From the corner of the karinderia, I took a google dyipney looking for NVM Gonzalez. I ended up in some very interesting places. The first place has been mentioned here before. It is the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. In the foreword to the discussion written by Leonardo Mercado, George McLean has this to say about Mercado's writings.
As has come to be seen only in the last ten years in other parts of the world, culture is not a curiosity but the stuff of a people's freedom. It bears the truly humane and humanizing achievements of their history and provides the context in which future generations can truly be educated.
That definition is very mind opening in my search for the value of culture. In the United States, various neoconservatives have declared a cultural war in America. I personally view it as a finding of culture specially when the ones trying to find it are children of immigrants.
As a minority in the United States, one can not but help notice that one's image is never to be seen in the mass media. The men and women in the major television shows are Caucasian with a smattering of African-
Americans in the Warner Brothers network. Sometimes, we see some Asians, but get to the details and I certainly don't see too many Filipinos in shows that occur in New York.
Faced with this discontinuity in the media, minorities are forced to either acculturate/assimilate or to find their own culture in which the images reflected will be ones that look the same as minorities. This is why I have photographed Filipinos and not HAPAS in the Philippine folk dancing series. I want to show the image of the Filipino in the United States.
Culture is the pot which leads to the various states of freedom.