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The PARC continues to serve artists, talented young Filipinos.

FOR the first time since it started operations three years ago, The Performing Arts and Recreation Center (PARC) Foundation opened its hub in San Juan with pocket performances from its artist-partners, guests and scholars.

The event that took place on May 18, also served as a tribute to its founder, the late Wilmer Guido, who endeavored to provide artists the avenue to hone, cultivate and promote their craft after witnessing not only the lack of such facilities in the country, but also the lack of appreciation of the arts among Filipinos, especially the youth.

'His vision was to spearhead the development of the performing arts in the country by enabling the struggling Filipino artists to succeed. His simple mission was to create a sustainable ecosystem for the performing arts, with The PARC functioning as an open hub for artists to congregate on their skills, equip themselves for their future careers and become relevant contributors of the society,' said William Guido, chairman of The PARC Foundation.

The PARC is housed in a two-story building, which used to be the office of Globaltronics. It's a welcome addition to the thriving and a progressive city of San Juan.

'In fact, it is probably the only mini-cultural center of its kind in this part of the town,' said Dr. Raul Sunico, world-renowned pianist and trustee of The PARC Foundation. 'It serves to nurture the needs not only of our talented children who may need some financial support, but for the community in general.'

To date, The PARC has became a favorite creative haven for more than 250 independent theatrical shows, rehearsals and many events in this part of the metropolis. But its relevance does not end there. It has also opened opportunities to the less privileged yet talented individuals, especially the children.

The PARCaralan Scholarship Program is the foundation's two-year flagship project aimed at giving free music, dance and theater classes to gifted young Filipinos from underserved communities and public schools in Metro Manila. This initiative serves as a grassroots project for the performing arts by honing the skills early in the children-beneficiaries' lives.

'In the Philippines, finishing school is a luxury for the underprivileged. There are approximately 4 million out-of-school youth and children in the country, and the top reasons for not attending are financial,' said Larissa Nodalo, president and cofounder of The PARC Foundation. 'But we believe there's hope because the Filipino youth is rich in creativity. And we believe that underprivileged children can have a future in the performing arts.'

At present, volunteer-mentors from the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra are training about 30 PARCaralan kids in arts and music. Given the program's initial success and in response to the late founder's goal, the foundation seeks to train and nurture at least 300 kids chosen from the needy communities in a span of five years.

'This is a big dream. But I believe, with full support and commitments from our generous and compassionate donors and sponsors, we can make his dream a reality soon,' the chairman noted.

Guido cited, in particular, their new partners from Singapore, the Global Cultural Alliance (GCA), a nonprofit arts and culture company, together with two of its affiliates, to help The PARC as it embarks on many worthy projects and key undertakings in the coming years.

As a headstart, GCA copresented 'A Walk in The PARC: The PARC Foundation Open House' wherein artists, art practitioners, cultural institution and hub managers, and creative entrepreneurs from both the Philippines and Singapore experienced each of the creative spaces within the center and created connections for future collaborations.

'Art is not just a privilege or something that's important. Art is a right. Everybody has that right. You should not deny anybody a right to arts. It's a basic primary right of living. I cannot envision or live life without art,' said Phan Ming Yen of GCA.

This event also marked the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties between the two neighboring Southeast Asian nations, serving as a launching pad for two more upcoming affairs, such as the tribute event on September 5 at the Maybank Theater in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and the culminating big charity ball on December 11.

'The partnership forged between the PARC Foundation and the Global Cultural Alliance strengthen the cultural and people ties between Singapore and the Philippines,' said Ambassador Gerard Ho, Singaporean envoy to the Philippines.

'These big events shall feature a series of cultural exchange programs to demonstrate the great collaboration and deep friendship between the Philippines and Singapore for the past 50 years,' Guido added.

The PARC Foundation is a registered nonprofit organization founded in December 2015. With the ongoing developments and future renovation plans to convert this property into a vibrant, bustling artistic hub, this will soon be known as 'The PARC Manila' aimed at further elevating the skills and talents of a community of artists and bring forth their artistry to the youth.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jun 10, 2019
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