Message: Launching of the Buhay na Buhay Lecture Series

August 22, 2019

Message of Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda*

Launching of the Buhay na Buhay Lecture Series

22 August 2019 | National Museum of Fine Arts Auditorium

*Delivered by Dr. Ana Labrador, Assistant Director of the National Museum of the Philippines


(Standard greetings)

It is my pleasure to share this joyous afternoon with you. Buhay na Buhay is the product of hard work and perseverance of former National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairperson Professor Felipe De Leon Jr. and the dedicated production team. Prof. De Leon’s academic and scholarly work on the eight living cultures of the Philippines served as the foundation for a television series of the same name, which we launched just a year ago.

When we launched it as a TV series, we simply wanted more Filipinos to understand these cultures. Delivered through the Filipino language and in such a manner that will engage, inform, and entertain them, the Buhay na Buhay TV series was aired on GMA News TV every Saturday for eight weeks. It was hosted by yours truly, with discussions with Prof. De Leon.

Now, allow me to recap each episode that featured the different facets of the eight living cultures.

Let us begin with the Kultura ng Pagdidiwata which showcased the Filipino culture that is in harmony with nature, deities, and ancestral spirits. The pilot episode showed how art, myth, ritual, work, and day-to-day activities are all integrated to one.

The Kultura ng Pag-uukit at Pag-uuma, which was featured in the second episode, explored the deep and spiritual connection of the Muslim Filipino artistry and craftsmanship to their religion, including the intricate and complex designs of their clothing, architecture, textiles, and even music and dance.

During the third episode, we featured the Kultura ng Pamamanata, which showed how Catholicism has become an important part of our culture, especially those in the countryside. We looked into the different celebrations and fiestas that commemorate feast days of the Santo Niño, Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, or a patron saint that have brought many communities together.

During the fourth episode, we tackled the Kultura ng Pananahan or Devotion to the Home and Family. We highlighted devotion to the family, one’s social network of friends, acquaintances, and sanctity of the home.

In the next episode, we talked about the Kultura ng Paglilining at Pangangatwiran, which featured individuals, groups, and historical figures whose work and discipline to their craft exhibit this particular culture considered to be individualistic in nature and Western-inspired, but remains deeply Filipino.

We discussed the Kultura ng Pag-aaliw in the sixth episode, which was probably the most relatable one, where we talked about popular culture or the culture of fun, sheer physical energy, and sensory excitements. It was all about popular entertainers, movie stars, sports heroes, and popular icons in all fields.

The Kultura ng Pamumuna at Pagtutol looked into how art has become an instrument to raise awareness on current social issues, a force of social liberation, the advocacy of social justice, and in the struggle for human rights.

Finally, for the last episode, we highlighted the Kultura ng Pagkabansa, which is the culture of celebrating important historical events as Filipinos, such as Independence Day and Rizal Day, which bring a sense of nationalism and bring us pride as Filipinos.

From these episodes, we were not only able to prove that the Philippines is truly a culturally diverse country, but we were also able to better grasp the different facets of our culture which we continue to unravel.

Like what I said when we launched the TV series, we constantly learn about our rich heritage and are always in pursuit of deepening our understanding of the very soul and identity of being a Filipino.

So, when I heard that there will be a lecture series, I could not help but feel excited. It signifies the success of very significant endeavor, to promote the study of Former NCCA Chair Felipe De Leon, Jr., and exhibits the commitment to raise awareness on our very own culture.

I am hopeful that this lecture series will teach more Filipinos about the eight living cultures of the Philippines and that it serves as a guide in dealing with the different aspects of life, such as facing problems with family and friends, raising awareness on issues and advocacies, and many more.

Lastly, I am hopeful that this lecture series will give birth to other studies on our culture, providing more insights about our being Filipino and bringing more learnings and lessons about our culture, tradition, and arts to the table.

With that, I congratulate Prof. De Leon, the NCCA, and the rest of the team behind this project.

Thank you and good day.