Wednesday, November 21, 2012

WE HEART ART (February 7, 2011)


Especially now that Philippine International Arts Festival (PIAF) fits well during the Love Month. Or the National Arts Month too. However, for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), one month is too short. So, as early as December, NCCA got its act together to launch PIAF with a big help not just from artists. But from artistas too.

Days before Christmas, NCCA already shouted its joy to the world when it finally found, by staying fair and square, its new Art Ambassadors.

NCCA, in its effort to reach out to the masses who stick to nicknames as terms of endearment, tapped from the Kapamilya channel, no less than Eugenio Abunda Jr.

Popular and powerful as Kuya Boy, as he is fondly called, actually began his career an assistant stage hand of the Metropolitan Theater before making waves with his own prestigious Backroom, Inc. Aside from hosting, the “King of Talk” can still find time to teach Mass Communications and to study, in fact a thesis away from his Master's Degree at the Philippine Women’s University, yet he is already a Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Hall of Famer as a 15-time best host awardee for the last 15 years. From the Kapuso camp, NCCA chose Jose Sixto Gonzales Dantes. More recognizable as Dingdong, he is this year's youth ambassador of the NCCA. A former Bedan who transferred to Ateneo de Manila University to take up Interdisciplinary Studies and Communication Arts, this Bench model is a Marine reservist who participated in medical missions in Jolo aside from supporting the children of the fallen military personnel. A die-hard Dingdongian, Ms. Lita Avena, one of the Kapisanan ng May K sa Pilipinas pillars, added: “Dingdong is not just a hunk but a hero. He founded the YES (or Youth Education Services) Pinoy in August of 2009, the year he got the Celebrity Advocate Award from the National Youth Commission.”

Last Sunday, Kuya Boy and Dingdong led the Grand Parade for PIAF's Grand Opening Program for the National Capital Region at Rizal Park in Manila,.

Workshops were conducted by artists belonging to the seven arts as a prelude.

Yesterday, PIAF started for Mindanao at People’s Park in Davao City. For the Visayas it will be on 6 February at the Bacolod Provincial Capitol while for Luzon it will be on 20 February at Burnham Park in Baguio City.

All of them will feature elaborate performances, exhibitions, and parades.

Sayaw Pinoythe eight-year old baby of National Committee on Dance, is the longest-running Arts Month project and one of the most attended to date. It will be touring 21 key areas nationwide, featuring dancers from Cambodia, Thailand, Brunei and Vietnam. Younger by two years, Tanghal: University Theater Festival is the offering of the National Committee on Dramatic Arts. Its main activities will be held in the Visayas, specifically Bacolod. The University of St. La Salle, Colegio San Agustin, and West Negros University will be the venues in Bacolod. This year will see the first Manila International Monodrama Festival with delegates from Lithuania, United States of America, Cambodia, and Fujaira of the United Arab Emirates.The quiet Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts will have Ani ng Sining Lecture Series and others with the likes of May Datuin, Gelo Manosa, John Petty John, and Leo Almeria as speakers. Egay Fernandez, the Committee on Visual Arts head, does business with pleasure when he takes PIAF to Boracay where the focus will on the traditional Philippine tattoo art practices, methods, and designs. Artists from Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, and Thailand will take part in Cebu City, Davao City, Angono, Rizal and Isabela. Joey Ayala and the National Committee on Music will have its Organik Muzik 3 in Manila, Davao, Puerto Princesa, and Dumaguete with the special participation of musicians from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Its counterpart in the National Committee on Cinema -- CinemaRehiyon 3 -- will hold screenings and fora that focus on the artistic endeavors in cinema from the regions. Taiwanese films will also be shown. Also on its third year, Taboan Philippines International Writers Festival 2011 will be held in Davao City.Taboan will have satellite activities like the De La Salle University's celebration entitled You Lovely People: A Tribute to Bienvenido Santos on His Birth Centenary on February 4 at the DLSU Marilen Gaerlan Conservatory. This National Committee on Literature's project plans to gather 80 national and international writers from from Hong Kong, Australia, and Singapore who are invited to join in poetry reading sessions titled Three Nights of Love Poetry, both in Quezon City. On February 8 at Conspiracy Garden Café, there will “Tongues of Love.” Poets Rebecca Añonuevo, Romulo Baquiran, Niles Jordan Breis, Richel Dorotan, Jerry Gracio, Ariel Tabag, and John Iremil Teodoro, will be reading poems in the original Cebuano, Iluko, Kinaray-a, Waray, Bicol, and Tagalog languages.On Valentine's Day, there will be “Labor of Love” at the Tomato Bomb Cafe. Dax Cutab will call on National Artists Virgilio Almario with poets Diego Abad, Gemino Abad, Dave Buenviaje, Mikael De Lara Co, Mike Coroza, Keith Cortez, Conchitina Cruz, Carlomar Daoana, Khavn Dela Cruz, Noelle Leslie Dela Cruz, Lourd De Veyra, Jacob Walse-Dominguez, Drea Duerme, Marne Kilates, Kris Lacaba, Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, Gian Lao, Donal O'Flynn, Rafael San Diego, Chris Mooney-Singh, Andrea Teran, Mia Tijam, and Krip Yuson who will jam with Actor's Pleygrawnd Diwa De Leon, Las Bungangeras, Jeff Pagaduan, and more for the open mic.

Sad to say, we cannot make it on 14 February since, at last, Pres. Benigno Aquino III will inaugurate, at the East Avenue Medical Center's beautiful basement, the hospice with a heart – for the arts – Tahan-Tahanan. Dr. Ma. Victoria Abesamis and the KMKP made sure it has a space for expressive arts therapy for pediatric cancer patients.

Unlike last Sunday, when we, with Teo, Antonio, Mike Coroza, and the Batutes did the traditional and the modern Balagtasan, separately, at the Literature Zone.

It was when the Cultural Center of the Philippines sponsored once more thebiggest one-day performance arts festival of the country -- PASINAYA 2011. From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. had a fiesta of over 120 performances from the nation’s different performing arts groups.
In a “pay what you can, see all you can,” the event was spearheaded by the CCP’s resident companies – the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the University of Santo Tomas Symphony Orchestra, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Tanghalang Pilipino, Bayanihan Philippines National Folk Dance Company, the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Ballet Philippines, Philippine Ballet Theater and the winners of the National Music Competitions for Young Artists. It paid tribute to Jose Rizal via a thousand voice choir singing Mi Ultimo Adios set to music by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab. Among the featured choirs are award-winners: Imusicapella, Tarlac State University, Our Lady of Fatima University Chorale, Hiyas ng Pilipinas Children's Choir, Sta. Teresita Parish Chorale, Woodrose Chorale, and the Quezon City Performing Arts Dev't FOundation, Inc. Choir.

Tupada Action and Media Arts (TAMA), will launch its 8th International Visual Performance event in November. But, its big gig -- Solidarity in PErformAnCE -- will have workshops, videoshowings, and performances in cooperation with the NCCA. Ronaldo Ruiz and Boyet de Mesa, TAMA's Artistic Director and event organizer respectively, announced the opening salvo at the University of the East on 18 February at 1 p.m. There might also be one at De La Salle in Lipa, Batangas on 22 February and one at the Technological University of the Philippines-Manila on 25 February with Singaporean Jason Lim, the Future of Imagination artistic director who will give his artist talk with Daniela Beltrani. Tentatively, too, there will be one at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta.Mesa, Manila on 4 March as well as at The Golden Cafe on 15 March with Canadian Arianna Pozzuoli who will do the Spoken Word.

After telling him about these art news, Wika, who just won in a Rabbit-Headdress-making Contest, asked us: “Ama, whatever happened to the National Artist scandal?”

Luzon is the biggest island (141,395 sq km) among the Philippine Archipelago which consists of 7,107 (most figures) islands and islets stretching some 1,850 kilometers from north to south and 1,107 kilometers from west to east at its widest point.
Age appears to be the best in some things.
Old wood
Best to burn
Old authors
Best to read
Old wine
Best to drink
And old friends
Best to keep.

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