Carlos Celdran, 46, Philippine Activist and Performance Artist, aDies


Mr. Celdran was born on Nov. 10, 1972, and grew up in Dasmariñas Village, in the Philippine city of Makati. He began his art career as a cartoonist for a newspaper in Manila when he was 14. In 1991 he enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, where he began doing performance art.

He later lived in New York City, where he witnessed the effects of the H.I.V. epidemic and began thinking about reproductive health and the importance of access to contraception.

Back in Manila in 2000, he found work as an assistant director for the Heritage Conservation Society, a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve historical sites. In 2002 he started a walking-tour company, Walk This Way, and in 2005 he became the creative director of an art exhibition space in Manila, the Living Room.

Information on survivors was not immediately available.

Mr. Celdras had a charm that appealed as much to people in Manila’s glitzy hotels as to people in the slums, where his friends included cigarette vendors and drivers of the horse-drawn carts that plied the tourist neighborhoods.

“When he talked to me about Manila, the Manila I see through his eyes is one of the 1930s — pristine, quaint and full of lively, beautiful people,” Inky Santiago Nakpil, a close friend, said.

Mr. Celdran adapted some of his walking tours into stage performances.

He said his most popular work was “If These Walls Could Talk,” a one-man show that he presented onstage in Manila for more than 17 years.

A tour that focused on Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines, became a solo Off Broadway show called “Livin’ la Vida Imelda” in 2014. Reviewing his performance, Anita Gates wrote in The New York Times: “Mr. Celdran’s one-act presentation is more like a gleefully gossipy study guide. If you examine it closely, you’ll see that it’s mostly just a lecture with black-and-white slides, but Mr. Celdran’s charm and showmanship turn it into genuine theater.”

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