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Acceptance Message: Conferment of “Cavaliere” in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic

July 14, 2017

Acceptance Message of Senator Loren Legarda

Conferment of “Cavaliere” in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic

13 July 2017 | Residence of the Italian Ambassador to the PHL

Your Excellency, Massimo Roscigno,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is with much gratitude and great honor that I accept the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

A few years ago, I only dreamt of bringing the Philippines back to the oldest and most prestigious global art platform, the Venice Biennale.

I believe that art is an enabler of development. My vision is for all Filipinos to see the importance of the arts in our soul and identity. I know that the Venice Biennale is a great platform to showcase the Filipino talent.

Fifty-one years after our first national participation, we were able to return with an impressive national pavilion curated by Dr. Patrick Flores in 2015. Tie A String Around The World was well-received and included among the top ten must-see pavilions.

In 2016, another milestone was achieved with our first participation in the Venice Architecture Biennale featuring Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City, curated by Leandro Y. Locsin, Jr., Sudarshan Khadka, Jr. and Juan Paolo Dela Cruz of the Leandro V. Locsin Partners (LVLP).

Now, we are proud that on our third consecutive participation, we are already in the Arsenale, one of the main exhibition spaces of the Venice Biennale, featuring The Spectre of Comparison curated by Joselina Cruz.

The story of our participation in the Venice Biennale is how I envision the development of Philippine art—to continuously improve, to be seen as vital in nation building, and to be recognized in the world.

In the process, we not only brought renewed hope and inspiration to Filipino artists and curators, we also strengthened the cultural bond between the Philippines and Italy.

But I never realized it would merit an award—the prestigious Order of Merit.

I am truly grateful and humbled; but more importantly, tremendously inspired to live up to the noble principles this award represents.

I recognize that as in any award, there are responsibilities. As a cavaliere, and in my capacity as Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, I will continuously pursue stronger cultural partnership between our two nations and tap other areas of cooperation.

Your Excellency, thank you once again for this esteemed recognition.