MANILA - Mayor Isko Moreno on Wednesday mourned the death of performance artist Carlos Celdran, saying the cultural activist was a “great loss” to the capital.
Celdran’s passing was confirmed by his wife Tesa in a Facebook post, Tuesday.
“Yesterday, we lost a person na talagang pinagmamalasakitan ang lungsod ng Maynila,” Moreno said in a speech delivered before press members.
“Nawalan na naman kami ng isang promoter, tagapagtaguyod ng kasaysayan, lugar, magagandang aral na puwedeng matutunan sa lungsod ng Maynila,” he said.
“Sa pamilya Celdran, nakikiramay po kami at sumalangit nawa ang kaniyang kaluluwa,” he said.
Celdran spearheaded a free walking tour in Manila for 17 years. The performance experience entitled, “If These Walls Could Talk”, merged “historical narratives, video art, and immersive theater to enlighten viewers about Manila’s history between the 14th century until World War II.”
Celdran’s efforts also paved the way for the revival of the Binondo Food Walk that helped spur businesses in the world’s oldest Chinatown, Moreno said.
“Whatever he is doing in Manila is also kapakinabangan ng bansa because what he is telling everybody is our history and places to go that generates jobs and businesses,” the mayor said.
“What is ironic is wala siyang suweldo. He is not doing it to gain,” he said.
“If we lose these type of people doing it for free just for the love of the city, it is a great loss for the city of Manila,” he said. “Dapat lang malungkot kami.”
Moreno said he has yet to talk to local and national officials to officially award Celdran for his efforts in boosting Manila’s tourism and heritage.
“I will give it to proper agencies of the local government and the national government which in this case, nasa beta-beta (tabi-tabi) lang,” he said.