The noted Manila tour guide, performance artist and political and cultural activist Carlos Celdran was in Vancouver this weekend and talked to Joseph Planta about Filipino culture, Jose Rizal, Manny Pacquiao, history, and politics in the Philippines.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.
The gift of having a show of your own, especially on the internet, is the ability to do whatever it is you want. That means talking about things that one is interested in, and not having to worry if others will care. Though I suspect you’ll be interested in hearing from my guest now. He is Carlos Celdran. In the Philippines, he’s a well-known tour guide, performance artist, and cultural and political activist. He’s been dubbed the ‘Pied Piper of Manila.’ He was in Vancouver this weekend conducting the popular walking tours that have gotten him written in up in Time among other worldwide publications. I’ve occasionally had guests on talking about the Philippines. Its politics, history and culture interest me, and my parents happen to be from the Philippines. In February, we marked the 25th anniversary of EDSA I and the People’s Power revolution with Phil Bronstein. Miguel Syjuco was on last year for his book Illustrado, as was Winnie Monsod, who gave us a bit of an overview of last year’s presidential election. Now, Mr. Celdran is an ideal guest for the show, as his vocation and avocation is the confluence if you will of Philippine history, politics and culture. We’ll talk about the tours here in Vancouver, and in Toronto and the reaction had at those, as well as politics in his country, as he’s a vocal and conspicuous proponent of the Reproductive Health Bill, to the point where last September he was arrested for a protest he conducted during a mass at the Manila Cathedral. The RH Bill debate is regular news in his country, and has ramifications for where the country is headed. His website is at www.carlosceldran.com. You can get information on the walking tours he conducts in Manila there. It’s also fitting that we’re taping this the weekend of June 12th, the day Filipinos mark as Independence Day. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program in Vancouver, Carlos Celdran; Good morning, Mr. Celdran.