Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista has ordered the creation of a Culture and Arts Council following a 2006 ordinance that aims to develop and strengthen the premier city’s cultural fabric.
In issuing Office Order 110-2018, Bautista appointed the following to sit in the Council:
• Councilor Kate Abigael G. Coseteng, in her capacity as chairman of the City Council Committee on Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Heritage;
• Teresa Tirona representing the Quezon City Tourism Council;
• Marian C. Orayani, city budget officer;
• Pedro P. Rodriguez Jr., city planning and development officer;
• Ares P. Gutierrez, city information officer
• Dr. Elizabeth E. Quesada, superintendent of schools, and
• Divina Gracia P. Pascua, officer-in-charge of the QC Tourism Department.
Representatives from the theater, visual arts, heritage conservation, indigenous people and cultural communities, and non-government organizations will also be named to the Council.
The QC Tourism Department will serve as the Council’s secretariat.
Meanwhile, Bautista also led the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ephraim Ben Matityau for the construction of a Philippine-Israel Friendship Park within the Quezon Memorial Circle.
The Philippine-Israel Friendship Park will feature a special marker in honor of President Manuel Quezon for saving the lives of over 1,000 Jewish refugees during the Second World War, and also to commemorate the Philippines’ vote in favor of the partition of Palestine and the recreation of the state of Israel.
“This signing ceremony is about the establishment of a marker, special monument in Quezon Memorial Circle which is going to honor the unique friendship between Israel and the Philippines. This monument in Quezon City will be dedicated to Manuel Quezon, Manuel Roxas, and Elpidio Quirino as the president and vice president in 1947 for saving Jewish lives and 60 years of our friendship treaty,” Matityau said, after the MoU signing on Thursday at QC Hall.
The Quezon City government together with the Embassy of Israel and President Elpidio Quirino FoundationInc. already broke ground for ‘Friendship Park’ on Dec. 15, 2017.
“It’s a great sign of friendship and it demonstrates the unique relationship of Israel and the Philippines, especially Israel and Quezon City. Quezon City is fully aware of this story and chapter in the history that’s highlighted in so many ways and I’m really more than thankful to Mayor Bautista,” Matityau added.
President Quezon is also known as the “Asian Schindler” for allowing Jewish refugees to enter the Philippines during Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s reign.
Oskar Schindler is a German businessman who saved hundreds of lives of Jews from Hitler’s onslaught by providing them jobs in his industrial factory.