MINDANAO celebrates February as a national arts month thru music – a day of music workshop review followed by a day highlighting traditional connections, forging art and culture agreements, and, a five-hour music showcase south Mindanao can offer. Indeed, a gathering of musical talents and its best practices that celebrates Mindanao’s spirit of resilience and strength with a culture of peace.

The celebration is dubbed as "Musikapulo-an Mindanao, Ani ng Sining Alab ng Sining" – a flagship project of the National Committee on Music (NCM) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in partnership with Interface Development Interventions, Incorporated (IDIS) at Matina Town Square (MTS) on February 22-23, 2018.

February 22 is designed as a music review and workshop participated by various universities, colleges and government schools thru the support of the Department of Education Region 11. The whole day was fun in musical realizations thru the various musical perspectives of Bryan Elliorimo, director of Madayaw Cultural Ensemble, Prof. Peter Ian Buaya, UM Chorale conductor, Prof. Ana Maria Dela Fuente of Lourdes College, Cagayan de Oro City and Maan Chua, a renowned Davao music artist. Their stories inspired the music teacher participants to journey more bringing the power of Mindanao music.

February 23 is more relaxed with a morning visit at the Kadayawan Village located at Magsaysay Park. The workshop delegation is greeted by the indigenous and Muslim village occupants through their artistry and stories. In the afternoon, will be a meeting of NCCA’s Marichu Tellano, - OIC-Executive Director of the commission, Arlene Flores – Head of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Department, Patrick Lee of the Office of the Executive Director, Prof. Ana Dela Fuente with Arjay Viray and Maree Contaoi-Cayas – Execon members of National Committee on Music (NCCA-NCM), and Chinkie Pelino-Golle – Executive Director of IDIS with Regina Rosa D. Tecson – OIC City Tourism Operations Office of Davao to start off a partnership for Davao culture and arts development.

While the evening at Taboan, Matina Town Square is jam-packed with Mindanaoan musicians like the University of Mindanao Chorale led by Prof. Peter Ian Buaya with the participation of the workshop participants from Department of Education, the Davao Girls’ Choir led by Elena Gementiza; the Maco Heights Rondalla of Compostela Valley headed by Rannie Raga; One Light; Ka’gan Performers from the Kadayawan Village; Madayaw Cultural Ensemble; Kuntaw Mindanaw of Tagum, Davao del Norte; Mebuyan; Popong Landero, and; Kuerdas GenSan of General Santos City. The all performed in a five-hour festivity of Mindanao music.

Musikapulo-an was initiated by the NCCA National Committee on Music and will be staged at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on February 25; in Catbalogan, Cebu, and Silliman University in Dumaguete on February 22 and 24.

The festival underlines the universality of music amid diversity. It intends to conserve, promote and popularize Filipino artistic creations; integrated arts in community life; celebrate significance of arts and culture in uplifting the nation’s spirit, and harness the arts as catalyst for values education. It is part of a program that will train music teachers, practitioners and choir conductors of Davao City School in choral management, vocal and conducting techniques, as well as in Mindanao tradition indigenous music and Mindanao contemporary music. The two-day event of Musikapulo-an Mindanao is truly a celebration of Mindanao music. A celebration of what the land of Mindanao is all about. A celebration of who Mindanaoans as a people. A celebration of artistry and musicality with the love for peace. (Jun Cayas )