If at present we know only bits and pieces of what are expressive of our collective community as Visayans, then it matters very much that we begin the collection, documentation, music transcription/notation and possibly provision of the historical background and analysis of what makes Visayan song distinctive and expressive of the Visayan spirit. - Dr. Hope S. Yu, Chair, DOST-NRCP Division of Humanities

As part of the Visayan collective memory, every song they sing or write from the past and perform for the present connect to their roots and lays the path to the future.

The Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP), in partnership with the University of San Carlos (USC) Cebuano Studies and DOST Regional Office No. VII, will hold the Visayas Policy Forum to present the policy insights and recommendations of Dr. Yu’s project entitled, “A Comprehensive Compilation of Extant Cebuano Songs with Music Transcription and Analysis” on November 20, 2019 at Dingman Conference Hall, University of San Carlos – Talamban Campus, Cebu City

Visayas is known for its cultural richness in song traditions and great musicality. The Visayas song traditions define its people and make them all distinct from other ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines believing that among all the arts, music has an extreme emotional power. This has been their contributions to Philippine culture.

The rise of foreign music somehow put down roots in the local music industry. But to keep the Cebuano music ecosystem alive, steps can be made through policy changes to encourage music appreciation, growth and sustainability. Cebu City has significantly developed and there is a need to preserve and promote Cebuano music before they are completely erased from our Visayan collective memory. These songs and music traditions contain great cultural value and history. The research and acquisition of these Cebuano songs allow the preservation of this important cultural heritage thereby also contributing to the study and preservation of Philippine music. This also provides a very important information drive on Visayan culture, specifically music.

One of the main purposes is to go beyond the collection of intangible heritage to ultimately encompass resources from the past in a variety of forms and aspects. These comprise traditions as well as transmitted knowledge, songs and other expressions of Cebuano creativity. Tourism is a key area to further explore and unleash the potential in Cebuano music.

One of DOST-NRCP’s strategies for its policy briefs and policy statements that carry science- and evidence-based policy recommendations is to engage experts and resource persons who can influence in the crafting of polices during policy forums.

For the Visayas Policy Forum, no less than Dr. Ernesto M. Pernia, Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning, National Economic and Development Auhority (NEDA) will speak about how culture and music serve as an integral part of inclusive development. Secretary Pernia is a Professor Emeritus of Economics in UP Diliman.

The forum panelists include Dr. Jose Eleazar Bersales, Governor’s Representative, Province of Cebu, Dr. Gelena Asis-Dimpas, Tourism Operations Chief, Department of Tourism – Region VII, and Dr. Leonardo Tanael, Jr., Education Supervisor II, CHED – Region VII.

The documentation of indigenous knowledge, data collection on social phenomena, education, national security and sovereignty, human, arts, history and culture are areas for research the Inclusive Nation Building, Ang Tinig Nation or ATIN Program. ATIN is the second priority of the DOST-NRCP National Integrated Basic Research Agenda (NIBRA).

A wealth of undocumented songs has been captured in the field interviews. Together with studio recorded music and archival research, they constitute a huge database for study and analysis by the researchers and musicologist. Although there is an abundance of extant songs recorded on CD and cassette (even long-play albums), no existing discography exists to indicate what, where, when and other pertinent information regarding these pieces.

The policy forum will be participated by the Province of Cebu, City of Cebu, Department of Tourism, National Economic and Development Authority, LGUs, Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission, Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, Inc., Cebu Arts Foundation, Inc., HAMBIN, Cebu United TV and Radio Artists (CURTA), Cebu Daily News, SunStar Daily, The Freeman, Creative Cebu, Halad Museum, Archdiocese of Cebu, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Education, National Commission of Culture and the Arts especially Music, academia, singers and others, Senate and House Committees on Education, Arts and Culture.