paid Imao tribute in her award-winning Radyo Balintataw program over station DZRH.