Sining: The “fire” and “fun” of February in the Philippines

The Filipino word for art is “Sining”, art gives meaning and color to life. As we all know, creativity sparks ideas, it encourages people to express themselves and not confined by their limitations. To create is to bring out something beautiful and purposeful. Ideas are catalysts that help create more solutions and circulate an innovative mindset that would lead to more jobs and drive economic growth.

In 2019, the UN General Assembly has declared 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. Although Indonesia was the main sponsor of this resolution, other countries including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Thailand have shown support towards this mission. Recognizing the need to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, foster innovation, and provide opportunities, benefits, and empowerment for all and respect for all human rights.

As we are all aware, the pandemic and the year 2020 brought disruption to the creative economy. Because of lockdowns and community quarantines, more people have no choice but to be more open to possibilities. This has led more creators in the creative economy to give more attention to sustainable development and technology. The digital platform has served as a lifeline to the creative industry, for they learned to endorse their designs via social media. Some also conform to creations sustainably with recycled materials and eco-friendly elements. The rest have focused more on basic needs and essentials.

Fully ingrained in our culture, the “Bayanihan” of the Filipino creative community has paved the way for more creators and designers to collaborate more and find opportunities to survive and while realigning their sources of livelihood. This also helped many designers as they sought a stronger support system in their communities to continue creating value for their craft. It also gave way to being more open, sharing their best practices and learning new skills, perspectives and techniques. Showing not just passion to grow on their chosen crafts but also a profound love for their nation and their kababayans.

Speaking of love, while we know February as the month of love, it is also the National Arts Month of the Philippines. Under Presidential Proclamation no. 683, the Philippines recognizes its culture and art in different forms with the celebration of the annual National Arts Month every February. Creativity puts the “fire” and “fun” as fundamental parts of this year’s recovery. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Alab-sining, Alay-sigla,” which aims to provide opportunities for harnessing artists’ creative energies in uplifting the nation’s spirit. This celebration also aims to conserve, promote and popularize Filipino artistic creations; integrate the arts in the community life; and harness the arts as catalysts for values education.

Concurrently strengthens the creative community to be proud of their culture, respect differences, evolve, and advocate inclusion. In the hopes of laying a stronger foundation for the future generation of the Filipino creative community, let us thrive and consider 2021 as the beginning of a new age for creative economy and innovation.


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