(Photo grabbed from NCCA official Facebook page)

HERITAGE awareness can help Filipinos cope amid the pandemic, cultural heritage advocates said in an online discussion organized by the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on May 28.

The NCCA mounted the two-day virtual event, titled “That Thing Called Pamana: Conversations on Heritage,” via Facebook live in celebration of National Heritage Month.

The discussion tackled the condition of the country’s heritage and national celebrations, as well as the sector’s adjustment to the “new normal.”

Arvin Manuel Villalon, a consultant of the NCCA Cultural Mapping Program under the sub-commission on cultural heritage, said heritage could be one of the ways to incite a sense of normalcy during the pandemic.

Hindi pwede isantabi itong usapin ng pamana kahit pa sabihing wala siya sa priority, kasi eto ‘yung sense of identity mo, rootedness mo,” Villalon said. “Kung mawawala rin ito, palagay ko mas mahihirapan ‘yung tao mag-cope sa krisis.”

Nayong Pilipino Foundation executive director Lucille Karen Malilong-Insberto said she would rather call the new normal as the “better normal.”

NCCA Commissioner for Cultural Heritage Mico Manalo, Cultural Mapping Program facilitator Delan Robillos and NCCA head of Cultural Section Charles Salazar also joined the online forum.

“This pandemic showed us how precarious the jobs of cultural workers are,” Manalo said. “For me, it just exposed all the things that are already difficult—that we need to deal with.”

The final discussion, which will tackle the impact of the youth on heritage conservation, is scheduled to stream on May 29 at 12:00 noon.


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