National Commission for Culture and the Arts Head Visits KL to Bolster Cultural Exchange

29 June 2015 — The Philippine Embassy said today that National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman Professor Felipe M. de Leon, Jr. visited Malaysia from June 20 to 23 in line with both countries' desire to enhance cultural exchanges.

The NCCA Chairman met with Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTAC) Secretary General Tan Sri Dr. Ong Hong Pang, Undersecretary Dato' Yean Yoke Heng and other MOTAC officials on June 22 at their offices in Putrajaya to discuss the implementation of Philippine-Malaysia Agreement on Culture, Arts and Heritage Cooperation, which was signed during the State Visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III to Kuala Lumpur in February 2014.

"The Embassy has prioritized cultural exchanges as means to foster deeper understanding and friendship between Filipinos and Malaysians. With the visit of NCCA Chairman De Leon, we hope to scale this up, especially with the signing of the bilateral cultural agreement," Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said.

Chairman De Leon also visited the Kraftangan, Malaysian Craft Complex on and the National Visual Arts Gallery, where he viewed Malaysian arts and crafts.

At the National Visual Arts Gallery, he was welcomed by its Chairman, Dato Mahadzir Lokman, who toured him around the gallery. Dato Mahadzir welcomed the initiative to host Filipino artists for an exhibit at the gallery this year.

Chairman De Leon took time off for the Filipino-Malaysian community and gave a lecture at the Embassy's premises entitled "What Makes Filipinos Filipino?" before appreciative community members and Embassy officers and staff, including some children and youth.

In his lecture, he highlighted the Filipino's ability to share and establish connections as what makes the race stand out from the rest of the world. Chairman De Leon believes that knowing this, Filipinos must capitalize on its strengths on being able to connect with others to reaffirm his roots and develop his capacities.

"Filipinos are quite unique as a people, as we like to connect and share our experiences with others. Knowing this, we should capitalize on this and use this strength to become a better person and citizen of the world," Chairman De Leon said. END