and questions on national and cultural, and the crisis that is Philippine dance, that can only resonate for the rest of culture industry in this country. excerpt from the piece by Myra Beltran:
<…this> greatly changed environment <…> also signals that the bill can be examined in terms of its assumptions about the “national” and “culture” (Philippine culture). These are the discourses which inform the bill. These discourses summoned by the bill then imply that a deeper discussion on this bill apart from the one centered on who is “more deserving” or not, can be made and that it is no easy labelling of being “for” or “against” the bill. It does not seem to be as simple as saying or implying that that those who oppose this bill would probably not oppose if they had been the beneficiary or implementor of this bill – rather, part of those who are being dismissed as simply “against” truly mean to have a sincere inquiry as to who is speaking for whom in this bill, what is being spoken in behalf of the “whom,” and whether the answer to this should be enacted into law as a republic act.  I suppose those are also topics which also concern the entire arts community as all precedents do have a subsequent ripple effect.
A case in point is that one of the reasons cited by Ballet Philippines in seeking the status of “national” is the precedent set by the naming of the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company as the “national folk dance company” (R.A. 8626 by the 10th Congress) with the contention that others who oppose this current bill would do well to seek the same for themselves, “to work for it”,  as the Bayanihan bill itself provides. On this count, and if one were to proceed to “work for it,” the proposed bill also summons the notion and the distinction between a “national folk dance company” and a “national ballet company” as both representative of “Philippine culture.” And then after, if one indeed were to “work for it,” what kind of “national” entity would one be? The same question would be posed to one working for a “national theatre company” or “national orchestra” in the future.