Monday, January 4, 2010


As we overtake Somalia, Iraq, and Pakistan as the most dangerous place for journalists, we undertake, on the other hand, the task of paying tribute to a Roces – a name synonymous with the Philippine print media.
Finally, we can declare December 1 as the Alejandro Roces' Day at the Far Eastern University which was founded by his uncle, Nicanor Reyes.
We did it after a series of consultations with FEU President's Committee on Culture, headed by its Executive Director, Martin Lopez, who ably represented such distinguished members in Dean Adelaida Fronda, Dean Barbara Fernandez, Dr. Isagani Cruz, Dr. Jaime An Lim, and Dean Ireneo Jose.
No less than Pres. Dr. Lydia Echauz will open the Alejandro Roces Conference.
Dr. Cruz will talk about the aforementioned National Artist from the international perspective while Dr. Victor Torres will explain how important Dr. Roces is nationally.
Dr. Azucena Grajo-Uranza's sharing as a former student during the time when FEU was the largest university in Asia with 50,000 student population in the early 1950s.
Dr. Rustica Carpio and Dr. Buenaventura Medina will act as reactors while
The Earthsavers Dreams Ensemble and Tanghalang Ateneo will do the intermission number with San Pedro Manok.
After we explained what our project is all about, FEU Theater Guild will breathe life to Dr. Roces' Of Cocks and Kites. Dr. Roces is expected to reminisce on his FEU Years as a faculty member who eventually became the dean before serving as the Department of Education Secretary known for promoting local customs and traditions like feasts which he heralded in his classic book Fiesta (1980).
In her speech during the FEU's 75th Founding Anniversary on 29 January 2003, Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recalled: “In its 75 years, FEU gave two secretaries of education to two president Macapagals -- Alejandro Roces to my late father Diosdado Macapagal, and DJ De Jesus to his daughter, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. And that is an indication of the quality of the faculty of FEU.”
As a prelude to Celebrations -- the STEPS Dance Studio and the FEU Dance Company's graceful way of thanking Dr. Roces for helping them when he was the Institute of Arts and Sciences' main man.
Then, the climax will be the unveiling of Dr. Roces' bust by sculptor Raul Funilas -- whose Neo-Angono Artists Collective's 6th Public Art Festival exhibition ends today at Maysha Hotel in Angono -- with Jovert Aguilar, Aga Francisco, Franz Java, Kim Oliveros, Meilin Ricohermoso, and Paula Regine Tantoco.
During the first Pagpupugay sa mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining in 2007, Dr. Roces was hailed at the Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro through the Integrated Performing Arts Guild's interpretation of his Of Cocks and Roces directed by Steven Patrick Fernandez.
Last year, Makati City welcomed him home where the University of Santo Tomas Lithurgikan Choir presented his musical Something To Crow About at the University of Makati Grand Theater.
Talking about returning and returning favors, Lea Salonga, will do her concert Echoes of Dreams tonight at 7 at the Araneta Coliseum.
The future National Artist will be performing with the Manila Symphony Orchestra and other artists including Angelos, Bayang Barrios, Mike Chan, Kid Camaya, Guia Comia, Allan Dale, Dingdong Dantes, Nicole and Carla David, Julian Duque, Frenchy Dy, Stella Ignacio, ILLC Kids, Dan Lasher, Fourte, Karel, Pinky Marquez, Myrus, Peryodiko, Pilyoz, JM Rodriguez, Self-Black Theater, Fatima Soriano, Jenny Villegas, U.P. Concert Chorus, and other gifted and talented youth like Thara Santiago, Vell Baria, Tum Tum Mendoza, Clark Gamul, Samara, and the Hope for Children Choir, the world's largest children's choir!
Sponsored by the Center for Arts Foundation, Inc., Hope for Children, and Fusion Excel, Echoes of Dreams is for the benefit of Autism Society Philippines (ASP), Self Enhancement for Life Foundation (SELF), Immaculate Heart in Memoriam (IHM), and the Independent Living Learning Center (ILLC). On the New York side of Cubao, another art with a heart is set. Collaborating with the Operation Blessing Foundation Inc., the Liongoren Gallery houses the visual arts bonanza entitled Unos at Banaag for the Pepeng victims in Pangasinan. Running until December 4, it will also inaugurate the new Liongoren Gallery in Dagupan City, Pangasinan from December 7-20, 2009.
Unos at Banaag is also dedicated to the late Odette Alcantara and Cristina Castro Crisologo, Norma Liongoren's mom, a zarzuelista with a green thumb. Some 48 masters will join forces with Pangasinense artists in the Dagupan circle namely Gus Albor, Willy Alicdan, Yasmin Almonte, Remy Boquiren, Elmer Borlongan, Marina Cruz, Simkin de Pio, Norman Dreo, Marge Garcia, Manny Garibay, Renato Habulan, Winner Jumaon, Mark Justiniani, Alfredo Liongoren, Julie Lluch, Joel Mahilum, AJ Omandac, Alma Quinto, Rodel Tapaya, Nestor Vinluan, Ann Wiser, and Federico Aguilar-Alcuaz whose proclamation as National Artist remains to be seen. University of the Philippines' College of Fine Arts and the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts sponsors will have an exhibit called Re-Viewing Rodriguez – a homage to the 97-year old Father of Philippine Printmaking, Manuel Rodriguez Sr., another future National Artist -- at the UP Diliman's Bulwagan ng Dangal last Friday. November 27, too, is the 77th birthday celebration of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino -- a former Manila Times war correspondent in Korea in 1950 -- who waxed poetic with The Candle of My Life: “if someone will only gather / the melted wax, reshape it / give it a new wick-- / for another fleeting moment / my candle can once again / light the dark / be of service / one more time / and then -- / Good-bye.” Sen. Aquino finished it on 12 March 1976, but his poem appears to be dedicated to the power of the people that has liberated Mindanao and other spaces supposedly “democratic.” Last Saturday, we seemed to be extending the national day of mourning for the Maguindanao Massacre martyrs, through an afternoon of poetry and music. Though it was actually the 10th year of passing of another defender of democracy, National Artist Nestor Vicente Madali Gonzalez.
TEXT SUPPORT: It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
CONSIDER THIS: A big jar full of water gets emptied by just a small hole. Even little anger and pride will drain all the nobility of a good heart. Stay humble.

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