A shared history of colonialism and migration, a strong seafaring tradition and commonalities in culture and language connect the Philippines and Guam, according to Dr. Felipe de Leon Jr., chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in the Philippines.
De Leon, spoke about these connections during the 8th Philippine Studies Lecture on “Strengthening Philippine-Guamanian Relations through Cultural Understanding,” held recently at the University of Guam.
Marciano R. De Borja, Philippine consul general in Agana, introduced De Leon as a person who lives and breathes culture and the arts: a composer, scholar, professor and cultural administrator. This is of no surprise, according to De Borja, given the NCCA chairman’s artistic pedigree. In fact, he said De Leon is the son of the Philippine National Artist for Music, Felipe Padilla De Leon, who wrote the first full-length Filipino opera.