Give PH artists more public exposure – Manila Bulletin

Harry Roque (center) with supporters (Facebook)

UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque wants to give Filipino artists more public exposure to show their talents both here and abroad.

Roque said he believed that there is “a wealth of talent” in the country for Filipino artists, including painters, singers, cultural dancers, and theater actors.

“We should encourage further exposure for our artists already. Some of our masters and big names have created names in the international community, particularly in auctions,” Roque said in the CNN Philippines Senatorial Forum recently.

“We should also assist lesser-known artists in the Philippines because I am convinced that there is a wealth of talent available here in our country,” he added.

Roque also stressed that the country must have “Arts Month” so that foreigners can visit the country to see different crafts of Filipino artists.

“[It should be] officially declared and funded by the government because this would give incentives to the artists, particularly those who are not yet receiving any stipend from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA),” he said.

Meanwhile, Roque lauded the NCCA to renovate the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP), saying it has become “world-class.”

In March 2021, the NMP started to gradually reopen after stopping its operation for a year due to restrictions brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Roque said the state should support local arts, which he considered the country’s “soul.”

Harry Roque (left) and Wilson Lee Flores at Kamuning Bakery’s Pandesal Forum in Quezon City

* Yes to dancing

Criticized for awkward dance moves during campaign rallies, Roque vowed to continue dancing all the way to the Senate until the end of the campaign season.

“I want the people to listen to the jingle because the jingle exemplifies who I am. Akala nila it’s the sayaw. It’s the messaging of the song that’s important to me. And I am hoping na since sawa na kayo sa aking pagsasayaw, pakinggan n’yo na lang po yung lyrics at mensahe na nais kong iparating sa aking pagsasayaw,” Roque said, during the Pandesal Forum with the entertainment press organized by Wilson Lee Flores at the 83-year-old Kamuning Bakery Café in Quezon City last Monday.

Roque, 55, also said that he would rather dance than sing.

“Mauubos na ang boses ko sa kakasalita so sumasayaw na lang ako. Sa Pangasinan nga eh, mas gusto nila akong sumasayaw so sumayaw na lang ako. But if you listen to the lyrics, that the message I want to relay to the people,” the former Presidential spokesperson also said.

At the same forum, Roque paid tribute to Filipino workers and classical Filipino poet Jose Corazon de Jesus or Huseng Batute by reading his poem entitled “Manggagawa” (Worker).

Roque, educated at University of the Philippines and London School of Economics, called on voters to consider candidates who really know to make laws. “The Senate is not ‘That’s Entertainment’ so let’s vote for candidates who know how to create laws for the country.”

Other highlights:

* Roque fully supports the implementation of a four-day workweek amid high fuel prices.

* Roque wants to create a multisectional health promotion body to prevent more deaths from lifestyle diseases.

* He will find a way for the establishment of a national health care agency to replace PhilHealth.

* Roque justified the decisions of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio not to attend the debate organized by Commission on Elections, saying that platforms cannot be heard in debates alone.

* Roque believes that Filipino voters should weigh the presidentiables based on executive experience to determine the one who has measured up and those found wanting.

* Roque would like to decrease the casualties of window bar entrapment in residential fires through his proposed ‘Safe Access in Fire Emergencies Act.’





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