On October 4, 2016, I posted an Open Letter on Facebook to the Leaders of the Music and Arts Industry in the Philippines. I shall re-post it here and give this letter a safe home, for reference. This is what I would do if I were leader for just one day to spark change.
An Open Letter To the Leaders of the Music and Arts Industry in the Philippines (and an idea to spark interest, make an impact, connect with, and change lives in our neighboring countries).
As a strong music and arts advocate,
It would be my pleasure to offer some insights and suggestions as an initiative to spark movement and with regards to how to progress and improve the current state of the music and arts scene and accelerate for change here in the Philippines.
Embrace individuality for creative expression in music and art. Celebrate, promote, create awareness of, explore, seek to understand, and uplift music and arts community as a whole in our nation.
Notable performance, literary, and visual art forms include Music, Comedy, Poetry and Spoken Word, Flow Arts with Object Manipulation, Improv, Dance, Drama, Theater and Acting, Storytelling, Speech, Monologue, Visual Art, Sculpture, Photography, Graphic Design, Film, Writing, Fashion, Food & Cooking, Cuisine, a combination of all and many many more......
Re-organize with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), work with and receive government and public funding to promote music and arts in all Provinces, Barangays, Municipals, Cities levels. Invite Barangay Police to get involved in organizing these events to build community in all levels. Create fun community music and art fairs, bazaar, fashion shows, and marketplaces regularly in the city. Do cultural collaborations and revamp current iconic symbols or buildings such as the jeepney and buses - have car engineers, or civil engineers, urban planners and designers, and artists collaborate to create safer and aesthetically pleasing modes of transportation vehicles, buildings, landscape, city layouts, public community spaces. Promote and use current available, unoccupied blank advertisement billboards that and venture into recyclable, sustainable, and removable street and mural art so that every street and mural artist (or collective group) may have a chance to be seen at different times by the people on the street in EDSA, SLEX, NLEX and other regions. Involve the advertising & design business and sectors. Again, also celebrate diversity, shapes, and beauty in dark skinned women and men found in ordinary and common Filipino people. Feature interesting original Filipino photographic works that can be possibly be iconic worldwide. Be educated and curate well. Utilize the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the facilities that are open spaces for community forum use for music and arts and keep up and move fast in booking schedules and creating prestigious shows we can be proud of to bring to foreign countries.
Work with major Media, Theater, TV, Film, Mall & Movie Theaters Screenings, Internet Websites, Blogs, and Radio Stations, News, Newspaper Prints, Music, Sports, to cross promote arts, music, and culture emphasizing growth in our own country. Develop shows to educate rather than brainwash, ridicule and pity the less fortunate or blessed. Promote diversity and all types of beauty. Celebrate differences. Research, develop and create new shows with originality, character, persona, and talents. Avoid imitating or franchising foreign shows. Be sensitive and aware of your contestants overall well being. Rather than holding too many choices and limited auditions to fierce and prestigious competitions and contests, hold regular Open Mics in different venue locations around the nation and observe talents that you can later on pool or invite as featured artists. Promote friendly competition, information sharing, camaraderie, and friendship.
We would like to suggest for celebrities and established artists, models, actors and actresses, TV hosts, brand ambassadors, as well as Sport Professionals to set an example to help others in skill sharing and teaching pertaining to their talent, inspire others and use their fame to uplift others, instead of being self serving and climbing their way to the top with highly competitive programs like pageant shows, concerts and games held in prestigious coliseums. There are many advocacies and topics to voice awareness of such as self image, self-worth, gender, adult literacy, equality, LGBTIQ rights, puberty, awareness, sexuality, health, sex education, mental health, feminism, equal rights, child abuse, animal rights, environmental advocacies, and abolish human traffiking and prostitution. Allow yourself to give purpose for living a reason and rethink and find out why you are doing with what you want to achieve with fame as a celebrity.
Fair money distribution that is done in collective agreement within the main team of each organization and entire community involved.
Work with hospitals to promote art as therapy such as expression and coloring workshops especially for mentally ill patients and disabled folks. Bring church choirs and music to hospital, homes, and retirement homes, to relieve cancer, loneliness, and diseased patients so they have less suffering when passing. Pay and appreciate music groups. Art and music heals the soul tremendously, do not underestimate the power of cathartic art.
Connect and work with both international, foreign and local schools in the Philippines at all levels (Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle School, High School, College) emphasizing the importance of music and arts in education, creating accessibility for all. Create a major fun community music and art fairs, bazaar, fashion shows, and marketplace for youth and children. This can be an joint school event within the district or metro event.
Work with and get connected to charities to create musical programs at abandoned and bank foreclosed lots and warehouses for street and homeless children. It would be nice if they had a home and enrich them with music, arts, and culture. If street children have access to these instruments, they can learn this discipline and play music on the streets even with an factory defect ukulele instrument from Cebu. Perhaps it can give them hope, and a future opportunity to be paid musicians or the next big thing in the future that you can be proud of to call as our own home grown talent.
On the economic side, work with banks such as Asian Development Bank or other that can offer lower interest loans to help new or struggling hotels, restaurant and cafes (HoReCa) to obtain sound systems to provide homes for local artists, promoters, and productions in each city or district level. Its a win win situation, they get artists from all social backgrounds to come to the venues with real entertainment everyday, that means more food menus to try.
Connect with the Department or Foreign Affairs and Department of Tourism involve all embassies and cross promote each other's music and art. Build a network to promote tourism and hospitality. Exchange ideas, get foreigners involved with local music and arts scene as well as get in touch with how they can share theirs within our community, create a home for expats away from home.
Connect and tap into the different churches and other religious affiliations (EveryNation.com, Victory Church, Catholic Churches, CCF Center, INC) and get in touch with their network of choir, artists, musicians, producers, dancers, radio stations, so that they too can experience and know of a space outside of their church religious circles and be involved in celebrating the national spirit in unity through music and arts. In doing so, this promotes openness, acceptance, and love.
Promote similar music and arts related businesses, especially small start up businesses, online websites, social enterprises that also create art and promote sustainability, recycle-ability. Work with media partners, sponsors, marketing, design, events, or other arts also within the health, wellness, environmental or agricultural industry sectors.
Always promote originality in all creative works and site proper references to credit to all contributors. Emphasize support and assistance in sustaining LOKAL art as opposed to praising foreign. Keep well balanced.
Get in touch with all music organizations including FILSCAP or Songwriters Philippines, and have regular community meetups to exchange ideas and network. Less exclusivity and more sharing.
Initiate a regular forum on national television for open discussion to keep up with current news, issues and events related to the usage of music and arts.
Build Community, work hard, work together, make effort, keep passionate, set an example, be educated, reliable, have purpose in all you do, think ahead, move forward, and keep on going! Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process and keep evolving!
I've got so many more ideas.
It would be a pleasure for me to serve you with all my talent, understanding, experience, passion, knowledge, time, effort, heart, mind, and soul.
Thank you for your time.