Carmen D. Padilla was Chair and Executive Director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) of the Philippines, medicine the counterpart of the Ministry of Culture. In this position she advocated for the empowerment of the artists and cultural workers in the country, a move that opened the bureaucracy to practice more transparency and participative decision-making by involving the artists and cultural workers themselves in the management of the resources of government. This was an innovative approach to governance in the government system.
While Chair of NCCA she attended for the first time the IOV conference in Greece where she met Alexander Veigl, the founder of IOV. This led to an IOV Conference on Myths and Legends hosted by the Philippines which was held in Manila.
In 2003, Carmen was elected, in absentia, as World President of IOV in the General Assembly in Deva, Romania. Alexander informed her of her election after the meeting. In her style of participative governance she proposed the creation of the Presidential Council to lead the IOV with representations from different continents.
The decentralization of the operations was emphasized. Regional secretaries and section or country heads were appointed by the Presidential Council or when possible elected by the members.
In the meeting in Volos, Greece, the IOV Youth was initiated. This led to the series of Youth congresses
in USA, China, Sweden and the Regional Asian Youth Congress in Malaysia.
Carmen was appointed by the Philippine President as a member of the UNESCO National Commission where she Chaired the Culture Committee. In this position she has attended many UNESCO conferences abroad in representation of the Philippines. She started with the World Heritage Center general conferences which covered monuments and sites and later as a delegate to the Intangible Cultural Heritage committee meetings
where she also brought in the IOV presence in the Non-Government (NGO) meetings.
Carmen pursued her Music degree, major in piano, in the Conservatory of Music of the University of Santo Tomas (UST). She moved to and graduated from the St. Scholastica’s College of Music, founded by Sr.
Baptista Battig OSB, the German nun who pioneered Music Education in the country. She was given the
Mother Birgitta Award for Academic Excellence with a double degree of Bachelor of Music, major in Piano and
Bachelor of Music Education.
Carmen completed her Masteral course in Development Education in UST.
She received Outstanding Alumna Awards and Centennial Awards from two prestigious private schools in Manila, St. Scholastica’s College and the College of the Holy Spirit.
As a pianist, Carmen has performed in several concerts in the Philippines and abroad, in the United States of America, Korea, Greece, Russia among others.
She has traveled to many countries covering all the continents throughout her service in government. In
IOV she attended meetings, festivals, and addressed fora, assemblies with the objective of promoting the
objectives of IOV.
Carmen adheres to the principle “Leadership is service”. In the work in IOV, she says that one’s personal resources are used because this is a nonprofit organization which aims to serve.