Carlos Celdran (born November 10, 1972) is a Filipino tour guide, cultural activist, and performing artist. Growing up in Dasmariñas Village, Makati, Philippines, he began his art career at age 14 as a cartoonist for a local Manila newspaper, enrolling at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1991, where he began working in performance art. After university, he moved to New York City.
It was there that he first witnessed the effect of HIV on the queer community, which eventually led to his reproductive health activism in the Philippines. He continued his career in the performing arts, interning as a production assistant with the Blue Man Group and later working for other performing arts groups as a set designer and/or director. By 2000, Celdran was working as an assistant director of the Heritage Conservation Society, a non-profit organization working towards preserving historical architecture. There he gained experience in directing historical tours, which set the stage for the launch of his own tour company "Walk This Way" in 2002. In 2005 he became the owner/director of an art exhibition space called The Living Room.
Carlos Celdran is an activist for HIV/AIDS awareness and reproductive health, organizing and appearing at events to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and reproductive health in the Philippines. On September 30, 2010, Carlos Celdran staged a protest action against Church opposition to the reproductive health bill. Dressed as José Rizal, Celdran entered Manila Cathedral during a mass, carrying a sign and shouting "Stop getting involved in politics!" before he was taken away by the police. Once outside the cathedral, Celdran told reporters that Church officials "need to hear what the Filipinos are saying: that 90 percent of the people want the RH [Reproductive Health Bill]." He was charged by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines with "offending religious feelings."
Carlos Celdran, in his role as a cultural activist, is commonly asked to comment in the local and international media on topics regarding Philippine society and culture.
1996 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Rhode Island School of Design (USA)
1990-1996 Fine Arts Department, University of the Philippines (PH)
lives and works in Manila (Philippines)