Friday, May 14, 2010

FROM PALMS TO EGGS (April 05, 2010)

Maybe they were alluding to the honest man, or woman, behind La Vida Loca.
Or, to the dishonest woman, or man, behind recent midnight appointments in the boards of the
National Museum and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
They just decided to call themselves LuCa.
But, with or without donkey ride, they behaved as if they were under an inexplicable spell last March 28.
The moon watched in its fullness over the very tensed Tanghalang Mariang Makiling in Los Baňos, Laguna.
Everybody appeared to be at a loss in the midst of a twilight that seemed to be reflective, or was it reflexive?
There was an unfulfilled promise to a brownout that was supposed to end at 5 p.m.
There was no familiar Fernando Josef yet he agreed to speak before graduating Ateneans only because their alumni Godofredo Ramizo Jr. who finished summa cum laude, Lourdes Marie La Viňa aside from cum laude got the Mulry Award and the Loyola Schools Awards for the Arts for poetry while Ma. Danella Publico earned it too for dance.
It was the show of shows – during its world premiere -- in search of a director.
Good thing, both the faculty and non-academic personnel took over just to ensure the success of the Philippine High School for the Arts' 32nd Commencement Exercises!
As one of the advisers, we were even consulted about certain controversial issues.
When they began marching like saints in Filipiniana, last Palm Sunday night, lights came back, as bright as every proud parent's smile.
Senior Administrative Assistant Cleofe Cabauatan, who was reportedly one of principal sponsors when PHSA was born in 1977, put everything into its proper perspective when she introduced the first speaker as if shouting hosanna.
Like David's son, National Artist for Visual Arts, Benedicto Cabrera, inspired us all long before we gathered that the real knight, Sir Paul McCartney, bought one of his early works when the Beatles visited his Indigo Gallery in Manila sometime between 3 to 5 July in 1966.
But he still had this parting shot: “There are observers who consider my career a success. My own gauge for success measures the happiness and fulfillment that I find in my activities. But I have to emphasize that the greatest happiness comes from learning new things, and sustaining the excitement and interest in day-to-day life. My message is simple – live fully, never stop learning, and love your work. Your love for life, desire to learn and passion for work will be the inspiration, as well as the fruit, of your every action.”
Harvest time, indeed, was next when we, together with Philippine Women's University Dean Emeritus Rosario Bitanga, were invited to join the guests of honor in congratulating on stage all the 38 graduates led by those with honors such as creative writing majors Elvira Leonida Nicole Ferriols, our advisee, and Isabella Borlaza, who was represented by her mom since she was in Japan for the Youth For Understanding tour.
Others were from music (piano) like Gabriel Paguirigan; from visual arts like Chloe Dellosa, Gisella Gequinto, and Jeanne Rodriguez; and from folk dance like Gebbvelle Selga, Shea Montaras, Anne Monares, Camille Pagkanlungan, Michael Que, Yazmin Sehob, and Jezzreel Valeza.
Outstanding Student Artist awardees included surnames -- Borlaza, Dellosa, Ferriols, Gequinto, Monares, Montaras, Que, and Paguirigan – we ought to watch.
Then there was the much-awaited Makiling Academe and Research Institute for the Arts, or M.A.R.I.A., Scholarship that went exclusively to Dellosa, Ferriols, Geguinto, Paguirigan, Que, and another creative writing major -- Ma. Socorro Orlina – who launched her first book Pasahero with Borlaza's Ang Pagpapakilala ng Isang Batang Mangangatha at iba pang Dula, and Ferriols' Smashing Cities at Fort Bonifacio's Arts In The City last March 5!
Before they could dine, and wine, they had to listen to the message of their messiah in Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature: “Kailangang tuklasin ng manlilikhang Filipino ang kanyang identidad bilang Filipino at sinupin ang mapagpalayang paglikha. Tungkulin ng manlilikha na iwaksi ang kulturang kolonyal at akapin ang kulturang mapagpalaya. Tungkulin niyang pagbuksan ang bago at tuklasin ang mga paksaing pinagsarhan ng estetikang dulot ng kolonyal na sistema ng edukasyon. Tingnan natin ang anim na likhang sining na maimumungkahing huwaran ng mga obrang lilikhain ninyo pagdating ng inyong kapanahunan bilang manlilikha ng inyong henerasyon. Para sa teatro, Pagsambang Bayan ni Bonifacio Ilagan; para sa musika, Klintang ni Ramon Santos; para sa sining biswal, Mga Madona ng Malayang Filipinas ni Egai Fernandez; para sa sayaw, La Revolucion Filipina ni Agnes Locsin, para sa pelikula, Independencia ni Raya Martin, at para sa panitikan, Huling Hudhud ng Sanlibong Pagbabalik at Paglimot para sa Filipinas kong Mahal ni Rio Alma.”
Marie Georgia Macapagal, their class president, did their Panunumpa ng Katapan, before their Awit ng PHSA. What was resounding for us was what Chloe Dellosa read as her Talumpati ng Pasasalamat at Pamamaalam: “Sa simula para tayong mga Lego na naghahanap kung saan o kung kanino tayo maaaring kumonekta. Tumungo man tayo rito nang may pare-parehong hangarin, hindi rin maikakaila ang ating pagkakaiba-iba. At dahil doon, hindi natin malaman kung ano ang mabubuo ng ating pangkat. Walang partikular na anyo ang kailangang buuin. Gayunpaman, sinubukan nating bumuo ng isang estruktura mula sa ating mga sarili. Ang ilan sa atin ay nagsilbing pundasyon, at ang iba nama'y tagapag-ugnay. Ngunit may ilan din namang tila hindi makahanap ng kanilang paglalagyan. Nang maglaon, naisip natin na ang ilan pala sa atin ay may ibang papel na gagampanan upang mabuo ang estrukturang iyon. At lumipas ang panahon, sa hindi maisip-isip na kadahilanan, nagawa nating pag-ugnay-ugnayin ang ating mga magkakaibang pagkatao at nakabuo ng isang pangkat na magiging permanenteng bahagi ng ating puso at ng ating kabataan ang Batch Lumbera-Cabrera, o di kaya'y LuCa.” The following day, we received an email from Tata Nanding: “In the light of the case filed against me by Mr. Bonifacio Ilagan, I am filing a leave of absence without pay for the duration of investigation until completion of the case. This is to ensure a fair and unbiased investigation and to avoid any accusation of undue influence if I remain actively serving as Executive Director. Needless to say, the Council will have to assign an Officer-in-Charge during my absense. May I also inform the Advisory Council and the Management Committee that whatever the outcome of the case might be, whether I am proven guilty or not, I will file my irrevocable resignation, anyway. In fact, I could have resigned immediately since my incompetence and integrity have been questioned, but I do not want to appear trying to escape from any accountability.” Well, we had to pray, not merely it was a Holy Monday then. Before we could rush to the United Architects of the Philippines building for our orientation as members of the Commission on Higher Education's technical panels -- we had to fulfill our promise to spiritually support Fr. Robert Reyes' project -- wherein he ran from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources office in Quezon City to Ilagan, Isabela where another victim, Gov. Grace Padaca, was an iron lady in waiting, counting bunnies after Easter eggs were hatched yesterday! The Running Priest's penitence for us was Run For Rain, Run For Renewal.
Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over million descendants.
God answers prayers in three ways: He says: (1) yes and gives you what you want; (2) no and gives you something better; (3) wait and gives you the best.

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