Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SMASHING! (March 01, 2010)

The last time we saw her was at the University of the Philippines' Nicanor Abelardo Hall during the last day of Samahan ng mga Papetir ng Pilipinas' smashing PAPET ASEAN 2010: Celebrating ASEAN Puppet Traditions last week.
It was a Friday and we were supposed to do our weekly ritual: discuss her poems every afternoon at 4 at the Likhaan: U.P. Institute of Creative Writing until her mom was ready to fetch her.
But, lately, she had all the time in the world to watch Singapore's Mascots and Puppets Specialists , Malaysia's Pak Yusoff Mamat, Indonesian dalangs, and our very own Anino Shadowplay Collective, Ony Carcamo, Roppets Edutainment, and Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas.
After almost a year with us as her adviser, Nikki, not Giovanni but Ferriols, is already an author!
The poet behind the book Smashing Cities is 17-year old Elvira Leonida Nicole Nuestro Ferriols.
Her pet project is nothing but a partial fulfilment as a Creative Writing major at Philippine High School for the Arts.
And it was made possible by grrrl power: her classmates, Ma. Angela Simbajon and Gianneluisa Gonzales, to name a few, was her book designer/photographer and model respectively.
On p.82, she describes herself as a “regular of film escapades concerning Grammy winners and feeds on a healthy selection of books and good music before barfing up the good stuff on paper” who “hopes to dine with the likes of Alex Turner, Gael Garcia Bernal, Bob Dylan, Neil Gaiman, etc.”
However, we can get to know her better through her poetry.
Consider her A Smashing City as her representative sample:
Her bloody avenues
are virtually jam-less,
the skyscrapers are all aglow,
and the windows to her soul
are sliding open
to let the nightlife in,
consuming her
blithe body.
The party’s begun—
She’s on over cloud nine!
She screams “that drink is mine!”
She sleepily smiles and says she’s f-fine…!
Ironically, her ode to the city was written during her stay in the mountain.
That's why her 82-page baby is inspired by Mariang Makiling and published by Aklat Makiling which can be found in Mt. Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna!
Yes, as a PHSA scholar, she has to live with her batchmates, 40 incoming freshies every year, to name a few.
As a matter of fact, PHSA Executive Director, Fernando Josef, is looking for the likes of Nikki for the 2010-2011 artists-scholars.
So, Grade 6 or 7 students graduating this March -- with exceptional talents in any of the fields of dance (ballet or folk), music (instrumental or voice), theater, visual arts, and creative writing – can avail of this rare opportunity.
Reiterates Tata Nanding, as he is fondly called in theater, television, and film world: “We wish to take in the best young artists of their generation. Likewise, since the funds for the four-year special training in the arts come from the taxpayers of the entire country, we would like to ensure that the young artists even from the most remote areas are informed about the search and auditions and are given equal chances of vying for the scholarship.”
Around 5 p.m., last February 26, we got a text from Nikki reminding us – while waiting at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute for Dr. Nelson Patron who eventually decided to perform partial nephrectomy to our Ina on March 16.
Anyway, it was all about the much-awaited PHSA happening known as Kuwit.
Indeed, we felt kinda healed upon hearing that even right after the National Arts Month we can continuously harvest from young artists' blood, sweat, and tears, so to speak.
We are talking about the big event at the Arts In The City within Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on March 5 at 7 p.m.
Subtitled Traysikel, it will feature her and her classmates launching books: Soc Orlina's Pasahero, Isabella Patricia Hanopol Borlaza's Ang Pagpapakilala ng Isang Batang Mangangatha at iba pang Dula, and Nikki's' Smashing Cities.
Later, last Friday, too, we received another reminder from poet Mike Coroza, fresh from speaking and/or singing engagement during the 2nd International Conference on Filipino as a Global Language in San Diego, California last January 15 to 18.
Well, he wanted us to witness his career move from a mambabalagtas to a matinee idol, at least to his wife Jeanette and his son Miko, who took multiple roles as Pabling and part of the chorus, and his siblings Aya and Miggy.
All via Severino Reyes and Fulgencio Tolentino's smashing masterpiece, Walang Sugat, directed this time by Ricardo Abad, conducted by Josefino “Chino” Toledo, choreographed by Dexter Santos, and designed by National Artist Salvador Bernal who all did a great job in contemporizing a sarsuwela circa 1902.
As Tadeo, the father eager to arrange his son Miguel's marriage to the female lead, Julia, portrayed poetically by Laura Cabochan, Mike succeeded in connecting -- as swift as a SmartBro -- with the audience, perhaps due to his Balagtasan improvisation!
What made us roll into laughter, along with Jonathan Balsamo of the Ateneo High School and Association of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (APCAS), was his song-and-dance dalliances with Juana, supposedly his balae, played by London-trained Sonia Roco, whose posters as a “senatoriable” we cannot miss along Katipunan.
This Ateneo de Manila's Sesquicentennial offering at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater deserves to be toured in different campuses, Jesuit-owned or otherwise, after its final matinee last Saturday.
Not only for the sake of musical-lovers but for scholars as well since part of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Ateneo de Manila University’s program 500@150, which aims to raise money for 500 scholarships this year, and to Agenda for Hope.
By the way, Mike is proclaimed by smashing National Artist Virgilio Almario as the workshop director of Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA)'s Poetry Clinic this year – from June to November --as part of its 25th anniversary celebration.
Young poets like Nikki who plan to write bilingually can simply submit in Word Document file the following: one-page bio-data, ID picture, phone number, and five sample poems in Filipino via Or submit them personally at the UP I.C.W, 2/F Faculty Center, College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman in Quezon City.
In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
Sometimes we put too much passion on the biggest dreams and priorities in life that we fail to love the smallest pleasures from simple things. We search so much for the right choices, for the right person, for the right paths to walk through, and for the right time and for the right reasons.
But life is not about searching for the things that can be found. It is about letting the unexpected happen and finding things you never searched for.

OF LEGACIES (February 22, 2010)

Last Monday, during the Philippine Commonwealth's 75th anniversary, a visual art exhibit Baler was unveiled at the University of the Philippines's Bulwagan ng Dangal.
It will complement with the collecting practice of Jorge B. Vargas (1890-1980) at its museum named after the said first Filipino executive secretary who served under Pres. Manuel Luis Quezon.

When the President fled to Corregidor, Vargas headed the Civilian Emergency Administration on 30 December 1941 before he was declared mayor of Greater Manila whose assignment was to “take care of the Filipino people.”

He led the "open city" when the Imperial Japanese Army arrived on 2 January 1942, the same year he became the Philippine Executive Commission chair.

In fact, the Japanese Military Commander of the Philippines Masaharu Homma – an amateur painter and playwright who was more popularly known as the Poet General -- appointed him as “head of government” on 23 January 1942.

Eventually, the Japanese offered him the presidency during the Second Philippine Republic.

But he rejected it and, instead, accepted the position of Ambassador to Japan.

Afterwards, Vargas wore different hats as the National Planning Commission chair (1946-1954) as well as a member of the U.P. Board of Regents (1961-1965).

The Legion of Honor was conferred on him with the rank of Commander in 1960.

He entrusted on 1 March 1978 all his collection of art, stamps and coins; his library; his personal papers and memorabilia to U.P. where he obtained both his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1911 and his Bachelor of Law with honors in 1914.

Originally displayed in his residence at the Kawilihan compound in Mandaluyong, the transfer to the Diliman campus started in 1986.

After a year, on 22 February 1987, the museum building was formally inaugurated by no less than Pres. Corazon “Cory” Aquino who in 1998 was able to leave a mark in the form of a haiku written at the back of her own painting.

As a center for Philippine art and culture, Vargas Museum is the only art repository in the country that emcompasses the whole range of Philippine artistic creativity from the 1880s to the 1960s.

As a library, it boasts of 3,193 titles of books and 1,542 volumes of periodicals documenting of Vargas' various and varied interests, with the following indices aside from Vargasiana: Philippine art, numismatic, philatelic, ethnographic, linguistic sources, and, of course, Quezoniana!

Tomorrow, at 6 p.m., The Vargas Collection and Vargas Collects History will open at the 2F and 3F Galleries respectively of what is now known as The Jorge B.Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center.

It will be will followed by the launch of A Political Life in the Arts, Sen. Edgardo Angara, who was also born in Baler like Quezon.

“Vargas was one of the first Filipino collectors who acquired Philippine art and housed them in a museum to honor them” its incumbent curator Dr. Patrick Flores concluded, “and we are committed to continue his legacy.”

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard. In fact, it was a Completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to do anything. That's why it's called "falling" in love... Because it's happening to you.

People in love sometimes say, " I was swept of my feet." Think about the Imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened to you.

OF LEGALITIES (February 15, 2010)

One of the issues raised during the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Hour of Taboan: 2nd Philippine Writers Festival was the ever-unresolved conflicts regarding Intellectual Property Rights.
Copyright seemed to be a famous unknown during the conference organized by NCCA's Hope Yu and Arts Council of Cebu Foundation Inc.'s Mayen Tan at the Casino Espaňol de Cebu from February 10 to 12.
Intellectual property appeared to be a gray area among penpushers who transacted in a “trading post” or taboan of such topics as performance poetry which we tackled with Ariel Tabag and Bambi Beltran who treated us -- with Joey Baquiran, Mark Cayanan, Marne Kilates, Radel Paredes, Gerard Pareja, Larry Ypil, and some Bathalad poets -- to the “Jason Paul Laxamana Film Festival” at her Turtles' Nest Book Cafe fronting her Kukuk's Nest Garden Restaurant and Pension House in Lahug!
For the third leg of Taboan, perhaps in Davao City, may we propose to the NCCA Commissioner Ricardo de Ungria and the National Committee on Literary Arts that -- aside from recognizing outstanding writers from Mindanao – the writers' welfare be prioritized next year.
Probably NCCA should invite unsung heroes of the Workshop on the Management of Intellectual Property in the Book Publishing Industry: Reading the Fine Print which was held last 28-29 January at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and presented by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines) in cooperation with the CCP, National Book Development Board (NBDB), and the newest kid on the IPR block -- Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society (FILCOLS).Cebu's pride -- Atty. Andrew Michael S. Ong, IP Philippines' Deputy Director General -- reminded publishers and writers from various media as well as lawyers and copyright practictioners: “Copyright is one of the major intellectual property rights and is particularly significant because it is the bedrock of several industries. There is a need to raise awareness and respect for copyright among the general public and, among business insiders, a need to understand and appreciate copyright on a deeper level.”Christopher Kalanje -- WIPO Creative Industries Division's counsellor in Geneva, Switzerland -- was also there to explain the link between Intellectual Property and Creative Industries: “Why do we need to talk about Creative Industry? Everyone wants to be creative. In business, if you are not creative, you die.”
Precious Leaño, the workshop project director, was able to gather together an international cast of main characters: Santiago Mediano of Santiago Mediano Abogados in Madrid, Spain and Carolyne Morgan of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organization in Australia with our very own -- National Book Development Board's Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores; Anvil Publishing's Karina Bolasco; IP Philippines's Atty. Louie Calvario, to name a few.
By the way, National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario Lirio Sandoval, and Alvin Buenaventura -- FILCOLS chair, treasurer and executive director respectively -- who were all present during the two-day workshop at the CCP, succeeded in signing bilateral agreements with the reproduction rights organizations (RRO) of Australia, Argentina, Colombia, Mauritius, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Almario led the Philippine delegation to the annual general meeting of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO) held in Oslo, Norway last October.
Before some 227 delegates from 59 countries, FILCOLS – whose membership was approved on 3 June 2009 -- acted as the national RRO of the Philippines.
NBDB encouraged authors and publishers to establish an RRO in 2001 but, after its incorporation, the initial organization was mired due to its inability to generate enthusiasm and support among stakeholders.
In 2007, the NBDB and the IP Philippines helped the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP) organize FILCOLS which was incorporated on 8 January 2008.
FILCOLS, due to a wider rights holder representation, received a three-year endorsement from the NBDB governing board on 26 March 2008 with former IP Philippines Director General Adrian Cristobal Jr. also promoting this young yet precocious society on 6 August 2008.
We, at the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) – preoccupied with our Writers Welfare Act and Writers Cooperative -- endorsed FILCOLS on 21 April 2008 while BDAP -- largest book industry association – through its president Lirio Sandoval who signed the official endorsement on 9 May 2008.
Other officers of FILCOLS are Karina Bolasco, vice chair; Isagani Cruz; Abdon Balde Jr.; Mariano Kilates; Erlinda Panlilio; Max Gomez; and Rolando de Vera.
Anyway, as artists, our struggle could be summarized by the aforementioned Japanese poem written by Pres. Aquino: Crosses and roses Make my life more meaningful I cannot complain.
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard. In fact, it was a Completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to do anything. That's why it's called "falling" in love... Because it's happening to you.
People in love sometimes say, " I was swept of my feet." Think about the Imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened to you.