THE Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts’ 11th instalment of Panaghugpong offers platforms for local artists to showcase their talents as part of the vibrant artistic community in Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan which ripples throughout Cagayan de Oro City and Northern Mindanao.
This year, organizations under the culture and arts center have proposed and implemented activities that are inclusive even to enthusiasts of the craft – whether it involves music, the performing arts, visual arts, and literature, among others.
Celebrated in the whole month of February, Panaghugpong (which is the Bisaya translation for “convergence”) takes inspiration from the celebration of the National Arts Month which stems from the Proclamation No. 683 s. 1991 for the appreciation of the country’s diverse and significant arts scene.
Cultivating local arts for national abundance
“Panaghugpong is a multi-arts festival that converges the various productions of the performing arts companies of Xavier University, as well as art workshops, exhibitions, concerts, and cultural education programs,” XCCA director and festival head Hobart Savior said during the opening at the XU Little Theater on January 30 when Dulaang Atenista first staged its twin-bill production dubbed as “#RelationshipGoals.”
Citing the National Commission for Culture and the Art’s annual initiative, he continued: “The National Arts Month aims to promote and popularize artistic creation of Filipinos, integrate arts in community life, celebrate the significance of arts and culture in uplifting national spirit, and harness art as catalyst for values education.”
Integrating these objectives has been part of XCCA’s major thrusts to contribute to the growth of the artistic community not only in the university but throughout the locality as well.
He pointed out that the celebration is being supported by the Xavier Ateneo community, with the use of artistic and cultural appreciation for the university’s social outreach, holistic formation, and well-rounded academic experience.
“Xavier Ateneo has been a nursery of artists that nurtures a playground of creativity, ingenuity, and passion,” he added. “It has brought its name and Cagayan de Oro in the national and international scene of arts and culture.
This year’s line-up is participated by Dulaang Atenista, The Xavier Stage, XU Glee Club, Xavier Philharmonia, Xavier University Cultural Dance Troupe, Xavier English Language and Literature Organization (XELLO) and the Department of English Language and Literature (DELL), English Department of XU Junior High, and the XU Press. Productions have begun from January 30, covering the entire month of February, and will push through until the first week of March.
One of the anticipated events is the book launching of Palanca recipient Anthony L. Tan. Entitled “Crossing the River – Poems Old and New”, it contains literary pieces that resonate with the author’s ideas, reflections, and aspirations. Copies will be released by the XU Press and will be available to public on March 7, 2019.
Like Tan (who takes reins in maneuvering Mindanaoan literature), Panaghugpong takes pride in local talents that excel in their chosen art. Staged plays by Dulaang Atenista and The Xavier Stage consolidate local narratives and adaptations that gauge on universal relevance. Concerts by the XU Glee Club and Xavier Philharmonia echo harmony. Stylized performances by the Xavier University Cultural Dance Troop lead encourage the appreciation for heritage. Meanwhile, XELLO and DELL’s film presentations educate viewers about environmental issues.
With February honoring arts and culture, Panaghugpong will not only serve as a celebration that highlights artists and their crafts. Rather, it can be seen as an initiative that give proof how deeply art is ingrained with culture, which can be used as a tool to improve the state of the nation.
However, it begins in the community. For the 11th instalment, just like its previous celebrations, Panaghugpong underscores the flourishing artistic community in Cagayan de Oro City and Northern Mindanao.