February as Arts and Culture Month Takes Off with WMSU in Lead
February 1, 2006

ONCE again taking the lead role, Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) spearheaded the observance of February as Arts and Culture Month in the city with the holding of an inaugural parade around the town and an opening program in the university campus yesterday (Feb. 1).

WMSU’s Office of Culture and the Arts (OCTA) Director Dr. Roberto Torres said this year’s nationwide arts’ month celebration theme is “Aning Sining.” The theme, he said, it implies “a harvest of the various cultural works and arts of every region in the country.”

Dr. Torres, who also heads the city’s Association of Creative and Performing Arts of Zamboanga (ACPAZ), said the celebration will also underscore the role and capacity of art and cutlure in promoting and building peace. Peace-building was the theme of the recent national summit of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the main government agency dealing with the sector.

The OCTA director said the extensive cultural diversity of Filipinos stemming from its many tribes, languages and traditions poses both a challenge and opportunity for the fostering of national unity and development. He said the arts month celebration is an occasion for enhancing mutual appreciation and understanding of these cultural differences.

Among the other acitivities during the month are: Feb 3 – “Pacita and Salma” musical play, WMSU gym; Feb 3-9 – mutual painting, WMSU campus; Feb. 10 – Tradional Food Festival, WMSU Campus; Feb. 17 – “Cupid,” a dance-music production by the Integrated Laboratory School – Elementary, WMSU gym; Feb. 20 – “Oratorio,” a Chavacano oratorical contest with the theme of “Artes y Culture de Zamboanga; Guia Para Progres, Paz y Unidad,” WMSU Social Hall; Feb. 21-25 – Serenade at the Plaza Pershing by different schools and organizations; Feb. 25 – Drum and Lyre and Drum and Bugle Competition; Feb. 26 – Hola Filipinas – cultural presentation at City Hall; Feb. 28 – Awit ng Birtuso and Closing Program, WMSU Social Hall.

Department of Education Division Schools Superintendent Abdurahim Keno led the special guests at the opening ceremony. (Rey-Luis Banagudos, PAO, WMSU)