TORONTO – Philippine Artists Group of Canada (PAG) President Nelia Tonido says many Filipinos have a lack of interest in the arts. “They would buy a big sofa for a very expensive price, but will never pay anything for a painting,” adds Tonido.
That is why the Philippine Consulate-General Office (PCG) in collaboration with the PAG has thought of organizing “Sining,” an art exhibition that aims to promote Philippine arts to Filipinos and Canadians alike. The opening event was held Friday, May 2 at PCG’s new office on Eglington St. Tonido says it may take a long time to enlighten Filipinos about the arts, but hopes that the event will be the beginning of that process.
Consul General Junever Mahilum-West invites everyone to come and see the exhibit, which will run for two months. It is the first activity organized by the PCG to commemorate the Asian Heritage Month. “This is part of our cultural diplomacy, which is one of our missions… Through cultural activities like this, we get to showcase the talent (of Filipinos) and the richness of our culture,” says Mahilum-West.
Members and officers of the PAG painted most of the works showcased. The Consul-General has a few paintings she painted herself on display as well. Both Mahilum-West and Tonido also encourage the younger generation to visit and view the display to learn more about their cultural heritage.
The PAG will be celebrating its 26th year anniversary on Philippine Independence Day this year. As it starts its next quarter of a century, the group promises that it will continue to promote Philippine visual arts in North America, particularly in Canada. Celebrated Filipino artist Romeo Mananquil says, “Art is the common ground that unites us all.”
Some of the paintings are for sale. Interested buyers can get in touch with the PCG Office for more information.