Fiesta Kultura-A A +A
As I See It
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
THE National Commission for the Culture and the Arts is reminding us to have rebirth of our cultural heritage…some kind of a renaissance in our songs, dances, theater and culinary art. This could be our cultural focus for the month of February. Let us accept the fact that our cultural awareness is diminishing. Our social activities are gradually invaded by the gangnam style fashion.
Let us knock at the hearts and conscience of our genuine cultural workers, teachers and artists to switch back to what we have started. Let us be there when the theater was a part of Filipino life. It is very discouraging to think that we start our program with canned anthem and prayer backed-up by the wide screen. We can always reason out that we maximize what is beautiful in our state-of-the-art technology. That could be our saving grace for not having mastered art in our culture.
Live presentation is a manifestation of skill and ability and a proof that we are not dominated by stage fright. Nobody knows what a ‘Carillo’ is. It is a shadow play according to the Philippine Almanac in which the shadows of cardboard figures held before a lamp is projected on a screen. Dialogue is supplied by a prompter and is based in storylines of legends, fables and metrical romances. This is better than a scrapbook project imposed by teachers. Recently, I was obliged to donate my expensive magazine to my son because he needs beautiful pictures for his scrapbook. I told him, “Your teacher is teaching you vandalism. You destroy a good magazine for that scrapbook. If your teacher is handling five sections, he will have a hell of time examining 200 scrapbooks.”
‘Komedya’ has become an alien art form. My friend, Cecile Nava, went as far as Antique to unearth ‘Komedya’ scripts. He interviewed old folks on what they remembered about ‘komedya’. It came from a Spanish word ‘comedia’. Stories revolved around love and conquest between Christians and Moslems during the Medieval Period in Europe. ‘Loa’ is in verse form used as appetizer before a long drama. A local poet in the past was requested to introduce a visiting official in verse form. Later, it was adapted in the wake for the dead wherein a lady (dalaga) and a gentleman (ulitao) would converse in a certain topic poetically.
‘Moro-Moro’ is a popular term for ‘komedya’. It would always feature a choreographed battle between the Moors and the Spaniards. As expected, the Moors are always defeated. This is what we got from colonial mentality. ‘Panunuluyan’ is a street play on Christmas featuring Joseph and Mary looking for a house in Bethlehem. They are usually backed up with singers and food is provided by the home owners. This is one good drama from the bible.
‘Sainete’ (of course, you don’t know this), is a short humorous play used as ‘entremes’ (intermission) between acts of a long ‘komedya’. It was intended to tickle the sleeping audience while the cast was preparing for the next act. There could be other stage pageantry like the Easter ‘Salubong’ or the Passion play (cenaculo). The teachers, through DepEd Cultural Program, can always come up with projects like these. The activity could always be tied up with local artists, directors and script writers. For funding, you can have a wink at your mayor or your congressman. For a sure funding, you have to do that artistically.
Here in Silay, we have a very supportive local government unit that cares for the survival of ‘Ilonggosarswela’, playlets, poetry, and Calvary play. We are just lucky because our Rondalla survives politics and we have a cultural pool of performing artists from our School of the Arts. There is really fun in our culture. We look forward that February would be ‘annus mirabilis’ (wonderful year) for the art.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 05, 2013.