A Treasure House Opens Its Doors

Filipinos can now visit the Cultural Center of the Philippines Library free of charge! The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Library isn’t bragging when it bills itself as a treasure house of Philippine arts and culture. After all, what other library in the country can boast of art books, film and theater photos and scripts, manuscripts, and other memorabilia such as certificates, medals, and trophies donated by such renowned artists, scholars, and art enthusiasts such as Lino O. Brocka, Rustica C. Carpio, Nicanor S. Abelardo, and Felipe P. De Leon just to name a few?

What other library in the country can boast of authentic and well-researched video documentation of various Filipino festivals such as the Inagta in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental; the Karakol in Ternate, Cavite; the Moriones in Marinduque; and the Pahiyas in Lukban, Quezon? What other library in the country can boast videos of in-house performances of local and international artists like Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Lea Salonga, the Martha Graham Dance Company, and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra just to name a few? The resources alone are a boon to art enthusiasts, researchers, teachers and students alike, but this year the CCP Library offers yet another incentive for people to visit -- they can now visit the library free of charge.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Library waived its entrance fee last April and according to chief librarian Alice Esteves, this is their own way of helping students who need library access but lack money for the admission fee. Previously, the library charged P11 for students and P25 for professionals, which included complete access to audio visual equipment. “May mga public school students, especially ‘yung mga elementary na nag reresearch dito, kung minsan talagang wala silang maibayad dun sa entrance fee na R11 so ginagawa nung mga bata kung sampu sila mag share silang tig-pipiso para maka pasok ‘yung isa lang. Nakakaawa naman sila,” she said. RENOVATION This isn’t the first big change that the library has implemented.

The library underwent a renovation back in 1998, and Esteves says that are planning even more renovations in the future. “Ang request naming sa nasa management is to give us more space kasikulang ‘yung aming space dahil sa ngayon marami ‘yung mga gusto ng mag donate na galling sa mga National Artists eh wala naman na kaming mapaglagyan kasi congested na ‘yung areas naming dito,” she explains.

This is because aside from housing books, the library is also home to a massive collection of audio-visual material that patrons can also utilize. “Ito kasing library na ito, ito lang ‘yung library sa buong Pilipinas na mayroong collection ng mga old video tapes nung mga performances na ginanap dito since nung pagkakatayo nitong center na ito,” she says. “Pati ‘yung mga dinocument na dying traditions ng mga Filipinos from Aparri down to Jolo naka-video, naka-videotape. Meron silang mga photos at slides dito.”

According to Esteves, this much needed expansion is already part of the CCP’s future plans of expanding and developing its 62-hectare complex along Roxas Boulevard. “Meron nung Complex Development Plan ng CCP wherein mag e-expand ‘yung buong complex and i-coconvert into a place of entertainment, wherein itong library magkakaroon ng sariling building niya, tapos ‘yung museum ibang building din, tapos mayroong mga iba’t ibang mga building na naka assign o may kanya kanyang function bawat isa. Itong main building magiging venue na lang talaga ito ng mga performances,” she says. FREE FOR ALL Esteves says waiving the library’s entrance fee will not produce a huge dent in the CCP’s finances. She points out that aside from the money given by the government, the CCP also draws revenue from the rent paid by those who perform in the main theater, the Folk Arts Theater, and the Film Center, as well as from parking fees.

Fees for the other services that the library offers, such as photocopying, scanning, dubbing, and listening and viewing services also still apply. But what is more important, according to Esteves, is that there will now be more young Filipinos who may just find themselves introduced to the arts through the CCP Library. “Nakakatulong kami sa mga mahihirap na bata. Na-iintroduce naming sila lalo na sa arts and culture kasi hindi masyadong na pagtutuunan ng pansin sa school,” she says, “Kung minsan, nagiging daan rin ito para makatuklas ng batang may inclination sa art.” Esteves expects an uptick in visitors, and says they are even considering taking the next step in making the library’s resources available to even more Filipinos.

Plans are already being made to make the library’s contents available to everyone via the internet. “Dadami ‘yung mga pumupuntang students ditto saka ‘yung general public. Mag iincrease ‘yung mga patrons naming dito,” she declares. “Ang balak nga gagawing available online sa mga schools ang whole content ng library and ‘yung list ng mga books para ‘yung mga students alam kung anong mga collection ang meron dito.”

By Ronald S. Lim and Wrenz Carlo Serrano (Manila Bulletin June 8, 2013)



Posted by ferdy  |  July 2, 2013