MULTI-AWARDED singer and composer Anthony Castelo called on President Rodrigo Duterte to effect a temporary ban on foreign acts and shows, except for cultural exchange programs, to give local artists a fighting chance to resuscitate the ailing local entertainment industry.
Castelo, president of the Dakilang Lahi Foundation composed of local artists, coursed his proposal through folk icon and international performer Freddie Aguilar, whom Duterte recently appointed Presidential Adviser on Culture and Arts.
“Major acts like that of James Taylor, Madonna, Barry Manilow and others cause a huge dollar drain in the country and imposing a temporary ban on these performances will give an opportunity for local artists to regain supremacy in their own country,” he exclaimed.
Castelo made the call in the aftermath of Taylor’s decision to cancel his pre-scheduled show as he criticized Duterte’s war on drugs. Castelo described the American singer’s remarks as “irresponsible.”
“James Taylor’s remarks against the war on illegal drugs were irresponsible. This incident behooves us to rethink our policy on allowing foreign artists to lord over our equally, if not better-talented, local artists,” he stressed.
He said Aguilar may move to “protect our artistic and cultural heritage from assault by excessive proliferation of foreign culture through live shows, radio, tv, films, in our country.”
“This continuing cultural and economic attrition on our country has a direct powerful negative effect on the Filipino psyche, attitude and behavior,” Castelo said.
Proof of this, he noted, was the fact that the public had shown passivity and “numbness” to such attacks when Madonna “dishonored” the country’s flag in her previous performance. Taylor, on the other hand, should have been more discerning and circumspect in attacking the war on drugs as it is something he was “not fully aware of.”
These artists, Castelo said, should not be welcomed in the Philippines.
“We should be proud of our own artists. We don’t need James Taylor because have our very own international artists such as Freddie Aguilar,” he pointed out.