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The march for poverty eradication begins

“We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizng conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected.”

In support of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) will be joining the Philippine celebration of the United Nations-led march for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger as part of the Stand Up Against Poverty campaign, which will be held on October 17-23 through satellite Kalahi Cultural Caregiving workshops in the National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

These Kalahi Cultural Caregiving workshops are aimed at providing solutions to achieve the eight MDG’s by 2015 through harnessing the country’s inherent talent for the arts. The Mindanao leg, coordinated by Frank Rivera, has already concluded its 19-day Kalahi Cultural Caregiving Peace and Integrated Arts Workshop in Mindanao last October 11, with six provinces visited and more than 400 students and individuals attending the activities. Recipients of this workshop caravan included the Badjao and the Lumad, flood victims, displaced families, and prisoners.

On the other hand, the Luzon Kalahi Cultural Caregiving kicked off in ten selected sites in Metro Manila under the supervision of Mars Cavestany, at Marilac Hills, Sambayanang Kristiano ng Tondo, the Golden Acres, the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Nayon ng Kabataan, National Bilibid Prisons, and the Correctional Institute for Women. Also included in the list are the Orthopedagogical Institute, the “Ondoy” victims and evacuees in ULTRA and Malacañang, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Workshops on different arts including painting, arnis, dance and music among others are currently ongoing.

In Visayas, the Kalahi Cultural Caregiving, undertaken by Lihok Bisaya and Lutgardo Labad started on October 16 with 12 provinces, six cities and 16 municipalities as recipients. The Visayan leg is aimed at developing community-based creative industries. The sites in the Visayan caregiving leg include Bohol, Aklan, Siquijor, Negros Occidental, Antique, Iloilo City, Samar, Leyte, Bacolod, Negros Oriental, Capiz, and Cebu.

At the forefront mobilizing different sectors in the country to participate in the campaign is the National Commission for Culture and the Arts chaired by DepEd Usec. Vilma Labrador and Executive Director and PA on Culture Cecile Guidote Alvarez, through its Kapitbisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) Cultural Caregiving Services. NCCA has fielded cultural workers and artists in partnership with the Philippine Center of the International Theater Institute (ITI) to utilize the arts to help fight poverty.

On the other hand, the NCCA TV Show, Sining Gising, featured a special harvest report, edited by Pixel Art Media Production Company, last October 18. The show featured performances from the Pamadanse, Hamog Band, Cardona Youth Musical Ensemble, and the Cercado Sisters focused on eradicating poverty. Paintings depicting the MDG’s will be on display as well as the winning entries of the NCCA-DepEd slogan-making contest.

For inquiries, please contact the Public Affairs and Information Division at (T) 527-5529, (F) 527-2191 local 612-615, or email at

Show latest news, more from October 2009.