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Chris Millado dreams of a Cultural Center of the Philippines free from Political Interventions

Take it from former President and Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines or CCP Nestor O. Jardin when he said at the recent press conference on the 50th anniversary of the state agency on arts and culture that “I dream of a CCP which is free from any political interventions.”

Jardin was, of course, witness to many political maneuverings in the government in relation to arts and culture policies especially in the past that rendered him articulate in his views about his idea of CCP as a free agent of expression and change for the betterment of the country in any dispensation.

Chris Millado, CCP Vice President and Artistic Director addresses the media about the achievements of the agency for the past fifty years and its objectives for the coming years

On hindsight, it was during the term of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Executive Director Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, was nominated, along with lay artists Carlo J. Caparas, Pitoy Moreno, among others, as National Artists for Theater, for Visual Arts and for Design, respectively.

Jardin was the CCP President at the time.

Still, Millado on the podium about the golden years of his CCP

Fellow artists and National Artists Bienvenido Lumbera, F. Sionil Jose, Virgilio S. Almario took to the streets to protest the inclusion of Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Moreno etc in the nomination list citing Cecil’s capacity as a government official directly involved in the choice for the honors.

During the Benigno C. Aquino III dispensation that the controversial nomination of Nora Aunor as National Artist for Film was questioned and finally excluded in the proclamation by Malacañang.

Two of the country’s top technocrats of the arts, Chris Millado (left, on the rostrum) and Eva Marie Salvador, Department Manager, CCP Arts Education

Still, in the Rodrigo Duterte administration, Nora was again nominated in the same award but the Palace also intervened in the recognition of the actress.

Jardin’s opinion was shared by the current CCP Vice President and Artistic Director Chris Millado. “I share Nestor’s sentiments about the political interventions in CCP,” said Chris in a separate interview.

Chris Millado is amazed by the creation of the Ginintuang Sining artwork by visual artist Toym Imao

According to Millado, the agency should be free from any political interference.

He also cited the case of Nora Aunor deferment of her National Artist plum.

“’Yong kaso ni Nora Aunor, dapat ay hindi na maulit ang gano’n. Hindi puwede ‘yon. Kasi, kailangang malaya ang CCP sa pagpili ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining (The case of Nora Aunor shouldn’t be repeated. That’s not proper. CCP should be free in the choices of National Artists),” claimed Chris.   

Visual artist Toym Imao acknowledges the support of CCP and Chris Millado to visual arts

In the nomination, deliberation and final choices of National Artists, only the CCP and the NCCA are mandated to nominate, deliberate and choose the recipients of the highest award among artists.

According to the guidelines on naming National Artists, the president confers the honors from the recommendations of both institutions.

It doesn’t say or nowhere in the guidelines that the president can personally endorse or choose, include or exclude names in the nominations and final choices.

www.filcaspro.com rep Boy Villasanta talks to Chris Millado about the latter’s dream of a Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) free from political interventions

Millado is very passionate about the sensitive roles of CCP in the creation of a free art not indebted to any vested interest.

As an artist who values freedom, Chris has written literary pieces, especially theater arts devoid of any selfish motives and dictatorial tendencies that hamper the growth and development of culture and the arts for the progress of society in all aspects.

CCP Vice President and Artistic Director Chris Millado (fourth from left) in the company of the finest prime movers of Philippine arts and culture

In his tenure as a technocrat especially of CCP, Chris said that the greatest achievement the center has achieved in its fiftieth year is the proliferation of nationalist arts and culture. “We are able to define a national arts and culture by giving our own artists the venue and support to enhance their artistry for the common good,” he said.

Various Filipino artists from different disciplines were and still are invaluable assets of the nation to contribute to the global successes of arts without barriers. This Millado treads the path of glory for the local artists by recognizing and enhancing their craft.

Bringing Filipino artists to the world stage is Chris’ vision as a technocrat.

The forthcoming Manila International Performing Arts Summit (MIPAS) 2019 in September is one venue to strengthen the capacity of artists to endure in the business landscape of artistic performances.

Chris Millado shares his thoughts on the golden anniversary of CCP with www.filcaspro.com rep Boy Villasanta

As the CCP hosts the event, Millado echoes the objectives of the convention from the communications team of the agency. “Bringing together the arts and business sectors from Asia Pacific and other parts of the world, the multi-platform summit aims to leverage excellent performing arts productions and talents in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific Region, as well as raise awareness and broaden the market internationally,” Chris resonated.

This is again encouragement of free exchange of ideas among artists from all corners of the world to widen the market possibilities of cultural trade and economic equivalent of arts.

Chris Millado, CCP Vice President and Artistic Director is excited about the 50th anniversary celebration of the state’s primer agency on arts and culture

This is the very first time that the Philippines, through CCP, is linking Filipino artists and technocrats of the arts to their counterparts abroad on the commercial plane without losing the integral elements of excellent aesthetics.

On September 19 to 22, 2019, international marketers, producers, investors, foreign artistic and cultural leaders, presenters will gather in various venues affiliated and collaborated with CCP to discuss the business potentials of Filipino performing artists to break in, if not massively but significantly and consistently, in the overseas audiences.

Performing artists, in groups and individuals, will be presented to the Asia Pacific arts and culture reps to chart out strategies, among others, to foster greater public appreciation and demand for the performing arts from the Philippines just like our accommodation and hospitality to foreign acts, popular or not.

Millado is excited as ever in this momentous yet gargantuan task to present the homegrown talents to the world.

A candid Chris Millado sharing his thoughts on the milestones of the Cultural Center of the Philippines

“This a vision that I want to actualize in order that we see the potential marketing values of our performing artists so that we can prove that the arts aren’t only spectacles but sources of sustainable business enterprises,” ideas he shared in more ways than one.

Of course, this whole exercise would not lose the essential features and elements of the arts in their highest standards.

Chris Millado (fifth from left), former CCP presidents Baltazar Endriga (sixth from left) and Nestor O. Jardin (fifth from right) reveal the CCP 50th anniversary logo worn by CCP staff

Performing arts, by the way, aren’t only theater, music, poetry recitation, street dancing, ballet and the likes but also sculpture, architecture, visual arts and other artistic forms.

MIPAS 2019 is indeed a huge, freewheeling and a dream-come-true activity that is also a free expression to cohere with the outside world for progress and development.

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