ON Thursday, The Manila Times in partnership with the Italian Embassy in the Philippines hosted the "Classical Culture and Tourism: A Happy Matrimony" forum, wherein Ambassador Marco Clemente presented a novel proposal that we suspect came as a surprise to most of the attendees: The Philippines, the ambassador said, should seize the opportunity to become the destination in Asia for opera by dedicating itself to organizing and hosting an annual opera festival. Despite the challenges such a project would present, not the least of which is securing the political will and backing needed to make it a success, the multilayered benefits it could offer the country are undeniable, and we fully support the idea.

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