A PLETHORA of arts and cultural events all over the Philippines will make the whole month of February exciting, colorful and enriching as the Philippines’ prime government agency for arts and culture, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), headed by its chairman, Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, executive director Al Ryan Alejandre and deputy executive director Marichu Tellano, leads the celebration of 2020 National Arts Month (NAM).
Spearheaded by NCCA’s Subcommission on the Arts (SCA), led by its commissioner Teddy Co, Ani ng Sining: Philippine Arts Festival is a series of events in different parts of the country featuring exhibits, workshops, shows, concerts, lectures, tours and others in the seven fields of the arts. These events aim to showcase the richness of artistic endeavors and heritage of local communities as well as support and empower the numerous artists in these communities.
Highlighting the bountiful harvest of Philippine arts, Ani ng Sining: Philippine Arts Festival is mainly composed of the flagship projects of SCA’s seven national committees — Architecture, Cinema, Dance, Literary Arts, Music, Dramatic Arts and Visual Arts.
NCCA will also hold opening programs for NAM in the National Capital Region (NCR), Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The Visayas opening program will be hosted by Ormoc City, Leyte, on January 31. For NCR, the opening program will be held at the Rizal Park, Manila, on February 1, featuring workshops on the seven arts, performances as well as short film screening. For Luzon leg, it will be held in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, on February 4.
Architecture and allied arts
The National Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts, headed by Rogelio D. Caringal, will present “Tertulia de Arkitektura: Espasyo, Disenyo at Paglulunang Bayan,” a series of events that explore the many facets of architecture and the production space in Philippine life through interdisciplinary lens and the convergences of architecture and cinema, landscape architecture and civic pride, interior design and creative upcycling of objects, urban planning and national agenda, among others.
The component events include “Banyuhay ng Bagay: Lumang Bagay, Bagong Anyo,” an upcycling workshop-seminar, which will tackle the transformation of old and discarded objects into new objects of display for interior design application; “Luntiang Lunan,” a workshop on design, creation and maintenance of a community garden in two barangay pilot sites; “Pelikulang Arkitektura,” (Filming Architecture) a film competition for students that aims to celebrate the creative spirit that drives architecture and spatial design; “Usapang Espasyo,” (Discourse of Space) a lecture and documentary film screening about architecture and allied arts that are transdisciplinary; and “Pa(ng)labas: Isang Siglo ng Arkitektura para sa Pinilakang Tabing (A Century of Architecture for the Silver Screen),” a traveling exhibit that traces the advent and evolution of cinema as an architectural form and as congregational space of Filipino spectatorship of the 20th century.
Headed by Teddy Co, the National Committee on Cinema will hold the twelfth installment of Cinema Rehiyon Film Festival, a non-competition film festival which highlights some of the best works from the regions.
The festival has been raising awareness on the efforts on and progress of filmmaking in the different regions, and providing platform for these films, most of which in local languages and showing culturally-rooted narratives, to be exhibited and appreciated by a wider audience.
Aside from screenings, there are also film literacy and appreciation forums; workshops on writing and pitching, film promotion, marketing, distribution and audience development; and an expo and plenary night, where filmmakers, film lovers and film workers gather to exchange ideas and explore collaborations. Cinema Rehiyon has been held in different parts of the country. This year, it will be held at the Ateneo de Naga University in Naga City, highlighting films of the Bicol Region.
The National Committee on Dance, headed by Shirley Halili-Cruz, will once again amaze the public with the month-long traveling dance concert series “Sayaw Pinoy” in different parts of the country.
Started in 2009, the dance tour brings together different dance forms such as classical ballet, folk dance, contemporary and modern dance as the country’s top dance groups perform with the local dance troupes of host cities and municipalities. Showcasing the colorful tradition of dances and movements in the country and reaching out to the grassroots to discover new talents as well as connect to more Filipino dance artists, “Sayaw Pinoy” is the longest-running and grand touring dance event and the most attended of NAM events.
This year, “Sayaw Pinoy” will go to Ormoc City, Leyte, on January 31; Rizal Park, Manila, on February 1, 2, 9, 16 and 23; Butuan City and Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, on February 3; Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, on February 4; Palawan on February 7 and 8; Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, on February 26; Victorias City, Cadiz City and EB Magalona, Negros Occidental, on February 27; La Castellana, Negros Occidental, on February 28; and Talisay and Silay City, Negros Occidental, on February 29.
The National Committee on Dramatic Arts, headed by Rossana Q. Palm, will hold Tampok: Regional Theater Conference and Festival, gathering theater practitioners and showcasing notable theater pieces. To be held in Cebu City, Cebu, it aims to celebrate and document the creative, intellectual and praxiological contributions to theater of regional groups and personages.
The congress will serve as a venue for setting the national theater agenda, focusing on orientation, artistry and organizational themes. As part of NCDA’s strategic direction to draft a blueprint for an envisioned Academy of Philippine Theater or Linangan ng Dulaang Filipino, Tampok 2020 is an effort to create a space for the reflection on some of the country’s best practices in building a curriculum for theater praxis and to examine the challenges in the formation of a curriculum on Philippine theater.
The National Committee on Literary Arts, headed by Dr. Hope S. Yu, will hold “Reading from the Regions: A National Arts Month Celebration 2020,” is a seminar and arts festival, bringing together artists, writers and educators who will share various approaches to teaching local arts and literature, highlighting distinct traditions and emerging themes from different regions and languages. The insights from the interaction may be applied in the classroom or used in communities that seek to educate citizens about and through art and literature.
The National Committee on Music, headed by Dr. Mauricia D. Borromeo, will hold Musicapuluan: Music of the Islands, a music festival with performances, lectures, workshops and other components that will celebrate our local musics, in different parts of the country.
In Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, “Musikapuluan: Himig at Sayaw, Atong Huning Kaugalingon” will feature traditional Visayan choral music, rondalla and balitao. In Catbalogan City, Samar, “Kinaraan-Daan 2020” will have an ismayling workshop and competition. In Mindanao, Musikapuluan will be held in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, showcasing the traditional musics of the Zamboanga Peninsula as well as workshops on kundiman singing, choral singing and rondalla playing.
The National Committee on Visual Arts, headed by Edgar Talusan Fernandez, will mount the Philippine Visual Arts Festival (PVAF): TransARTlokal in Ormoc City, Leyte, focusing on shifts in our everyday life as reflected in our arts and how traditional culture can inform and inspire contemporary arts through interactions and collaborations.
PVAF will include workshops on recycling objects, jewelry making, and video and photography using smartphones. There will also be public art making, installation art exhibition and demos on traditional crafts such as mat weaving and tuba making.
Ani ng Dangal
As a tradition now for several years, the Ani ng Sining will close with Ani ng Dangal awarding ceremonies. The Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honors) Awards recognizes artists who have earned international awards and accolades during the past year.
The annual celebration of National Arts Month started with the signing of Presidential Proclamation 683, in 1991, declaring February as National Arts Month. Over the years, NCCA, as well as private and government agencies, has been organizing events and activities to highlight the artistic brilliance of the Filipinos.