First batch of Visual Arts and Dance Workshop culminates today

After 40 fruitful hours of trainings abd workshops, 84 participants of the First Batch of the Folk Dance and Latin Dance Workshop and 56 participants of the Basic Level Visual Arts Workshop of the Baybay City School for the Arts graduated today (February 17, 2023) at the Convention Center, Binaybayon Comples, Barangay Hibunawan, Baybay City, Leyte.

This was graced by the local officials of the Local Government Unit of Baybay City, headed by Vice Mayor, Atty. Ernesto M. Butawan, the Baybay City Division personnel headed by the Schools Division Superintendent (SDS) Dr. Carmelino Bernadas, the Visayas State University represented by Dr. Alice and Andy Acabal, the parents and guardians of the participants, and the participants of the two (2) workshops.

During his Opening Remarks, SDS Bernadas thanked the Baybay City LGU, especially Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari who, according to him, was the one who invited him and his talented teachers together with the Culture and the Arts Center of the Visayas State University, headed by Director Jude Nonie Sales, to come up with a program for the Baybay City Schools for the Arts. He also thanked Congressman Carl Nicolas Cari of the 5th District of Leyte for providing funds for the first ever School for the Arts in Region 8.

One of the Visual Arts participant, the Head of the Monterico Elementary School Mr. Deodato Flandez Jr. said that, “The success to this endeavor is not on the age but on the passion, interest and time management.”

Another Visual Arts participant, Mr. Rexter Fernandez said that he came to the Baybay City School for the Arts with nothing, not even a pencil and a paper, but now he will be bringing with him his art pieces.  He added that, “Now I can re-affirm that what the society needs right now are healers, peace makers and story tellers and you can have all of these thru arts.”

A mother of two (2) participants, Engr. Desiryl Agustin, on the other hand, said that the School for the Arts Program of the City of Baybay was created to help enhance the talents of the budding artists of the city, both young and the not so young.  “I have seen the improvement in the skills of my children. Indeed, this is a very good start to boost their talents and to fulfill their dreams of becoming professionals some day. Looking at the milestones of our children, I can truly say that the trainers did a great job,” added Engr. Agustin.

Baybay 1 Central School pupil, Cassiopeia Reiza t. Bradecin, one of the participants of the Dance Workshop said, “We are here to take our bow to the gratefulness of the leaders of the City of Baybay saying thank you is not enough for the facilities and support laid before us. We pray that this talent will continue and build a city of talents and keep the minds of the youth focused on something worthwhile like this dance program.  We know that this will happen because CARI CARES.”

While the grandmother of one of the participants of the Dance Workshop Education Program Supervisor in Araling Panlipunan Ms. Ma. Teresa Rabanos revealed the benefits of dancing as follows: reduced stress level, improved relaxation, stronger bones, weight control, and a healthier brain.  Thus, she thanked the Baybay City LGU for coming up with this kind of program and hoped that this will continue to be free where the participants are considered as LGU scholars.

To this, Vice Mayor Atty. Ernesto M. Butawan, representing City Mayor Cari, said that the program is not actually free,”For the last 20 years, we constructed roads, bridges, schools, health centers, and other buildings for our constituents. But we realized that we also need to invest on our human resources, create opportunities and provide equal access to it. Thus, the government spends for our constituents to develop their skills using the taxes paid by our constituents. Your local officials just made sure that your taxes work for you.” Vice Mayor Butawan reiterated that we must nurture and embrace our culture thus Mayor Cari and Congressman Cari came up with this program to explore the potentials of our children.

One of the trainers, VSU CAC Director Prof. Sales, on the other hand, said that this is a once in a life time opportunity to learn and improve our skills courtesy of our local officials.  “I consider all of you diamonds in the raft and, as a trainer, I am excited to produce many excellent and award-winning artists to make all Baybayanons proud,” he added.

Prof. Sales also revealed that the Second Batch of the Basic Level Visual Arts Workshop and the Inter-mediate Level Visual Arts Workshop starts on February 18 (Saturday), while the Batch 2 of the Dance Workshop starts on March 4.  He added that the School for the Arts will soon offer Voice and Musical Instruments Training, Acting Workshop for Stage and Film, and the Media Arts Training.

The VSU Artistic Director and Dance Trainer Mr. Juvel Aberilla expressed his heartfelt thanks to the local officials for the support in cultivating the talent of the Baybayanons, “This has inspired us to share our knowledge on culture and the arts and we are hoping that Baybay City will become the Culture and the Arts Hub in Region 8 and in the country.”

Lastly, City Administrator Florante Cayunda Jr., representing Congressman Cari, thanked the team behind the successful first batch of Visual Arts and Dace Workshops, “ Rest assured that the Baybay City LGU will continue to support this program to continue to hone, develop and mold the talents of Baybayanons who only need a venue or an opportunity to shine.”

Atty. Cayunda also revealed that Congressman Cari has already filed the bill in Congress for the establishments of a Culture and the Arts Center. “Both Congressman Carl and Mayor Boying wants to have an inclusive progress and development for tgw City. Thus, we will notice that aside from implementing programs to boost the agriculture, health, education and infrastructure of the city, a number of plaza have been established also to provide open spaces not only for Baynayanons but for our visitors as well. (Marissa Miguel Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)