The first recorded sign of cultural activities in DLSU was found in Green and White 1947 with the existence of the Oratory Club and Camera Club. There were also some organizations which have existed for a while such as the Cultural Society in the ‘60s, La Estudiantina De La Salle in the late ‘70s, the International Arts and Culture Society, Kapilas, Deogracias Regio, in the late ‘80s, and Artists’ Circle in the early 2000s all of which aimed to promote the appreciation of Filipino culture and arts in the campus through programs, lectures and shows.
For a time, the Forensics Society (now known as the De La Salle Debate Society), founded in 1957, was housed in the Culture and Arts Office, until it was assigned to the Office of Student Ac
tivities in the late ‘90s. The Camera Club was also classified under the Student and Cultural Activities Office but it has been permanently assigned to the Office of Student Activities as a special interest group.
Since the school was established, cultural groups in the campus were treated like any typical student organization, as it aimed to provide various avenues for students’ talents to flourish; and DLSU has never ceased to support culture and arts programs, as it believes in its value, indicated in the school’s insignia: Religio, Mores and Cultura.
DLSU has defined Cultura as “man’s regard for material things” (ITEC, 1987). It is further elaborated as:
- The appreciation of Art and Culture. The awareness, recognition and evaluation of different art forms; voluntary attendance and/or par
- ticipation in art and cultural activities; patronizing native/owning art pieces.
- Love of things Filipino. Choosing to live and to work in the country; appreciation and patronage of Filipino culture, art and products.
Even in the absence of an umbrella office to oversee the cultural organizations’ activities, various groups have emerged. Some have already been dissolved, some have stayed and some have evolved. DLSU is proud to have been part of the lives of these budding artists who have blossomed in their respective fields, not only in the culture and arts scene.
In the late ‘80s when the academic trend of formally establishing a student affairs offices in campus have transpired, all the student and cultural activities were cradled in one office, headed by its director, Alfonso Alba, with assistant director, Fernando Pahati. This was in 1988, and the first organizations registered under that office were the: Camera Club, Communication Arts Society, the newly revived DLSU Chorale, La Salle Dance Troupe, Harlequin Theater Guild, International Arts and Culture Society (INTERACS).
In 1991, the Culture and Arts Office was formally established, with Ms. Edith Batalla as director. The groups under the first Culture and Arts Office were the Camera Club, Communication Arts Society, La Salle Dance Troupe, Harlequin Theater Guild, International Arts and Culture Society, DLSU Band and Forensic Society. When Mr. Rene Molano took charge of the office in 1992, he has finalized the roster of artist groups in the office to be composed of the Artists’ Circle, DLSU Concert Band, DLSU Chorale, La Salle Dance Troupe, DLSU Chamber Ensemble, DLSU Debate Society, Green Media Group, Harlequin Theater Guild. New groups were also established such as the Bootes (now the La Salle Dance Company-Street) and the De La Salle Innersoul.
Ms. Grace Cura became director of the office from 2000 to 2002.
The office is currently under the leadership of Ms. Glorife Samodio, also an alumna and a Kennedy Center cultural fellow. She has introduced and established various cultural programs and strengthened the artistic programming of each of the groups to ensure a very active and creative campus.
Today, CAO houses the Green Media Group (production staff) and the Student Artist Managers (administrative staff) and seven performing groups: the DLSU Chorale, Lasallian Youth Orchestra, De La Salle Innersoul, La Salle Dance Company-Contemporary, La Salle Dance Company-Street, La Salle Dance Company-Folk, and the Harlequin Theatre Guild.
In 2011-12, the office was given a new name, the Culture and Arts Office, to signify the university’s recognition of the importance of building the true concept of culture among our youth, alongside with recognizing the arts.