To those of you who are not familiar with Carlos Celdran, he is a Filipino tour guide, cultural activist and performing artist. He has quite a number of followers online and was controversial when he staged a protest against Catholic Church on the issue of reproductive health bill, among others.
This was actually my third tour by him. First was at Intramuros. Second at Silverlens Gallery. Third was this. What's really cool about Carlos was that he does barter tours. Meaning you can give him anything in kind in exchange of the tour. It can be a can of local sardines, pack of noodles, rice, plants, French wine, Italian cheese. Anything you can think of. You see the passion and love to what he does? He is such a gem. Truly, a man who is trying to change the way you look at Manila - one step at a time. As a gift to this one good fellow, I gave him a set of postcards designed by National Artist Bencab.
As with any government projects during that time, it was flooded with criticisms. How could a country like the Philippines build such a luxurious edifice when most of its people were reeling from poverty? One of the most controversial opponents to the CCP was Benigno Ninoy Aquino.
The Folk Arts Theater located infront of PICC was built by Architect Leandro Locsin as well in a span of 90 days. It was an engineering wonder to complete such a huge task in a short lead time. The Folk Arts Theater was rushed in time for the 1974 Ms. Universe Beauty Pageant to be held in the same venue.
The whole CCP Complex was heavily criticised during its inception, referring to it as Imeldific, meaning ostentatiously extravagant. But then again, Imelda did not only concentrate in culture and the arts. She also supervised the construction of Heart Center, Lung Center, National Kidney Center, among others. All of these institutions are still being used by Filipinos up to this day.
If Carlos was your History professor in high school or college, you won't dare to be absent! Imelda 101 will be on top of your top elective classes. Carlos really made History interesting by infusing information your typical professor won't usually share. Plus the fact that the CCP is his actual stage. That's what made his tours sought after. Go and join one of his tours.
Kudos to a great man!