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Message: Finissage of the 2017 Philippine Pavilion

November 27, 2017

Message of Senator Loren Legarda*

Finissage of the 2017 Philippine Pavilion

November 26, 2015 | Fava Church, Venice, Italy

(*Read by Philippine Ambassador to Italy Domingo Nolasco)

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

We are here once again at the culmination of another successful Philippine Pavilion exhibition at the Venice Biennale. But we know this is not the end, because what ends in Venice comes home to the Philippines and we hope to mount the homecoming exhibition of The Spectre of Comparison in 2018.

My gratitude goes to everyone who have made our national pavilion in the Arsenale a success—the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and our Philippine Pavilion Commissioner, National Artist Virgilio Almario; the Department of Foreign Affairs, especially our Embassy in Italy and the Consulate General in Milan, and the Filipino community in Venice; the Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale (PAVB) Coordinating Committee; and the Department of Tourism.

I would also like to take this chance to congratulate and thank our curator, Joselina Cruz, for coming up with this wonderful concept for our Philippine Pavilion; and to our artists—Lani Maestro and Manuel Ocampo—for generously sharing their art and passion. You have made us all proud.

As we close our Philippine Pavilion for this year’s Art Biennale, we move on to another chapter as we start the preparations for our Philippine Pavilion in the Architecture Biennale featuring the curatorial proposal of Edson Cabalfin titled, The City Who Had Two Navels, which will also be mounted at the Artiglierie in the Arsenale.

In our every participation in the Venice Biennale, we wish to empower our Filipino artists and curators to continue to develop their craft and aim to be part of this global contemporary art platform. We also wish to enlighten more Filipinos on the importance of this endeavor. Art is important in fostering patriotism and nationalism. It is an enabler of development.

Thus, to make this a permanent endeavor, I have filed a proposed measure that seeks to institutionalize the Philippine participation in the international exhibitions of the Venice Biennale. It has already been approved in the committee level and we hope that it will be enacted before 2019 so that even beyond my term as senator, we will continue to participate in the Venice Biennale.

Through our continuous participation in the Venice Biennale, we aim to nurture appreciation of art among Filipinos, so that in time, it is already the people themselves who will urge government to give stronger support for arts and culture.

Again, congratulations to our Philippine Pavilion team. Thank you to everyone who supported this endeavor and see you all next year. Mabuhay!