September 3, 2012

Carlos Celdran defies norms at MIBF

Who is Charles P. Celdran? Few may know him by the name Charles but for those who've taken his tours and watched his performance arts, he is more well-known by the name Carlos Celdran, probably the country’s best tour guide.

When he was 14 years-old, Carlos began making cartoons for the now defunct newspaper Business Day. After a year of studying Visual Communications at UP-Diliman, Carlos transferred to the Rhode Island School of Design, majored in Painting, but later discovered his allergic reactions to paint. So he shifted to Performance Art instead. He went on to win the Yvonne Force art award and graduated with honors in 1996.

Carlos founded and co-founded many organizations including Walang Pamagat Performance Art Company where he served as artistic director. Walang Pamagat has already performed in Rhode Island School of Design, the CCP, the Bronx Museum of Art, AS220, and in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

He also founded a company that provides walking tours of Manila called Walk this Way. In his tours,  Carlos is the director, producer and actor where he stages an elaborate theatrical performance while he brings his tourists around Manila.

His Intramuros tours called If These Walls Could Talk provide a half-day walking tour of the Walled City in Manila, with Carlos in full Spanish illustrado regalia. The Living la Vida Imelda, on the other hand, provides an interesting glimpse into Imelda Marcos’ life through her long-standing legacy, the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Being a cultural activist, Carlos Celdran is often asked by media men of the local and international scene to comment on things regarding Philippine society and culture. He was quoted in magazines such as Time Magazine, Forbes, and The Huffington Post. In 2010 he was included in the list of “Names You Need to Know in 2011” by Forbes Magazine. He was also featured on the British culinary show, Planet Food for an episode featuring the unique cuisine of Manila.

This year, Carlos Celdran is among the four Bookworms chosen by the 33rd Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) along with stand-up comedian and cartoonist Stanley Chi (Mr. Suplado); comedian, director and actor Ramon Bautista; and comedian, actor, radio personality Tado Jimenez.  

MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP), Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc. (ACCI), Overseas Publishers Representatives Association of the Philippines (OPRAP), and Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc. (PBAI). For details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, or e-mail

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