Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is excited and thrilled as she joins the celebration of National Arts Month (NAM) for three consecutive years as its ambassador.
The Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe and considered by the majority as the best candidate we had who triumphed in the most coveted title in the number one beauty pageant, Gray was named as NCCA Art Ambassador in 2020.
The Filipina who fits the description of being “the perfect symbol of a nation rich in heritage and love” put her being an arts ambassador to heart and began to partake in various arts and cultural activities such as the Kultura 101 with Catriona, and The Grand Reveal featuring the Metropolitan Theater, Padayon: The NCCA Hour where she became one of the first and most viewed guests, and the Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines.
In a custom Filipinana made from inabel sourced from her Ilocos Norte trip paired with a Christian Dior white mini-cali bag, Gray adds elegance, sophistication, and stellar presence to the NAM press conference with NCCA’s new chairman and concurrent executive director of the National Archives of the Philippines, Hon. Victorino Mapa Manalo.
Other VIPs in attendance are NCCA executive director Oscar Casaysay, deputy executive director for administration and support services Marichu Tellano, deputy executive director for operation Bernan Joseph Corpuz, NCCA Subcommission on the Arts (SCA) outgoing commissioner Dr. Rolando B. Tolentino, and incoming commissioner Dr. Arvin Manuel R. Villalon with the outgoing and incoming heads of the seven national committees: Architecture and Allied Arts outgoing head Lar. Zenaida DC. Galingan and incoming head Lar. Cathe Desiree S. Nadal; Cinema outgoing head Dr. Rolando B. Tolentino, and incoming head Teddy Co; Dance outgoing head Dr. Shirley Halili-Cruz, and incoming head Dr. Lordinio A. Vergara; Literary Arts outgoing head: Dr. Julieta C. Mallari and incoming head Niles Jordan D. Breis; Music outgoing head: Felipe M. De Leon, Jr. and incoming head Arvin Manuel R. Villalon; Dramatic Arts outgoing head: Dr. Felimon B. Blanco and incoming head Eduardo P. Perez; and Visual Arts outgoing head Geraldine B. Araneta, and incoming head Dennis E. Montera.
“Ani ng Sining, Bunga ng Galing” is this year’s Arts Month theme.
“The theme ‘galing’ refers to excellence in the arts as both a source of bounty despite challenging times and a product of the passion of Filipino artists and cultural workers,” explains the NCCA.
In celebrating National Arts Month in 2023, “galing” alludes to artistic excellence as well as underscoring the capacity of the arts to heal, rebuild, and restore in a post-pandemic setting.
Promulgated by then President Corazon Aquino in 1991, Presidential Proclamation No. 683 declared February of every year as National Arts Month to celebrate artistic excellence and pay tribute to the uniqueness and diversity of Filipino heritage and culture.
“I was thinking of what arts month means to me. This is the third time being involved as an arts ambassador during arts month, and arts is really one of the pathways that led me to fall even more in love with my country. It really opened up a pathway for me to know what the Philippines is, its identity, and also to discover my identity as a Filipina,” Gray says in her opening speech.
“February is also known as love month, so I was thinking of the co-relation of the two. Of course, during love month, kung may significant other ka you are thinking of ways to show how much you care about them, to tell them how you appreciate them, and to make them feel loved,” the Queen of the Arts carries on.
She emphasizes that in February we can think of the ways the “Philippine arts and culture is like a love letter to our own country, from Filipinos to our countrymen, it’s wonderful to allow people internationally to see and appreciate and know our arts, but what more so is to allow our kababayans to fall even more in love sa ating bansa through our arts, which is something I can personally testify, it’s very much possible, it allows love to grow, the appreciation to grow that last for a lifetime.”
As always, very well said, Queen Catriona Gray! Thanks for sowing the seeds of love for the arts.