Politics, Culture, and the Arts

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Last Tuesday, the University of the Philippines (UP) launched the book entitled A Political Life in the Arts: Edgardo J. Angara and Philippine Culture, written and edited by foremost arts and culture writers Patrick Flores and Sonia Ner.Co-written by professors Marilyn Canta, Roberto Paulino, Flaudette May Datuin, and D.M. Reyes, the book is a collection of essays about my culture and arts initiatives in the fields of legislation, education, patronage, and community building through programs for creativity.The book launch was attended by my family and friends from the academe, arts, and business communities. It coincided with the opening of an exhibit on Quezon memorabilia at the Vargas Museum in UP Diliman. A week earlier, I opened the exhibit on Baler, Aurora at the UP heritage museum Bulwagan ng Dangal. It presented the legacy of Baler as a place of history and a lively contemporary culture.Culture and the arts inspire me to do more for it every day of my political life. The Philippines is blessed with a rich and extraordinary cultural heritage. To me, this constitutes our true wealth as a people and should make us proud to be Filipino.During my stint as President of the University of the Philippines, I realized that the university had such a rich and priceless art collection but there was no available record of it and no way to keep track of them. …