Tuesday, March 03, 2015

By the Lakeside, We Remember and Celebrate: Angono Gives Tribute to National Artist Lucio San Pedro on his 102nd Birth Anniversary

A Lucio San Pedro tribute show was mounted at the Angono Lakeside Park.

Perhaps the most beautiful sunset in Angono, a town in the province of Rizal, immediately east of Manila, is at the shore of Laguna Lake (actually Bay Lake), where the sun gilds the thriving water hyacinths and the slender boats gliding on the water. 
            Danilo Diaz told in a poem how the late Lucio San Pedro, National Artist for music and one of the towns most illustrious sons, would regularly visit the Angono shore, popular called Wawa in the barangay of San Vicente, even in his wheelchair. The poet imagined what the esteemed composer was thinking seeing the changes in the once bucolic lakeside area of his childhood.
            Angono mayor Gerardo Calderon recalled how Wawa has become a dumping site with numerous informal settlers. In recent years, he spearheaded rehabilitating the area and naming it Angono Lakeside Park with a number of amenities in the planning for people to visit and enjoy the ambiance. The holding of cultural events here is also hoped for, and this aspiration was ushered by the program Sa Gunita ng Musika at Awit: Pang-alaalang Palatuntunang Parangal sa Ika-102 Taong Kaarawan ni Maestro Lucio D. San Pedro (By the Memory of Music and Song: Memorial Tribute Program on the 102nd Birth Anniversary of Maestro Lucio D. San Pedro) on February 11, 2015.
The tribute show was also meant to showcase the park and contribute to the celebration of the February National Arts Month, with partial funding from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
With this project, we hope to cherish the life and contribution of professor San Pedro and inspire others to contribute in art and culture making in Angono, the Art Capital of the Philippines and haven of artists, said Patnubay Tiamson, the towns tourism officer.
Angono has been famous for having numerous artists. Their galleries and ateliers are often visited by tourists. Its most known visual artist is the late National Artist for visual arts Carlos Botong Francisco.  A number of writers and musicians call Angono home as well.
Preceded by a modest visual arts exhibit at the SM Center Angono, Sa Gunita ng Musika at Awit attempted to represent the different forms of art as well as showcase Angono culture. Several higantes decorated the venue, which had a makeshift stage between the shore and rows of street food stalls. The scent of isaw and pork barbecue would often waft through the performance. Neighborhood kids wove in and out of the audience. At one point, the higantes would dance.
Diaz and other members of the Angono Tres-Siete Poetry SocietyRichard Gapi, Noel Vocalan and Glen Salesopened the program reading poems on San Pedro (Umuugoy Pa Ang Duyan and Ang Himno ni Lucio at Ako) and about art (Pananalig, about keeping faith and making art despite many odds). The program was interspersed with dances from the three major regions of the country such as binuyugan of Pangasinan and pandango sa ilaw of Lubang Island, Mindoro, from Luzon; lapay bantigue of Masbate and tinikling of Leyte, from the Visayas; and a malong dance from Mindanao. They were performed by the Ang Nuno Dance Troupe, made up of selected students in dance of the Regional Lead School for the Arts in Angono (RLSAA), accompanied by live music from the Las Cuerdas de Angono, the student rondalla group also of RLSAA. Most of the performers were students.
Several music and songs of San Pedro remained to be the meat of the show such as Sa Mahal Kong Bayan (1950) and Kayumangging Malaya (1983), performed by Ars Noveau Chorale. The popular lullaby Sa Ugoy ng Duyan (1947) was performed by a student of RLSAA Jasmin Ericka Dolores with music from the RLSAA Chamber Orchestra and a dramatic interpretation by Teatro Kalayaan.
The finale numbers, Suite Pastorale (1956), a sweeping composition evoking the rusticity of Angono, and Jubilate were performed by the Angono National Symphonic Orchestra, one the countrys very few community-based orchestras, founded by San Pedro himself.  A San Pedro relative, Alberto delos Santos, recalled that there were eight bands existing in the town, including the Angono National Symphonic Orchestra, which until now keeps alive the music and artistic excellence embodied by the National Artist.
San Pedro was a master composer, conductor and teacher who produced a wide range of musical works and hailed for incorporating folk elements in his music.  
The Ars Noveau Chorale

The Ang Nuno Dance Troupe

The Angono Symphony Orchestra

The Angono Tres-Siete Poetry Society
The small exhibit at the SM Center Angono

Artworks on San Pedro by local artists

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