Wednesday, November 3, 2010

EAST MEETS WEST (June 21, 2010)

Ever wondered where outgoing Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was when incoming Pres. Benigno Aquino III and Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay were proclaimed officially during the 14th Congress led by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Prospero Nograles?

Last June 9, GMA was reportedly with other distinguished guests celebrating the 35th year of Philippines-China diplomatic relations in China through a gala performance .

The theme Better City, Better Life rings aloud in all the pavillons.

And the Philippine pavillon's theme is Performing Cities.

“The Philippine delegation of 114 artists and staff came with one intent,” Dr. Alexander Cortez, its director, revealed: “to show to the world the artistry of the Filipino people, that Filipinos can stand side by side with the world's best in the performance arena. The predominantly Filipino-Chinese audience at the huge exposition hall (as all buildings are in Shanghai) caught a glimpse of how professional Filipino artists are. In the absence of English-speaking crew members, the Filipinos managed to present a seamlessly woven show of the old and new, modern and traditional and classical showing various influences of China and Spain in our cultural life.”

Two Wednesdays ago, while MYX – our country's top music magazine --was launching its latest special issue on the The Land of the Morning Calm's K-Pop artists, our Filipino artists, the so-called serious ones, were in the Land of the Big Exports!

Sad to say, all the Pinoy fans of 2AM, 2PM, 2NE1, 4Minute, After School, BEAST, Boa, BEG, f(x), FT Island, SNSD, Kara, Rain, SHINee, SS501, T-Ara, TVXQ, UKiss, WG, Wheesung or BIG BANG would not even care about our very own Cecile Licad and the rest of the delegation who wowed the crowd at the Great Hall, Expo Center in Shanghai.

Hats off, no matter what, to each and every star and staffer of Two Rivers, Two Hearts: Philippine Philharmonic orchestra with Maestro Chino Toledo, UNESCO Ambassador Philippine Madrigal Singers led by Mark Anthony Carpio, Ballet Philippines with its Artistic Director Paul Morales, Philippine Folk Dance ensemble (from Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group) guided by Marciano Viri; violinist Joseph Esmilla accompanied by Rudolph Golez; kulintang soloist Kanapia Kalanduyan; sopranos, Rachelle Gerodias, Joanna Go and singer Jon Joven; guitarist Butch Roxas; Edru Abraham's Kontra Gapi who all brought the Red Hall down.

Even CNN News Bureau (Beijing) Chief Jaime Flor Cruz and Annie Luis, a Peking opera scholar in Beijing, did great as their masters of ceremonies in the said Shanghai Exposition for the Philippine National day.

Shanghai Expo is presently the biggest event in China next to Beijing Olympics.

However, we will never really run out of world-class performing artists.

One vendor of a Chinese street food, for instance, can attest to it.

Jovit Baldivino, not a lumpiang Shanghai but a siomai sensation, triumphed over Baguio Metamorphosis, Sherwin Baguion, Keith Delleva, Allan “Alakim” De Paz, Ezra Band, Luntayao Family, Jeline Oliva, Ingrid Payaket, Markki Stroem, Ruther Urquia, and Velasco Brothers to become the first ever Pilipinas Got Talentgrand winner.

More so, in the field of dance alone, Agnes Locsin, our foremost Filipino neo-ethnic choreographer, can brag about her babies in dancers Christine Crame, Annette Cruz-Mariano, Judell De Guzman-Sicam, Gaye Galiluyo, Sony Locsin, Alden Lugnasin, Ernest Mandap, Ryan Ocampo, Camille Ordinario-Joson, Georgette Sanchez, and Perry Sevidal. In her newest dance creation -- Sayaw, Sabel inspired by National Artist Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera’s painting, Sabel – Locsin promises to show how Filipinos go through life in the midst of all their troubles and tribulations with shining resilience with a big help from some of the biggest names in Philippine theater: Maribel Legarda, Melvin Lee, Shamaine Centenera Buencamino and her husband, Nonie. You can still catch East West Danse, a three-week series of refreshing dance performances complimented by workshops which aim to host a dynamic exchange of ideas between local and international artists on Saturday, June 26, at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Theater Center at #5 Eymard Drive in New Manila, Quezon City. Also made possible by Bellyfest 2010 and the French Embassy, this is not just a showcase of Filipino and French contemporary dance but an encounter with Middle Eastern dance, too.

Speaking of French, one ballet dancer we discovered is the Mystery Sister of our former student at University of the Philippines last year, Julliano Fernando Guiang, a student leader who had been a part of Claret School of Quezon City's Claretian Peace Weavers and a part-time host of National Commission for Culture and the Arts and NBN-4's Sining Gising and Art Alright.It is for us to know who Ms. Guiang is and for you to find out when the Guiang siblings collaborate with us in performing our poem An Immense Difference Is The Power after Heber Bartolome’s painting calledFilipina. Translated by Francis Paolo Quina, our poem will be interpreted by her dancing to tune of Baz Luhmann's Moulin Rouge's music for closing credits – Bolero.

It will be on June 23 in an annual poetry reading, Le Printemps des Poètes 2010 – The Spring of Poets 2010 – produced by the Alliance Française de Manille with the participation of the Embassy of Switzerland and the Embassy of France.This year's theme is Couleur Femme… Color Of Women. This annual French poetry festival will be held this coming Wednesday at the AFM itself at #209 Nicanor Garcia Street in Makati City.

According to AFM's Board of Directors president, Deanna Ongpin-Recto: We can say dispassionately that in poetry as well as in other artistic fields, women have been confined to subordinate roles as muse, confidant and sympathizer. A lot can be said about the derogatory connotations of the word “poetess.” Whether or not “women’s poetry” exists is not an issue here. Instead, the aim of the project is to illuminate the contribution of women poets throughout history and their remarkable presence in contemporary writing. This could also be the occasion to consider the representations of women in the poetic imagination far beyond the stereotypes of celebratory romance.”

By the way, another European Union member, Instituto Cervantes, will be launching -- with the Embassy of Spain and Biblioteca Clásicos Hispanofilipinos -- Jesús Balmori’s Los Pájaros de Fuego (Birds of Fire). Born in Ermita, Manila on 10 January 1887 – Balmori was a Spanish literary prodigy who at age 17 already published his first book of versesRimas Malayas. As a lyric poet, Balmori garnered different national awards for his poem Gloria (1908) which won first prize in a contest sponsored by El Renacimiento and A Nuestro Señor Don Quijote de la Mancha (1920) which attained the major award in a contest promoted by Casas de España. However, some of Balmori’s greatest poems are in the collection Mi Casa de Nipa(1940), which won the grand prize for poetry in the national literary contest sponsored by the Commonwealth government. Before the war, Balmori – under the penname “Batikuling” – had his journalistic stint for the La Vanguardia where he wrote about the society’s oligarchs – showcasing his talent as a creative writer. He often engaged in a Balagtasan with fellow poet Manuel Bernabe.

Mike Coroza, defended his dissertation about his translation of justa poetica from Spanish to Filipino -- Gunita at Paglimot: Salin at Suri ng Unang Balagtasan sa Espanyol nina Jesus Balmori at Manuel Bernabe – at U.P. College of Arts and Letters. Yesterday, Mike, one-third of our Balagtasan Team MTV (or Mike, Teo, Vim), laid his mom, Salud Modina Coroza, to rest at Himlayang Pilipino. Last Saturday at the Bonita Memorial Homes in Marikina City, we hosted a program featuring no less than the Mabuhay Singers.


Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.


Life always involve a fight, a race, and a test. When things get tough, remember your identity. You are a fighter. You are a finisher. You are a faithful conqueror of God.

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