Monday, January 12, 2009


When the 31 year-old Ilustrado author Miguel Syjuco became the first Filipino to win “the Asian Booker” -- or the $10,000 Man Asian Literary Prize (over China's Yu Hua and India's Kavery Nambisan and Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi) – he got torn between two (or more) publishers!

“What Chuck's co-finalist, Krip Yuson, would call creative problem,” Dr. Jose Wendell Capili assures, “will be one of the topics during the first Philippine Conference on Global Prospectus at the University of the Philippines Nicanor Abelardo Hall in Diliman, Quezon City.”

Convened by National Artist Virgilio Almario, College of Arts and Letters dean with Fine Arts dean Tina Colayco, Architecture dean Dan Silvestre, and Music dean Ramon Acoymo -- in cooperation with Intellectual Property Office director general Atty. Adrian Cristobal Jr. -- it is open to artists, scholars, and practitioners arts and allied disciplines who are expected to point the determinants helpful in sustaining -- till Kingdom come -- the creative industries!

Dr. Capili adds: “Even if you're into tourism, sports, jewelry, or haute couture – as long as you're into the so-called Mabuhay degree of aesthetic originality -- you can join.”

On 27 November, Nestor Jardin, Cultural Center of the Philippines president, will give an overview of the Philippine arts while Dimiter Gantchev, World Intellectual Property Organization's Creative Industries Division director, will share the global perspective.

They will be followed by the Managing the Arts session with Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, Prof. Ryan Cayabyab, Marlon Rivera, Arch. Cathy Saldaña, and Kenneth Cobonpue, our The Outstanding Young Men 2003 batchmate. Afternoon is for Artists as Entrepreneurs with Robert Alejandro, Arch. Joven Ignacio, Gilda Cordero Fernando,Carlo Orosa, and Reggie Yuson.

On 28 November, Case Studies of Community-Based Industries will be featured with Alfonso "Coke" Bolipata, Arch. Dinky Consunji-Laperal Lutgardo Labad, and Armand Sta. Ana, while Managing IP in Creative Industries is next with Ang Kwee Tiang, Atty. Emma Francisco, and Atty. Jesus Antonio Ros.

The confab's finale will be the world premiere at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater of Dulaang U.P.’s Atang, a musical based on the life of National Artist Honorata “Atang” de la Rama -- written by Floy Quintos, directed by Prof. Alexander Cortez, and starred in by Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Bituin Escalante, Ricky Ibe, Jacinta Remulla, Mitoy Sta. Ana, Eric de la Cruz, Arkel Mendoza, and the Dulaang U.P. ensemble.

Had there been creative economy awareness before, Mabuhay Singers would have been millionaires by now. Formed in 1958 by Don Manoling Villar, president and owner of the Mabuhay Records Corporation (MARECO) – more popularly known as Villar Records, the group did not earn that much, or at all, for doing what they, or their fans, loved best, that is, singing kundiman, balitaw, danza, polka, and the like.

The Mabuhay Singers may have all the fame, but not the fortune, from cutting, for 20 years until 1978, more than a hundred singles and long playing records with such best-sellers as Halina't Umawit, Maligayang Araw, Pacing, Bakasyon, Perlas ng Silangan, Pasko sa Pilipinas, Pamulinawen, Bahal sa Tuba, Waray-waray, Kundiman, Pandanggo sa Pag-ibig, Rosemarie, Kakaba-kaba, and Pag-asa. Fortunately, Aquarius Records made compact disc version of their greatest hits but, in this day and age of celebrities garnering Platinum just by collecting their favorite songs, hopefully the Best of Mabuhay Singers could even get a Silver.
Good thing, they themselves are Gold!

In fact, for their 50th anniversary, Ginintuang Gunita: Konsiyerto sa Ika-50 Taon ng Pag-awit ng Mabuhay Singers will be held on 26 and 27 November, 8 p.m. at the Philamlife Theater, United Nations Ave., Ermita, Manila. Directed by Dr. Jerry Respeto and produced by the International Eye Center's Dr. Noel Jusay Lacsamana, it will also showcase Ms. Sonia Roco as narrator and National Artist Salvador Bernal as stage and costume designer.

According to the show's writer and the group's promoter -- poet/translator Michael Coroza: “Aside from recording, Mabuhay Singers had the chance to perform in different places and programs, say, in Concert at the Park, Regency of Manila, and Hotel NikkoManila Garden during the 80s and 90s. The Department of Tourism toured them around United States and Canada for its Balik-Bayan project in 1973, when they're recognized by Philippine Records Association. In 2004, they received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aliw Foundation. In 2006, they got Pambansang Gawad ng Pagkilala from the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. Last Buwan ng Wika, my department at the Ateneo de Manila University honored them with a tribute. Today, when you say Mabuhay Singers, you mean Cely Bautista, Raye Lucero, Carmen Camacho, Peping de Leon, Eddie Suarez, Jimmy Salonga, and Marlon Marifosque – who are regulars in my radio program Harana ng Puso on DWBR 104.3 FM every Sunday night at 8.”
Also, on 25 November, we, together with Coroza, and Teo Antonio, will dare to delight doctors and the like in their Speakers' Night presentation at Teatrino, Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan. Getz Pharma's big boss Averell Gaspar and marketing specialist Fortune Sagabay would like to treat their resource persons through the years by conceptualizing a dinner with a difference entitled Makabayan, Makawika. Getz Pharma is a division of Getz Bros. Philippines, which has been engaged in marketing and distribution of pharmaceutical products, medical devices, food products and consumer goods in the Philippines since 1918.
Tonight, by the way, the Coroza and Antonio tandem will lead the Jose Corazon de Jesus' 112th birthday celebration with G.P. Abrajano, Raul Funilas, Yol Jamendang, Mikael Ko, Siege Malvar, U.P. Speca, Syke, Tugista with O.G. Sacred as guests. With Krip is Australian new media artist/composer Jayne Feyton Keane as the featured poet.
Waxing poetic and patriotic, we will teach teachers for the Kaguruang Makabayan: Development and Production of Culture-Based Lesson Exemplars for Basic Education at the Orchid Garden Suites from November 29 to December 1. For details, please contact National Commission for Culture Commissioner Elmar Ingles at 0929-4447888 or email him at

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The human brain functions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, until you fall for someone.

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