Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

PIA Albay Infocen holds forum for Albayano heritage advocacy

By Julius B. Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 9 (PIA) – In the spirit of preservation and promotion of historical and cultural heritage, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Albay provincial office, in partnership with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), spearheaded the Forum @ PIA on uesday with the theme: “Pride of Race, Proud of Heritage Culture and Arts Promotion in Albay”.

Bringing together involved stakeholders like members of the academe, the press and cultural experts, the forum served as a think-tank for the advocacy of understanding and preservation of Albayano culture, including history, language, literature and arts.

Including to those invited as resource speaker for the event is Rafael “Raffi” Banzuela, awarded Bicolano book writer and renowned literature authority in the region. During his talk, Banzuela highlights the three well-needed factors in preserving Albay’s cultural heritage: research, pubic understanding, and archiving.

“We need historians. Unlike other provinces, we do not have people here in Albay that focus on the study (history) that will properly explain the evolution of our culture,” said Banzuela.

Additionally, Banzuela explained that the study and research of the province’s heritage must be invested upon for the sake of preserving the forefather’s legacy.

Banzuela’s point of improved cultural research was also agreed upon by Engineer Abdon “Jun” Balde Jr., commissioner of the ‘Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino’ and fellow resource person of the forum. “The present documents of Albayano history are made by foreigners, based on information that needs further study. In terms of language, we must have our own authorized lexicologists,” added Balde.

Given that Albay is a province rich with its own distinct cultural heritage, both Banzuela and Balde agreed that there is a considerable need to raise public interest in the province’s local language and literature, which may be resolved by the promotion of books and literary works in the original Albayano mother-tongue.

“There are many talented Albayano writers that can write books in the Albayano language. However, it is very difficult for them to have their works published. We need publishers here in Albay willing to give our local writers a chance,” added Balde. According to the resource persons of the forum, it has been a challenge for local writers to market their books as the limited target market is seen as un-conducive for business.

“Without people of authority or proper reference materials on our language and culture, how do we share the necessary knowledge to the people of Albay?” stated Raffi Banzuela.

Banzuela also stressed the need for libraries and museums in Albay.

“For a long time we have exerted great efforts in promoting our province’s tourism. But what we must realize is that the first place a tourist would visit are the museums to discover the history of the province,” explained the writer.

“History is not history without documentation. We need a place to house our books and artifacts for visitors and locals alike,” he added.

Keeping in spirit of the forum, Banzuela and Balde set the challenge for the stakeholders in attendance to take action needed for the preservation of Albayano culture via language and history. “We must begin to take initiative today, because the preservation of our heritage is preservation of our legacy,” said Banzuela as he ended his talk.

With the input given by those attending the forum, PIA-Bicol stated confidence the objective of identifying the concerns that need to be addressed has been fulfilled. Being one with the advocacy for culture and heritage, PIA gave word that such concern would be communicated to NCCA and other concerned agencies so that respective solution may be formulated. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301478670775/pia-albay-infocen-holds-forum-for-albayano-heritage-advocacy-#sthash.vbIwNa68.dpuf

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