The MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC), in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), conducted the “A Culture that Heals: The NCCA-RDC Webinar on Filipino Values and Culture in the Time of Pandemic” on September 24, through Zoom.
The webinar highlighted the crucial roles of Filipino values and culture in helping communities recover from the social, mental, and economic effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It also aimed to assist the region in continuing its cultural activities even in the period of public health crisis to deliver results for the cultural component of their COVID-19 Rehabilitation and Recovery Programs (CRRPs).
Dr. Felipe M. de Leon, Jr., former chairperson of the NCCA and former commissioner of the UNESCO Philippines, discussed his study on Hiyang, the Filipino philosophy of healing, which highlights the culture of pagpapakatao with its social, creative-aesthetic, mythical, and mystical aspects of being.
Professor Arvin Manuel R. Villalon, the team leader of NCCA’s National Survey on Filipino Values and assistant professor at the University of the Philippines Baguio, presented the results of the said survey on Filipino values. Results showed that MIMAROPAns value family most among all the Filipino core values followed by basic needs and faith. The onset of COVID-19 pandemic directly affected core values such as health and wellness, work and livelihood, basic needs, and family and self. However, values can also be protective factors to keep resiliency amid the public health crisis.
Moreover, Professor Villalon mentioned key actions to soften or reverse the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Filipino values such as (a) addressing the primary concerns on basic needs, work, education, and health; (b) promoting love for country and its related values like governance, excellence, creativity, cultural sensitivity, and recognizing diversity; (c) strengthening the Filipino family; (d) addressing sectoral and human rights concerns; (e) working on Filipino strengths such as bayanihan, resilience, happiness, and creativity; (f) promoting values beyond just material security; (g) working on the role of media to promote values; (h) collaborating with various sectors of the society; (i) addressing concerns on environment and peace and development; and (j) conducting further research on values to a wider population.
Meanwhile, NEDA Regional Office in MIMAROPA OIC Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling, in her closing message, encouraged the participants to continue promoting Filipino culture and values and influence others to work toward sustainable regional development and inclusive growth.
“These times are truly pushing us to be more resilient than we already were before so that we can be more creative and innovative in finding solutions to the different social, mental, and economic effects of the pandemic,” Sumbeling said.
The webinar was participated in by regional directors and representatives of regional line agencies, state universities and colleges, local government units, and private sector representatives.