The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is gearing up for the celebration of National Arts Month (NAM) the whole month February, with the theme “Pride of place,” placing emphasis on localities and local arts and artists.
Instead of holding the Philippine Arts Festival, a grand event of the committees of the NCCA Subcommission on the Arts which the NCCA has been holding for several years now, the national government agency for arts and culture is spurring local government units, schools and non-government organizations to mount events in their communities for the celebration of NAM, promoting “local culture and arts scene and featuring the talents, performances and creativity of the many artists and arts groups in the seven arts.”
Early December of last year, the NCCA called for project proposals for possible funding assistance. Twelve projects were given the nod. The activities and events are spread out from Luzon to Mindanao, comprising performances, exhibits and workshops. Several projects are festivals of different art forms, involving several activities.
In Manila, the Lyceum of the Philippines (LPU) is holding the Kultouravan: The Lyceum of the Philippines Cultural Caravan involving students and artists. Several cultural activities will be held in Intramuros and Rizal Park on Jan. 25, Feb. 2, Feb. 4 and Feb. 9 to 14.
In La Union, the Saint Louis College of San Fernando will hold the Tawid Taoid: Bridging Cultures on Feb. 9, 10 and 20 to promote arts and culture to students. Performances will include local culture while exhibits will feature the works of visual arts students. Launching in campuses, the works will tour the province for wider audience.
In Burgos, Ilocos Norte, the local government will mount Panagkaysakaysa: Ti Umili Ti Kultura Ken Sining from Feb. 16 to 21 promoting the town’s heritage through different art forms.
For the whole month of February, the town of Liliw in Laguna, which is known for its slipper-making industry, will hold the Sining Tsinelasan sa Liliw. The event aims to tell legends and stories about the local industry through theatrical presentations and an exhibit at the Plaza Gat Tayaw Covered Court.
In southern Luzon, the Ligao National High School of Ligao City in Albay will have Hablon: Habi ng Sining sa Paaralan at Komunidad comprising forums, workshops and a theater performance by selected students from Feb. 21 to 26.
The Kanlaon Theatre Guild recognizes the artistic contributions of artists and cultural groups and institutions in the province of Negros Occidental through Ani: A Harvest of Traditional and Contemporary Artistic Expressions in Negros Occidental on Feb. 18 and 19. It will include the performance of Circulo, a “breakdance theater” with the members of Critical Breakdance, a Bacolod-based hiphop/break dance crew; the sarsuwela Gugma nga Indi Mapunggan; a musical by Armin Paredes on the 1898 Al Cinco de Noviembre event; the play Baganihan, Si Iska nga Permi Handa and Pedro Kalungsod; a fashion show focusing on the local wraparound skirt patadyong; and a monologue by an Ati group. Also in Bacolod City, “Ani Dos” will highlight the harvest of creative works of the Maskara Theatre Ensemble, Santermo Writer’s Group and the La Salle Chorale with the special participation of the Jean Baptiste Dance Company. The performance will feature poetry of Filipino writers and Visayan folk songs. It will on Feb. 19 and 20, at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m., at the Gallaga Theater of the University of St. La Salle.
Farther south in Mindanao, Xavier University of Cagayan de Oro City will hold Panaghugpong 7: Xavier Arts Festival from Jan. 30 to Feb. 25. This year’s edition of the school’s annual arts festival will feature a visual arst exhibit, theatre performances, dance, choral music, string and wind instrument ensemble performance and lectures.
For cineastes, there will be the second Singkuwento Internasyonal Short Film Festival in Manila, organized by MPJ Entertainment and Triple MP Productions, from Feb. 6 to 14, showcasing short works of Filipino and foreign filmmakers.
Two literary events will happen in Bulacan and Camarines Sur. The town of Baliuag in Bulacan will pay tribute to one of its most prominent writer, fictionist, playwright and poet in Filipino Pedo S. Dandan, who was born in Baliuag. His works will be showcased in musical and dance performances in different parts of the town in a program called Linagin ang Ugnayan ng Bayan at Pamayanan para sa Likhang Sining ng Mamamayan.
On the other hand, Bikol literature will be spotlighted in the fifth mounting of the Pintakasi Kan Literaturang Bikolnon on Feb. 20 in Pili, Camarines Sur, spearheaded by the Altamarino Clasio High School. The event will include the Aklat Ani Bikol Book fair, a creative writing workshop, and a poetry reading and literary performance session in an effort to promote Bicol literature and hone the skills of Bicol writers.
In Paombong, Bulacan, 13 local visual artists will be highlighted in an exhibit. Meanhile, Angono in Rizal, which is known for the abundance of visual artists, will put the limelight on an icon of Filipino music — National Artist Lucio San Pedro. On the occasion of San Pedro's 102nd birth anniversary, there will be performances of music, poetry and different art forms on Feb. 11.
Ani ng Dangal
The NCCA's NAM celebration will be highlighted by the Ani ni Dangal awards, which will happen on February 12, 2015, at 6 p.m., at the Old Senate Hall of the National Museum of the Philippines. It will be headlined by iconic actress and politician Vilma Santos, who won the Best Actress trophy at the 2014 Dhaka International Film Festival for the Jeffrey Jeturian film Ekstra.
The Ani ng Dangal (meaning, harvest of honors) Awards recognizes artists, cultural workers and works that have earned international awards and accolades during the past year. Santos lead the more than 50 2015 awardees including Leonardo Katigbak of ABS-CBN and GMA News TV's Bayan Ko in the broadcast arts; Siege Ledesma's Shift, Jun Lana, Ronnie Quizon, Mikhail Red, Pamela Reyes's Rekorder, Patricia Evangelista's The Barber of Guiuan, Lav Diaz, Will Fredo and Ida Tiongson's In Nominee Matris, Hazel Tapales Orencio, Jake Cuenca, Joel Lamangan's Kamkam, Liza Diño, Allen Dizon, Diane Ventura, Mark Justen Aguillon, Nerissa Picadizo, Francis Xavier Pasion's Bwaya, Roberto Reyes Ang's TNT, Carlo Obispo's Purok 7, Sandy Talag, Eduardo Roy Jr.'s Quick Change and Miggs Cuaderno for cinema; Halili Cruz Ballet Company, A Team, Xtreme Dancers, Johnny Sustantivo Villanueva, Kayleen Mae Ortiz and Margaret Chua Lao, and Miguel Leopoldo Ignacio for dance; Sophia Marie Lee for the literary arts; Lloyd Edisonne Judilla Montebon, Novo Concertante Manila Choir, Saint Louie University Glee Club, Alvin Paulin and Aleron Choir for music; and Ronnie Dayo, Robert John Cabagnot, Glenn Isaac, Mario Cardenas, Kenneth Cobonpue, Jophel Botero Ybiosa, Gina Meneses, Phoebelyn Gullunan, Jamille Blanca Aguilar, James Singlador, Danilo Victoriano, Ruston Banal, Trisha Co Reyes, Justen Paul Tolentino, Jamia Mei Tolentino, Jesus Ramos Tejada and Maria Angelica Tejada for visual arts.
The awardees' trophies, clippings and ephemera will be featured at the Ani ng Dangal exhibit, which will be unveiled at the event. The exhibit will be mounted at the SM North Edsa from Feb. 13 to 20, SM Megamall from Feb. 21 to 27, and at the Rizal Park at Feb. 28. Also, selected awardees will give performances around Metro Manila-Halili Cruz Ballet Company on Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia; A Team, Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company and Aleron Choir on Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. at the Rizal Park; the Xtreme Dancers, the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company and Novo Concertante on Feb. 15, at 5 p.m., at the Rizal Park; Halili Cruz Ballet Company, Novo Concertante, SLU Glee Club and The Crew on Feb. 20, at 5 p.m., at SM North Edsa; and the A Team, UPSA, SLU Glee Club and the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company on Feb. 21, at 3 p.m., at the SM Megamall.
Opening and closing programs
Aside from the Ani ng Dangal Awards, the NCCA will retain the opening and closing ceremonies of the Philippine Arts Festival. This year, the opening program will be held the whole afternoon of February 1, 2015, at the Rizal Park's Open-Air Auditorium in Manila.
It will be a fiesta-like event where people partake of food as well as imbibe different art forms. Visitors can join the pocket workshops on drawing and caricature making organized by the NCCA National Committee on the Visual Arts. Short films and documentaries on Filipino architecture will be shown. People will be able to watch performances of Novo Concertante, Sinukwan Kapampangan Performing Arts, Xtreme Dancers from South Cotabato and Halili Cruz School of Ballet. An excerpt of a komedya, an old Filipino theater form, will be mounted as well as a balatagsan, the Tagalog poetic "joust," and a modern rap session.
On the other hand, the closing ceremony will also be at the same venue on February 28, 2015, at 6 p.m. featuring performances by Novo Concertante, Sinukwan Kapampangan Performing Arts, Xtreme Dancers, A Team and guests representing the different arts.
Once again, the month of February will be full of events to feed the senses and soul. The NCCA has been leading the celebration of NAM since the signing of Presidential Proclamation 683, in 1991 declaring February as National Arts Month.