Sunday, February 28, 2010

POP GOES THE ARTWORLD (February 08, 2010)

Austrian-born American architect Victor David Gruen, a.k.a. Viktor David Grunbaum, designed what was considered to be the first suburban open-air shopping facility called Northland Mall near Detroit way back in 1954.
Four years after, another visionary and immigrant, this time from China --Henry Sy Sr. -- would put up the Shoe Mart Department Store in Quiapo, Manila, where his small shoestore started in 1946.
Then as now, SM would constantly multiply and transmogrify into the first air-conditioned shoe store, the first integrated mall, the first mall chain, and the biggest shopping mall in Asia and third biggest in the world.
As a result, the so-called Father of Philippine Retailing would offer an alternative to the Executive Order No.30-created Cultural Center of the Philippines which would turn 41 years old by September 8.
While the CCP has been doing its best to shed its elitist image, say, via Pasinaya that took off with flying colors yesterday, malls exist as it was and did in 1976 when the first real mall was constructed in Quezon City.
Baptized as Ali Mall, it was named after Muhammad Ali who fought against Joe Frazier in their final bout Thrilla in Manila on 1 October 1975 at the Araneta Coliseum, the first covered coliseum in the world since 1960.
When Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong was quoted as saying “one giant leap for mankind,” he could referring to our popular culture!
From Escolta to Cubao to Makati, our commercial districts have been defining or refining our contemporary pop consciousness like the Diliman Month's show Sing! Dance! Sing! we saw at the University of the Philippines Theater where the U.P. Jazz Ensemble and the U.P. Dance Company took us for a historical joyride.
It was last Friday night when we also viewed Aba Dalena's Verde Amor exhibit that will until February 28 at the Black Soup Cafe at 154 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.
On the same day, earlier during lunchtime, we were reminded of another crazy comparison at the Ateneo de Manila University's Interdisciplinary Studies Department -- through Nicole del Rosario who defended her thesis entitled When Marx's 'Ho is Gramci's Son -- wherein she explored how gangsta rappers function as organic intellectuals through close readings of seven gangsta rap pieces from Tondo!
The day after, last February 6, in between Foundation AWIT's Clay Art Workshop with Baidy Mendoza at the Tilamsik ng Sining and the birthday party of University Professor Gemino Abad in Antipolo, we had a Twilight Zone experience.
We had the chance to conduct a creative writing workshop outside the academe.
But inside SM Megamall's Megatrade Hall.
We dealt with poetry and prose among “mall molls” who walked in during the Backdoor Ventures Arts and Music Festival (AMF), what Yanna Acosta would promote as “the most anticipated arts and music event.”
More so, The Agimat Project that facilitated a comic and illustration workshop entitled Guhit Pelikulang Pinoy; Ballet Philippines' Vic Ursabia gave a dance/event photography workshop; and Jerome Velasco,Clem Castro of Lilystars Records, and Pat Tirano of WombWorks Studios led the Music Production Workshop.
Now on its fifth year, the event is also a first-of-its kind annual trade exposition that fuses the expansive world of the arts and music with the world of commerce and business.
At the same time, AMF is a lifestyle festival that seeks to fulfill the following goals:
to provide the public a wide range of musical listening experiences including jazz, pop, classical, reggae, rock, blues, world music and other ethnic musical styles such as flamenco and the like;
to continue to grow the number of cultural offerings and create a more varied program by introducing new art forms such as films, children’s productions, and performing arts workshops;
to give musicians and artists the opportunity to interact, share their gifts and exhibit their work.
Last Saturday, we ourselves witnessed the brilliance of Filipino talents upon watching The Halili-Cruz Ballet, Teatro Flamenco, The Maguindanaon Kulintangan Group, Kenyo, Sinosikat, Drip, Abby Asistio, Blue Jean Junkies, Eternal Now, Stonefree, Aisaku Yokogawa, Olivia, Layag, Talahib, Matilda, Nicole & Carlo, Project Fusion, Nityalila, The Late Isabel, Project Ganymede, The Slave Drum, The Chongkeys, Bembol Rockers, Skabeche, Glasspoint, Sing India, Alamid, The Camerawalls, Kapatid, Kadangyan, FMD, Fabi Mesquita, Sanctus, Timog, Miko Pepito, Romancing Venus, Alakpa, Peryodiko, DJ Alex Wong, and Kimosabe among many others.
Afterwards, a state-of-the-art laser light show by Argon Animation treated visitors to a futuristic art form.
“We are beyond ecstatic to reach our fifth year, and we are looking forward to more years for the Arts & Music Festival hereafter. The support from the arts and music community is just overwhelming, it really touches our hearts,” festival director Jay Viriña relates. “The success of the Artsfest is more for the growing family of artists joining in and the guests who come to the event year after year, more than ours. The Backdoor Ventures Team thanks each and everyone of you. Most certainly, it inspires us to make the Artsfest bigger and better every year.”
Tonight at 6, by the way, the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators will hold its Children's Literature Booktalk at the Figaro, 3rd Level Greenbelt 3 in Makati City.
Featured guest is Freddie Elizalde, or Captain Freddie, who is a Spanish Filipino writer/illustrator and charter boat operator. He has writen and illustrated two children's picture books that have been published in Indonesia. Teman Hutan Friend of the Forest is a bilingual English and Indonesian book written for the Sumatran Orangutan Society yet sponsored by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service that funded the printing of 12,000 copies distributed free throughout Sumatra, Indonesia to promote awareness for the Sumatran Orangutan. After the launch in The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2009, another picture book saw print last year -- The Street of Ubud -- which is about the energy of life in water and the stream of
creativity prevalent in Bali.
To join, kindly get in touch with Beaulah Pedregosa Taguiwalo at 0917-787-4956 or Dominique Garde Torres at 0905-347-1668.
By the way, on February18 we will talking and teaching Mga Makabagong Teknik sa Pagtuturo ng Panitikan sa Segundarya at Tersiyarya at De La Salle University's Tanghalang Julian Felipe in Dasmarinas, Cavite during Pambansang Seminar sa Filipino.
For this year, theme will be Ang Wikang Filipino sa Kulturang Popular: Sa Pagtuturo ng Wika, Panitikan, Midya, at Politika. Other speakers include Jose Laderas Santos, Jovy Peregrino, Jose Arrogante, Pauline Mari Hernando, Rosario Torres Yu, Ronnie Holmes, Mark Salazar, Christian George Francisco, among others. For inquiries, please contact Irene Gonzaga at # 0920-6178641 or visit
Q: This is the only food that doesn't spoil. What is it?
A: Honey
Every relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with Your spouse. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies.

UGNAYAN + PASINAYA = PASINAYAN (February 01, 2010)

Thirty six New Years Eves ago, we missed the pre-recorded musical compositions aired over 20 radio stations for one hour.
It was just a layer but it was lauded as “a long-awaited revival of a musical genius that had impacted, to say the least, the cultural imaginary of contemporary music in the Philippines and the entire Asian region.”
Well, this unique sound event that engulfed the entire Philippine nation was an offshoot of his idea of an atmospheric soundscape for transistor radios placed on cars passing by the Los Angeles freeways, like his earlier masterpiece Pagsamba.
This red-letter day --1 January 1974 -- was called Ugnayan.
During the Martial Law period, this rebellious act, or art!
It came as a no surprise, since it was conceptualized and composed by the revolutionary composer and thinker Jose Maceda.
As early as 1971, Dr. Maceda was already noted as well as notorious for using 100 hundred cassette tapes each with a pre-recorded layer of a sonic complex that seemed to readdress the function of technology and mass media in utilizing some of the emblems of modernity of the time —radios, cars, or cassettes—for purposes other than their intended uses in modern society.
Challenging or confronting with media and technology, the ethnomusicologist in Dr. Maceda was ever-present with his traditional bamboo and wooden instruments and voices.
He had the tendency to bring his audience back to his signature “primeval rainforests and relatively isolated peoples in the countrysides,” the significant aspect of the general counter-hegemonic musical ideology he espoused.
Dr. Maceda passed away 5 May 2004 -- -- after winning Ondre des Palmes Academiques (1978); John D. Rockefeller Award (1987); Tanglaw ng Lahi (1988); Fumio Koizumi Award for Ethnomusicology (1992); Nikkei Award (1997); Officier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite (1997); Civitella Ranieri Award (1997); and Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (2001), to name a few.
Today we are fortunate enough to be given the chance to witness his legacy of our National Artist for Music in 1997.
Ugnayan: Sound, Environment, Community – a project of the University of the Philippines College of Music Department of Composition and Theory and Center for Ethnomusicology in cooperation with the Office of the Chancellor, Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, and U.P. Theater -- will be re-produced, revived, and remounted until 3 February at the Diliman campus.
At 3 p.m. there will be a forum-- Revisiting Ugnayan 1974 – to be led by Dr. Ramon Santos who invited guest former First Lady Imelda Marcos at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium where Dr. Santos' Likasan will foreshadow Dr. Maceda's Ugnayan at the Carillon Plaza.
Tomorrow, at 3 p.m. another forum -- Environment/ Nature – will be conducted by Dr. Jonas Baes and Dr. Verne dela Pena with Ms. ChinChin Gutierrez at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium where Baes' Basbasan, de la Pena's N(y)üma, and Gutierrez's Uyayi will follow.
On Wednesday, at 3 p.m. technology will be discussed by Dominique Quejada and Chris Brown at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium where Brown's Invention No.8, Quejada's Prefab #2 and Katz Trangco's Elira will be performed by UP Kekeli African Music and Drum Ensemble at the Carillon Plaza.
Remember that Dr. Maceda's composition is a 60-minute pre-recorded music for 20 radio stations so please bring your own transistor radio with batteries to enjoy this interactive piece.
Come Sunday, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will offer Pasinaya 2010 via a culinary fair and cooking demos and an arts and collectibles market, workshops, information booths, exhibits, film screenings, puppet shows, storytelling, and performance poetry.
This year the highlight will be Bonggang Bonggang Bamboo: The Tinikling Showdown -- the biggest gathering of tinikling dancers at the CCP Front Lawn.
From 9 a.m., more than 2,000 artists will perform excerpts of upcoming shows spearheaded by the CCP Resident Companies such as Ballet Philippines, Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company, National Music Competitions for Young Artists, Philippine Ballet Theater, Philippine Madrigal Singers, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Tanghalang Pilipino and the University of Santo Tomas Symphony Orchestra.
Also known as the CCP Open House Festival, this is the opening salvo for February being the National Arts Month!
The Front Lawn, the Promenade areas, and the alley in front of the Production Design Center will be converted into Music Zone, Dance Zone, Theater Zone, Film Zone, Visual Arts Zone and the Children’s Zone.
Now on its second year, Literary Zone will present a literary happening – Wordjam --that we organized upon the invitation of Chris Millado, Hermie Beltran and Nikki Torres.
Our venue will be the Main Gallery where we expect the institutions (Bigkas Pilipinas; Cavite Young Writers Association; Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo; Neo-Angono; Paryentes; Project Ganymede; RockBato; Shakti Rasa Project; Sigaw ng Tundo; The Batutes; Tupada; U.P. SPECA) as well as individuals (Ony Carcamo,Lourd de Veyra, Njel de Mesa, Angelo Suarez and The Syjucos) to do their literary thing.
We were with Mike Coroza and Teo Antonio – our partners in rhyme – since yesterday when the Philippine International Arts Festival (PIAF) opened with the NCCA Committee on Dramatic Arts – that launched its fourth Tanghal this time in the National Capital Region, at the De La Salle University-College of St. Benilde – as the overall in charge of the event.
Last Saturday, art booths of the several art disciplines was inaugurated at the Clamshell area inside Intramuros.
January 31, actually, was meant for PIAF parade at 3 p.m. from the NCCA building to the Lapu-Lapu Shrine at Luneta that witnessed a two-hour concert featuring performances by committee members from dance, film, music, theater, and literature.
Nonetheless, before the fireworks display, we were able to take part by giving away for free our Balagtasan compact discs entitled Sinong Dapat Sisihin: Mamamayan o Lider? co-produced by the NCCA, Cultural Center of the Philippines, and DZRH.
For making our dream a reality, we wish to thank not only Commissioner Ricardo de Ungria and Armand Sta.Ana but also the Sugpuin Ang Korupsiyon family: Eva Mari DG Salvador and Flordeliz Abanto (executive producers), Athena Elisis Agustin (line producer/scriptwriter); Reginald Espiritu (program host); Rommel Tizon Balog, Olivia Costosa, and Bernardo Serrano (production assistant); Eric Lucero (technical supervisor/editor); Buboy Salonga (musical scorer); Manny Salas (sound man); Rashida Abangco, Bobby Cruz, Phil Cruz, Luz Fernandez, Ben Mercado, Susan Robles, and Marichu Villegas, (drama talents); and Nick De Guzman (drama director).
Foundation AWIT president and members – Ellay Nadera, Gayle Pacquing, and Mark Jensen Pacquing – could not beat the deadline without the time and talent of poet Arvin Mangohig who did the design in between his U.P. Press duties.
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
God balances our lives by giving us enough blessing to keep us happy and enough burdens to keep us humble.

S.P.A. (January 25, 2010)

Last January 19, we celebrated quite an eventful birthday.
At a glance, bad news seemed to outnumber the good though.
On one hand, Manny Pacquiao and Josh Clottey formalized their March 13 fight at the $1.3 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
On the other, bodies of Jerome Yap and Perly Panangui were found dead in Haiti, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde died of heart attack, Marlene Aguilar-Pollard expressed her willingness to take a thousand bullets for her son Jason Ivler, Supreme Court dismissed a petition to disqualify former Pres. Joseph Estrada from running from the presidential race in May, among others.
Personally, we chose to go where the gospel was.
With Ellay, we attended Fr. Joey Faller's healing mass at Buklod ng Pag-ibig Healing Center before we had our romantic lunch at Cocina Juan in Teachers Village and riotous with the rest of our family at home.
However, at around 10 p.m. after helping our kids with their assignments, we had to treat ourselves to a SPA.
That is, Special Program in the Arts.
We had to leave to assist the Department of Education, upon the invitation of Joey Ayala and Pauline Bautista.
So we travelled to Montevista Villas inside Mimosa Golf and Country Club of Clark Field in Pampanga to serve as a Creative Writing consultant.
The said Bagong Lumad Artists Foundation Inc. (BLAFI) president and corporate secretary respectively appeared to have gone beyond promoting Good Citizenship Values (GCV) for prosterity and integrity.
Recently, the Dynamic Duo of social artistry led the launch of the Siningbayan: Art of Nation Building published by United Nations Development Programme Philippines and
University of the Phillipines National College of Public Administration and Governance.
This fieldbook contains essays written by Mary Ann Fernandez-Mendoza, Bro. Rolando Dizon FSC, Alex Brillantes, Jose Abueva, Josefina Atienza-Salvaňa, Antonio Meloto, Maricel Fernandez, Teresita Baltazar, Felipe de Leon Jr., Ma. Gloriosa Cabangon, Christine Belen, Henrietta de Villa, Dinah Palmera Nadera, to name a few.
Together with us who wrote ULAT: TULA and Kuwanismo were Basilio Esteban Villaruz who did Creating Dance Studies in Five Relevant Lessons and Alma Quinto who did Visual Arts for Development.
Last January 20, the three of us were asked to join forces with James Diaz and Joy Guadalupe (Music) as well as with Cris Anthony Gonzales (Theater) to address on-the-spot practical concerns of the Curriculum Enhancement Module Writers such as Marilyn Api-it, Richard Calimbas, Amelia Catindig, Christian de los Angeles, Rufino Diamante Jr., Roland Fronda, Milyn Garcia, Mesalina Gonzales, Lovella Jarobel, Monette Lampa, Llewelyn Lumpas, Gizales Mansalo.
Day 1 saw us with the multi-awarded singer/songwriter as well as the The Family Rosary Crusade's Children's Rosary Club host/writer opened the Workshop on Curriculum Enhancement with Dep Ed Bureau of Elementary Education's Curriculum Development Division Assistant Chief Irene de Robles, Kathleen Diza, Marion Grace Murillo, and Rosalinda Serrano.
Dr. Yolanda Quijano, in her talk entitled Model Building: Elementary Education Special Program in the Arts, discussed the anchor of it all in the 1987 Constitution's Article, Section 17: “The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.”
Nevertheless, the National Achievement Test (NAT) results manifested a very minimal average of 57.77% over-all Mean Percentage Score – with 58.73% in 2005, 54.66% in 2006, and 59.94% in 2007.
Evident was the fact that NAT had been focusing too much on the left side of the brain's output since it had been excluding the examinees' potential in the field of humanities.
Thus, Dep Ed had authorized the creation and operation of SPA to detect, intervene, and develop artistically inclined pupils.
A comprehensive program was designed to cater to all elementary students from kindergarten to Grade VI who excellently perform in Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts.
Kids enrolled in the SPA will have a special schedule and teacher who will be honed via Summer Training Program (M.A. Degree) through a memorandum of agreement or scholarship grants under the Senate Bill No. 1561 and 591.
All over the country, there will two pilot schools per region to act as feeder schools for the BSE SPA.
These schools must offer at least three disciplines.
Paul Torrance Creativity Test and Omnibus Talent Survey/Scale are the assessment tools.
The Pilot Period will start this year until 2013.
It will be finally institutionalized by 2014.
Yesterday we finished crafting standards, competencies, and curriculum materials.
In the end, it is the urgent task of Dep Ed to attain the goals of Education for All and Millennium Development Goals.
Former Philippine High School for the Arts executive director Florina “Lala” Castillo had been a Dep Ed consultant for the last two and a half years but her hindsight could go as far back as the 90s: “Bro. Andrew Gonzalez left behind a very important but little-known legacy when he began the first Special Program for the Arts in 17 pilot schools from all over the country. These 17 schools, despite the usual dearth of resources, went on and flourished. Taking the cue from them, a good number of grade schools went to trying out isolated, brave, intense, passionate projects on their own, where they are. So we are happy that the Bureau of Elementary Education has taken initiatives in the directions of the arts in grade schools. And those of us who know a little bit more, are here to help out where we can – in terms of artistic experience and expertise, wisdom in pedagogy, and sheer love and passion for the arts – so that these steps in the right direction are not wasted and so that those who have come before us shall know that their efforts have not been wasted and that those who come after us shall continue, standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, to continue to enrich and enhance the arts in the lives of the nation's children.”
Joey Ayala added his last word: “We tend to have a product-oriented view of measuring the success or failure of education. Can we balance this with process-orientation? State competencies and standards in terms of EXPERIENCE. e.g The student has experienced creative processes such that, as proof, he/she can sing his/her own name, can draw his math lessons, can act out a story . These creative experiences side-by-side with exposure experiences (has listened to opera, has seen a Kalinga dance, has eaten a vegetarian meal, has cooked rice, etc.) should help round off and strengthen classical/traditional grammar-math-logic lessons. Experience makes sense of theory.”
On average, people fear spiders more than they do death.
Blessings always look small
If we hold them in our hands,
But if we learn to share them,
We realize how great and precious they are.

GOBBLEDYGOOGLE (January 18, 2010)

Why should we beg to differ with the American Dialect Society for proclaiming “google” as the Word of the Decade?
When by the end of December 2009, our very own was one of the country's most googled?
Yahoo, last month, it received 5,000,000 hits!
We had to convince our colleagues in and out of the Likhaan: University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing that there is a need for a website promoting Philippine literature online.
All we wanted was to provide a database of author's profiles and their works, however, we had to undergo some birth pangs and pains.
Before could set up for our Pistang Panitik during the Manila International Book Fair at World Trade Center, our team had to pass by the National Library to explain to its director the difference between an online resource center for Filipino writers and readers from eLibrary.
Finally, we were able get the National Commission for Culture and the Arts' nod through the National Committee on Literary Arts.
At the Luneta's Concert at the Park, the so-called Philippine Literature Portal was introduced as part of what used to be known as the National Arts Month celebration in 2006.
Ever since, the National Artists for Literature page has been one of the busiest, especially during midterms and finals.
Literary works, too, have been published there with the authors' permission.
And everything will be incomplete without such features as authors' directory, award-giving bodies, literary organizations, links to other sites, writers market, blog and guestbook, and its all-time favorite -- weekly calendar of activities.
Recently, writings from the regions seem to prefer “blog” to “tweet” as the Word of the Year!
And appears to be its unofficial CQ Counter.
For instance, when the Ateneo de Naga University Press invites everybody to the launch of Fr. Wilmer Joseph Tria's Ako asin An Kapwa Ko and poet Kristian Sendon Cordero's Pusuanon: Mga Bersong Bikol on 25 January at the AdNU's Richie Fernando Hall in Naga City.
Or when Isidoro Cruz argues that "Contemporary West Visayan Literature, metaphorically speaking, is rechanneling the way Filipinos think about the Filipino nation and its regions, to keep the center of the nation from making regional belonging a reason for exclusion” via his outstanding dissertation, more popularly called Pungsod published by the University of San Agustin Publishing House.
Or when Ang Ladlad national chair, Danton Remoto, as well as J.Neil Garcia are hailed by poet turned fictionist John Iremil Teodoro in his collection of five short stories, entitled, Ang Anghel sang Capiz, exclusively distributed by Solidaridad Bookstore along Padre Faura in Malate.
Or when there is a call for 15 Fellows for the 10th Iyas Creative Writing Workshop which will be held from 25 April to 1 May at the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City.
Or when the Reading Association of the Philippines holds its Demofest on 21, 22, and 23 January at the Stadia (Jimmy L. Fernandez Center) CSI Center, Lucao District, Dagupan City,
Pangasinan with speakers like National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario, CNN 2009 Hero of the Year Efren Penaflorida Jr, 2009 Metrobank Outstanding Teacher Dina Ocampo, and University of Redlands Professor Jose Lalas.
Or when Taboan: 2nd Philippine Writers Festival takes off beginning 10 February in Cebu by paying tribute to such great Visayan writers as Estrella Alfon, Rene Estrella Amper, Leocio Deriada, Magdalena Jalandoni, Resil Mojares, Lina Espina Moore, and Edilberto Tiempo.
Or when the Culture Page Writing Competition accepts entries until 12 February to campus papers from any secondary or tertiary school that allots a page or two with poetry, cartoon, features, essays, photos, innovative researches on the arts, traditions, heritage, habit, customs of the community, and other literary works.
Speaking of school paper, we attended, together with our daughter Sulat, the 82nd anniversary salo-salo of The Varsitarian, University of Santo Tomas' official student publication.
Present were Akemi Aida of the UST College of Law, Aura Marie Dagcutan of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Ruben Asuncion of ABS-CBN, Anthony Divinagracia of Academia, Patrick Leonard Mayo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Arian Rabino of the College of St. Benilde, Felipe Salvosa of Business World, and Francis Wakefield of Tempo who waited to death for other Amihans, a term of endearment for our alumni who are now treated coldly like the northeast monsoon!
By the way, project coordinator/webmaster Arvin Abejo Mangohig stormed the office of our researcher/administrative officer Eva Garcia Cadiz at Likhaan: U.P. I.C.W. only to report that he uploaded 11 new author profiles, bringing to a total of 50 the number of profiles uploaded at
That fresh list includes the Thomasian fictionist from Boac, Marinduque – Paz Latorena – who gained national prominence when Jose Garcia Villa included her story Sunset, the best in his 1929 anthology Philippine Short Stories.
Phase 3 is supposed to end this month.
Nevertheless, Phase 4's budget has already been approved by the NCCA with the proposed re-packaging.
And that would involve, among others, its video component.
In this connection, allow us to congratulate Cinemalaya Foundation's 10 latest finalists in the full-length category namely Rekrut by Danny Añonuevo; Halaw by Sheron Dayoc; Magkakapatid by Kim Homer C. Garcia; Si Techie, si Teknoboy at si Juana by Art Katipunan; The Leaving by Ian-Dean S. Loreños; Limbunan by Gutierrez Mangansakan II; Siya ang Mayor Ko (Vox Populi)” by Dennis N. Marasigan; Sheika by Arnel Mardoquio; Sampaguita by Francis Xavier Pasion; and Mayohan by Dan Villegas and Paul Sta. Ana.
Such good news came as if a prelude to NCCA's Cinema Rehiyon highlighting some of the best works of the indigenous Filipino filmmakers from Bacolod, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Iloilo, Naga, Pampanga, Samar, Central Visayas (Cebu and Bohol), and Western and Central Mindanao.
After the selection by National Committee on Film headed by Dr. Miguel Rapatan and Teddy Co, all the films will be screened at the Cultural Center of the Philippines toward the end of February.
If a statue of a person in the park on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught and the last river is polluted, only then will we realize that we cannot eat our money.

POETRAIN 2 (January 11, 2010)

The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has been hugging headlines recently for doing the right thing.

Perhaps since last year when it began allowing to board its trains barefoot passengers who celebrated the Black Nazarene Day.

Until last Saturday when it did not just field 18 but 24 trains, plus two spares, for their regular passengers, including the said devotees estimated to be around 3.5 million.

“We are very flexible” could be the mantra for LRTA Administrator Mel Robles' miracles.

Which is why the National Book Development Board (NBDB), Optical Media Board (OMB), and Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP) find its partnership with LRTA a blessing.

That deserves a repeat!
Again, that is the LRTA's way of entertaining and educating its commuters via Tulaan sa Tren.
Last year, they did it by opening doors to “aspiring poets a chance to have their poems posted in LRT trains.”
So they had a poetry writing competition until 22 July 2009 to all Filipino citizens of all ages who can submit one entry in English, Filipino, or any of the regional languages, with up to 200 words.
Judges, Gemino Abad and National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, selected Pan-Rush Hour by Joselito delos Reyes (first); Sa Metro Linea 3 by Gexter Ocampo Lacambra (second); and Tren, Tren, Tren by Abdon Balde Jr. (third) with Dahilan ay Ikaw by Danilo Diaz and Amay Nang Magdiklom (Maaga Nang Dumilim) by Kristian Sendon Cordero as runners-up in the Filipino Category while Bus Trip by Raymond G. Falgui (first); A Train Window Picture Show by Louella Santiago Suque (second) and I, Migrant by Raymund Reyes (third) in the English Category.
January 16, 1p.m., at LRT2 Santolan Depot, will be the launch of the new poems and new celebrity readings of these poems which will be seen and heard inside the train, aside from its new poetry collection called Off the Beaten Track.For its Year 1, we had the chance to supervise the poetry reading, or rather recording, of celebraties like Christine Bersola-Babao, Lyn Ching, Edu Manzano, Miriam Quiambao, Rhea Santos, among others.
One of the best for us is one of the most hated contrabidas in the 60-year history of soap opera in the country -- Maria Carminia Lourdes Cynthia Arnaldo Gutierrez – or Chinchin Gutierrez!
Before she became a bad-to-the-bone Patricia Aragon-Alferos in ABS-CBN's Dahil May Isang Ikaw, we had been watching her in our Philippine Institution 100 class: both on-screen as Maria Clara de los Santos in Cultural Center of the Philippines' Noli Me Tangere (1993) and in person while we did educational tour with Lakbay Kalikasan in Mt. Banahaw.
In 2006, we had the chance to work with her when she agreed to model for our book project Kayumanggi, wherein our poems were designed in clothes by Lorina Javier and photographed by Dominique James who was supposed to do the layout in his Mac that eventually encountered a “hardware problem.”
Since it would require us $3,500 to repair it, we have been temporarily setting our trapped poems and photos aside, unconsciously, for four years!
Anyway, ever since we became her instant admirer, especially last year she literally performed inside the studio of Isis International Manila.
As if she was re-doing her self-produced musical album Uyayi: A Collection of Philippine Lullabies that bagged the Catholic Mass Media Awards for Best Secular Album in 2004 when she also was chosen one of The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service (TOWNS) for environmental advocacy.
In fact, long before Efren Peňaflorida became the CNN Hero of the Year, there's Chinchin being hailed by Time Magazine as Asian Hero in 2003.
Currently enrolled at the Southeast Asian Interdisciplinary Development Institute (SAIDI), where she is pursuing her combined M.A. and Ph.D. in Organizational Development, major in Transformative Spirituality -- Chin-chin is indeed serious.
As an advocate, she as early as 2006 established Alaga LAHAT, an ecological organization committed to preserving the integrity of Creation in all aspects of life.
As an artist, she had her first solo exhibit Whispers of A New World: Canvasses and Canticles in May 2006 but her entire collection -- including earlier works -- were all lost in December that year in the fire that completely burned down her home so in June 2009, she had the opportunity to exhibit her new (post-fire) works, again at Bliss Cafe in Baguio City, in the show Hedgestones of Faith.
Last January 6, upon the invitation of her friend Chef Jessie Sincioco, she unveiled, in honor of the Year of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, her latest art pieces in Altars of Love, which will run at Le Souffle-Top of the Citi, 34/ f Citibank Tower, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City until January 29.
By the way, one of the voice coaches who helped us during the first Tulaan sa Tren recording was performance scholar, Dr. Belen Calingacion who is now directing Palabas! Palabas! -- a series of activities/performances that will feature the works of our National Artists and other great Filipino writers at the University of the Philippines.
Beginning Friday, January 15, at 7 p.m., there will be a Poetry Jam -- a night of poetry performance by students taking Oral Interpretation (Speech 121) together with members of U.P. SPECA, UGAT and QUILL – will feature poems of Virgilio Almario, Francisco Arcellana, Amado V. Hernandez, Bienvenido Lumbera, Edith Tiempo, and Jose Garcia Villa at the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) Building Atrium, U.P. Diliman.
On January 21, another Oral Interpretation class will present a Reader’s Theatre production featuring the plays of Dr. Lumbera with other playwrights Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero, Severino Montano, and Rolando Tinio at C.M. Recto Hall, Bulwagang Rizal (Faculty Center), UP Diliman at 2:30 p.m.
The Speech 122, a class on Interpretation of Children’s Literature, will have storytelling sessions featuring the works of Rene Villanueva at Hardin ng mga Diwata, on January 22 at 11.30 am.
Finally, a chamber theatre production of Nick Joaquin’s May Day Eve and Arcellana’s Wing of Madness (II): The Yellow Shaw will highlight students of Speech 124 at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan on January 28 and 29, 6 p.m., and January 30, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
For more inquiries call 02-9243224/ 02-9248589.
If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib.
Do not worry about avoiding sexual temptations. As you grow older, they will start to avoid you.