THE reign of the Rooster this coming Chinese New Year seems to bode well for the arts and culture in our province too. Several productions are happening on January 28 alone, with more lined up in the following months.

An original musical entitled “The Ladies of Saint Vincent de Paul”, written and directed by premiere Kapampangan culturati Andy Alviz, will have its gala night on January 28 at the Holy Angel University Theater in Angeles City. The musical is produced by the Ladies of Charity – AIC Pampanga and is top-billed by Reverend Fathers Ric Luzung and Jonathan Bartolome and the members of the Ladies of Charity, Teatru Kapampangan, and Arti. Sta. Rita. Inquiries may be sent to tita Rina at mobile 09285053644.

Young Kapampangan musicians also get a much-needed boost from the year-opener gig organized by Eksena Lokal Radio, Alpha 1 Barbershop, Plug n’Play Production, a Better Hope Collective dubbed “Compo X Cover”. This will be held on January 28, 6pm onwards, at the Red King Bar, Aria Place, City of San Fernando, Pampanga. 50 pesos gets you in.

Meanwhile, Teatru Ima Kami will be holding a special screening of its first ever indie film, “Reinas de Bale Matua” (The Queens of Bale Matua), written and directed by award-winning and globe-trotting young filmmaker Carlo Enciso Catu. While veteran members of the theatre group have appeared in indie films before, this is the first venture of the group in a new genre, but no less of a delight. Catch the special screenings on January 29, 3pm or 6pm, at the Franda Mall, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

We look forward to the much-awaited re-staging of Juan Crisostomo Soto’s zarzuela “Alang Dios”, which Kapampangans last witnessed way back in 1975, according to some interviews. This generation will now have an opportunity to watch this immortal literary and theatrical masterpiece on February 8, 9 and 10, at the Holy Angel University Theater. Kudos to the production team, especially the Sapni nang Crissot Literary and Cultural Foundation, for upholding the legacy of Juan Crisostomo Soto.

The re-staging of “Alang Dios!” is in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary (sesquicentennial) of Juan Crisostomo Soto, Kapampangan literary giant who is widely-recognized as the Father of Kapampangan Literature.

If this is a preview of what the year of the rooster has in store for us, then we are up to a great artistic and cultural year here in Pampanga. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!