SEVERAL months ago, Mayor Nelson Legacion entrusted the City Events, Protocol, and Public Information Office (CEPPIO) with the pivotal task of overseeing programs and projects that would propel Naga’s Arts and Culture to the forefront of the city’s identity.
Under the guidance of CEPPIO Chief Allen Reondanga, one of the primary initiatives implemented was the Local Historical Markers Program. This involved the installation of historical markers at revered institutions such as the University of Nueva Caceres, the Universidad de Sta. Isabel, the Naga Parochial School, and the Naga College Foundation.
Moreover, the office successfully standardized stipends for local artists and performers, a significant accomplishment notably unveiled during the captivating series of concerts titled “Sulog.”
A highlight in the city’s charter day anniversary celebration, “Siram,” a vibrant Charter Food Fest on June 18, this year, delighted both Nagueños and visitors alike, showcasing the city’s culinary prowess.
During the Peñafrancia festival, the Tagboan Banchetto, held from the traslacion procession to the fluvial procession, drew in thousands of pilgrims, devotees, and guests, amplifying the cultural experience.
Presently, the Office is dedicated to the city’s cultural mapping project, aimed at documenting the city’s history, heritage, culture, and culinary traditions, including a detailed inventory of the historic buildings and structures especially in the Central Business District I.
In addition, the Local Creative Economic Empowerment Program encourages local talents to create artworks that can be utilized as tokens for various events, while the Tagboan Art Fair proudly exhibits products from local art groups like Salingoy and Kintab.
The city government has also fostered partnerships with organizations like Nueva Caceres Heritage Movement, Ateneo Social Science Department, and Adhika to further heritage promotion.
Cultural events such as the Peñafrancia Voyadores Festival and NagaLakaw, in collaboration with the Universidad de Sta. Isabel, are being actively promoted.
Future endeavors include the completion of significant structures next year, including the Naga City Cultural Center at People’s Park and Recreational Center. This multifaceted facility, as per the blueprints, will encompass a theatre, gallery, co-working space, dance and music studio, and an open concert ground.
Simultaneously, the development of the Naga City Governance Museum at Plaza Quezon, Naga City High School for the Arts, and the Naga City Artists Registry are envisioned to fortify the city’s cultural landscape. Plans for an edifice dedicated to managing and promoting art competitions, as well as spaces for training local artists, are also in the pipeline.
Cultural mapping, as a methodological tool, endeavors to illuminate the ways in which local stories, traditions, relationships, memories, and rituals define and enrich the significance of various locations within the city.
Furthermore, the unwavering support of the constituents has been an invaluable source of inspiration for the administration of Mayor Nelson Legacion and Vice Mayor Cecilia de Asis. Their steadfast support serves as a driving force, inspiring the city officials to continuously strive for the betterment of Nagueños. Their dedication to service is amplified by the resounding encouragement and trust bestowed upon them by the people they serve.
Jason B. Neola, CEPPIO.