Carlos Celdran: Artist In His Own Way

Carlos Celdran wears many hats: top hats, derbies, bonnets, and so forth. He also wears many professional hats: grand vizier of Walk This Way Tours; Superman artist; loving husband; wonderful friend; passionate heritage conservationist; brutally honest activist. Although his frank and earnest tongue may have gotten him into his fare share of scrapes, he simply wouldn’t be Carlos without that nationalistic bravado.

Lots of people, history savvies especially, have lined-up and asked this guy to educate them everything and anything about Intramuros.

The guy in question is none other than THE Carlos Celdran of Walk This Way Tours: the country’s best on-foot tours through the historic architecture of Metro Manila; making people experience a different approach to Philippine History.

Most of you have an idea who Carlos is or what Carlos has done to place him under the people’s eyes. Carlos is known to be an advocate of the Reproductive Health Bill, joining a number of other prominent icons in pushing the reproductive rights of the people. He also had a fair-shared spotlight when a religious group tried to stop him when he voiced out his opinion.

Witty, opinionated, nationalistic—that makes up the Carlos Celdran we know and love

Whenever we see Carlos Celdran’s name either on print, television or online, it has always been attached with politics and/or history. But now, we add up something quite new to the multi-hyphenated Carlos; the Carlos Celdran who is an art enthusiast. Having graduated from the exclusive Rhode Island School of Design, Carlos actually began his career in Manila as a cartoonist for a prominent newspaper. Although Carlos’ life now revolves around his tours, his projects and the RH Bill, he has never lost that artistic touch – or that artistic appreciation.

Carlos Celdran does the planking right infront of Manila Cathedral

Being able to see art in another perspective, Carlos states that art is a refinement in anything one does. It does not have to be grand as Manansala’s paintings or come up something at par with Amorsolo’s works. Just be able to put a personal touch to it – that qualifies as art. As an artist himself, Carlos looks up to Robert Wilson who, according to him, is “a wizard when it comes to manipulating time and perception through a theatrical experience”, and our very own Santi Bose who is the type of artist “who knows what he is doing”.

Carlos Celdran: top-hat-toting history aficionado and heritage conservationist. His brutal honesty and earnest sense of humor bring history to life with Walk This Way Tours

I asked Carlos on his stand about the current art situation in the country and he said, “It is what it is. I’m glad that we are not actually getting much support financially and psychologically from the government. Filipino art now is in a state of laissez-faire. If it succeeds from here on or fails from here on, it will be purely because of the effort of the Filipino artist, and not the Philippines State.”

Quirky Carlos strikes for a pose while doing his own version of Noli Me Tangere & El Filibusterismo, a.k.a the Intramuros and the Imelda Tours.

Nevertheless, Carlos sees a brighter future for Philippine art for as long as the sincerity of the experience will always and forever be evident in the works of our local artists. According to Carlos, “the Philippine art talks about the Philippine experience and that’s all it is and should be, let the viewer decide upon what is relevant, it is our task to express, not to perceive.”

You can follow him on Twitter: @carlosceldran
Or subscribe to him on Facebook: Carlos Celdran
All images were taken from Carlos Celdran’s Facebook account. No copyright intended.

Layout Artist: Shar Buendia


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Author: Philip Abadicio

Philip Abadicio has been writing about lifestyle. As a PR man, he established RPA & Communicate where he mastered the ropes of the lifestyle industry. He has hosted a lifestyle news program for the Global News Network, “Style RPA TV,” and a lifestyle magazine talk show called, “It’s More Fun with Philip.” And his latest offering is the recently launched lifestyle TV show, “Philip, Lifestyle Guy,” airing on TV5 every Sunday 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

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