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.

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