National Arts Month opening salvo will be on February 5 at the Rizal Park to be followed by a month-long lineup of events all over the country

February is National Arts Month (NAM), and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ (NCCA), the country’s prime agency for arts and culture led by its chairman National Artist Virgilio Almario and OIC-Executive Director Marichu G. Tellano, is leading the whole nation in celebrating creativity, artistry and imagination for the whole month.

2017 national arts month

Headed by its commissioner Teddy Co, NCCA’s Subcommission on the Arts (SCA), comprising the national committees on architecture, cinema, dance, literature, music, theater and the visual arts, encourages everyone to partake of artistic endeavors happening around the country as well as raises awareness on the need to promote, preserve and enrich our artistic heritage and to support artistic endeavors.

This year, the SCA has come up with a theme for the NAM celebration: “Malikhain. Mapagbago. Filipino.”  The theme underscores the creative power of the arts and its role as a catalyst for change. It also highlights arts as a reflection of the nation’s soul, and from it our pride of being Filipino.

NAM Opening

NCCA’s celebration of NAM will kick-off with an opening program on February 5, 2017, at the Rizal Park, where there will be free workshops on the different arts in the afternoon and a show in the evening.

Starting at 1 P.M., the seven arts workshops will include “Laman + Loob,” an up-cycling workshop to be conducted by Dr. Esmeralda W. Ayag; “Sine-madali,” a filmmaking workshop using the smartphone by Keith Deligero; workshops on different dance genres including neoclassical, contemporary and hip-hop; “Buhay at Baybayin,” an improvisational theatre workshop by Denise Mordeno Aguilar with Mozart Pastrano; a workshop on the Sinaunang Baybayin; a literary forum to be conducted by Dr. Luna Sicat-Cleto; a music workshop using gongs and bamboo by Benny Sokkong; and a basic animation demonstration from Rocketsheep Studio,  the creators of the movie Saving Sally.

Other features and activities include  kite making/ flying; baybayin writing/henna tattooing; live sketching; a tiangge; silkscreen printing; paper crafts demo; and a photo booth.

The opening program will start at 6 P.M. featuring performances by Next to Innocence; Halili-Cruz Ballet Company; Junior New System; Sinukwan Kapampangan; PNU Kislap Sining; Benny Sokkong; and Dr. Luna Sicat-Cleto; and the screening of workshop output of the Rocketsheep Studio. A film screening will follow after the show.

In the days ahead, for the whole month, there will be different events, activities and shows organized by local governments, government agencies and private institutions supported by the NCCA.


Various Events

For the whole month of February, the Katig Writers Network Inc. will hold “Pagparibhong Magsusurat sa Leyte ug Samar,” a celebration that includes poetry reading, lecture-forum on Ninorte-Samarnon writings, poetry reading and book launching, and poetry reading on air in Samar and Leyte.  They will hold a poetry reading at the Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU) in Calbayog City, Samar, on February 6.

At the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, the “Kwentong Bayan, Kaalamang Bayan” will be held for the whole month and it includes an art installation exhibition by five visual artists from UP, a night of music featuring songs based in and inspired by Philippine folk narratives, a puppet retelling of popular Filipino legends, a theater play entitled Si Faust at ang Dalumant ng Kasamaan to be performed by Dulaang UP, a dance interpretation of Ang Unang Aswang to be performed by UPDC, and a conference on kuwentong bayan.

The province of Bohol is also holding its NAM celebration with different activities to promote Boholano artists including a theater festival, drama workshops, an exhibit on industrial design and visual arts, an art fair, a film screening and forum, printmaking workshop, and  a musical tertulla. On February 7, the celebration has an opening program at the Bohol Cultural Center. This will be followed by “Drama Explosion of Creative Transformative Filipinos” on February 9 and 10; “Visual Arts and Literary Explosion of Creative Transformative Art Works” from February  16 to 18; and “Cinema Explosion Of Creative Transformative Filipino Films” from February 20 to 21 at the Bohol Cultural Center.  As part of their culminating activity, the province of Bohol will also launch the Abatan River Theater Space on February 28.

Syano Artlink will hold Nature Encounter IV in Sagay City, Negros Occidental, with workshops on paper art, photography,  mud house making, community children’s theater and dance for children of the town’s communities on the second and third week of February.

The Bicol Arts Festival 2017 in Albay will have a three-day theater workshop to be facilitated by Cris Bongan and Dr. Eleanor Marco from February 10 to 12, and a three-day international seminar workshop/training on dance pedagogy for teachers to be facilitated by Ricky Marco and trained by Sheila Marquez from February 24 to 26, both at the Bicol University College of Education Training Hall

Dumaguete City will hold Kisaw from February 10 to 28 and it includes Huni sa Kampanaryo at the Bell Tower Plaza on February 10; “Balitaw sa Tempurahan” at the Rizal Boulevard on February 17;  “Teatro Kilat sa Tiangge” at the Public Market on February 18 and 25;  “Putting Tabing sa Terminal” at the Ceres Bus Terminal on February  24; the Daguit Arts and Crafts Trade Fair  at the Robinsons Mall from February 25 to 28; and Tayada sa Parke.

The Cebuano Artists Center will hold “Mamugnaon, Mabag-ohon, Sugboano” at Robinsons Galleria Cebu on February 11, from 1 to 5 p.m. which will present different events in the seven arts to promote creative change among the art community such as a spoken word poetry workshop, a performance of a zarzuela excerpt, haiku on demand, Cebuano band performance and book launches.

Theater group Sipat Lawin will hold “Bantayog: Bata, Banta, Bantay, Tayo, Tayog” on February 12 and March 3 at the Bulwagang Sarimanok of the National Arts Center on Mount Makiling, Laguna. It is a devised theater production taking the form of vaudeville comprised of two parts. Part one, on fiction, features scenes from Chris Millado’s Ilokula and Buwan at Baril, Rolando Tino’s May Katwiran ang Katwiran, and F. Sionil Jose’s Pragres. Part two, on life, features scenes devised by Grade 9 and 10 students based on interviews, documents and data gathered about and from actual victims/survivors and witness of history.

On February 12, Guitar Paladins and Friends, Inc. will hold “Lover of Music” at the Amoranto Theater of the Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is a free Valentine musical festival with booths and bazaar, and kundiman, classical, jazz, blues, bossa, nova, reggae, classic rock and acoustic performances.

“Cinema Rehiyon 8 Reloaded” will be held on February 14 and 16 at SOJR Auditorium, fifth floor of the Sentro Oftalmogico Jose Rizal, Philippine General Hospital, and Rizal Hall, UP Manila.

Hubon Manunulat and Kasingkasing Press will hold Magsugilanonay Kita: Second Western Visayas Mother Tongue Books Summit on February 18 and 19 at Robinsons Place Iloilo to heighten awareness of parents and teachers on the importance of children’s literature, and expose them to the wealth of children’s books in Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a and Aklanon. Activities will include lectures, a book fair and film showings.

Para sa Sining will hold “Salin” from February 20 to 23 at a space palet_launchpad. The two-part program will focus on creating a platform for an exchange of ideas, across different art disciplines and genres.  The first part of the program is a series of conversations (forum) focusing on various art forms: music, visual arts, dance, literature, theater and film.  The forum aims to engage both established, and young, emerging artists to share their knowledge, understanding and practices of their craft.  The second part of the program is a culminating event where there will be collaborative performances, open jams and interactive performances

University of the Philippines Los Banos’s Department of Humanities will hold the Philippine Cinema Centennial Lecture-Screening Series, a series of one-day lectures and screenings of landmark films in Philippine cinema to be conducted in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The Mindanao leg will be on February 20 at the Surigao State College of Technology, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.

The Altamarino-Clasio High School in Camarines Sur will hold the Pili Arts Festival from February 20 to 24, which will comprise a four-day workshop on photography to be facilitated by Shalla Montero and on indie/documentary filmmaking to be facilitated by Riza Zuniga, and presentation of a 15-minute play directed by Jec Guia.

Performance Laboratory and Teatrokon will hold the Kuris Theater Fesival from February 22 to 25 with simultaneous theater performances, dramaturgy and play development workshops and readathon in Bacolod City and other places in Negros Occidental.

The University of the East-Recto will hold its own National Arts Month Celebration with “Ugnayan sa Sayaw” on February 23, and on the last week of the month, Sininglangan Ball Pen Art Competition and performances of UE performing groups.

In Bais City, Negros Oriental, the first Mugna sa Pantawan will be held on February 24, an on-the-spot painting contest for all art enthusiasts in Negros Island to tap potential artists to represent the country in Korea.

LAHAT Community Empowerment will hold PeacePond Art Festival from February 24 to 26 at the Plastic Bottle Learning Center in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental. It will involve a series of activities on music (drum clinic), cinema (film screening), dramatic (teen acting workshop) and visual arts (art exhibit).

Bataan will hold its own National Arts Month celebration on February 27 and 28 at the Bataan Tourism Center to promote the Bataeños’ creativity and passion for culture and the arts.

There are several other activities aside from these.


Ani ng Dangal

The National Arts Month will culminate with the Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honors) Awards, where artists who have earned international awards and accolades during the past year will be honored. It is set for February 28, 2017.

Popular actor John Lloyd Cruz and veteran actress lead this year’s Ani ng Dangal awardees.

Cruz is the first Filipino and Southeast Asian actor to win the Star Asia award for Honor Thy Father by the !5th  New York Asian Film Festival, which ran from June 22 to July 25, 2016. He was one of three recipients of the award together with Hong Kong’s Miriam Yeung and South Korea’s Lee Byung-hun.

On the other hand, Jose will be honored for her Best Actress win at the Cannes Film Festival in France for her performance in the Brillante Mendoza film Ma’ Rosa. She was feted in an awarding ceremony on May 22, 2016.

A total of 71 artists and works from different fields of the arts—36 for cinema, 16 for dance, one for dramatic arts, one for literary arts, seven for music, and 10 for visual arts—will be honored.

With Cruz and Jose, in the field of cinema, are Ang Babaeng Humayo/Ang Araw Bago Ang Wakas (by Lav Diaz); Allan Michael Ibanez and Dexter Paglinawan Hemedez (for 1st Sem); Allen Dizon (for Iaadya mo Kami); Apocalypse Child (by Mario Cornejo; producer Monster Jimenez); Barbie Forteza (for Laut); Birdshot (by Mikhael Red); Brillante Ma. Mendoza (for Ma. Rosa); Child Hauz (by Louie Ignacio, producer Baby Go); Eduardo Roy Jr. (for Pamilya Ordinaryo); Emerson Quintillan Texon (for Tomadachi); Gemini (by Ato Bautista); Gian Carlo Escamilla (for Walang Take Two); Hamog (by Ralston Jover); Happy New Year (by Joseph Israel Laban); Hasmine Killip (for Pamilya Ordinaryo); Imago (by Raymond Ribay Gutierrez); Kirby Asunto (for Exist); Lucky Jinx (for Giovanni Baldisseri); Leon Miguel (for Red lights); Nathalie Hart (for Siphayo); Paolo Ballesteros (for Die Beautiful); Ricky Lee; Sandra (by Carlo Francisco Manatad); Scarecrow (by Zid Dulay); Sid Lucero (for Toto); Marissa Sue M. Prado (for The Sister); The Cresent Rising (Sheron Dayoc); The Equation (by Rhoda Joy Blaza); The Sister (by Marco Felipe Villas Lopez); Teri Malvar (for Hamog); Tomodachi (by Joel Lamangan); Toto (by John Paul Su); Traslacion (Ang Paglalakad sa Altar ng Alanganin); and Walang Take Two (by Iglesia ni Cristo’s INCinema Production )

 For dance, the awardees are Asian Pride, Cage, Fmd Extreme, Halili Cruz Dance Company, Jamaica Jornacion and Kristel De Catalina, Junior New System, Kahayag Dance Company, Luckesly Maravilla, Neil John Casagan and Renzo Arboleda, Olivia Bogayong, Rica Angela Ingco, Sanglahi Dance Troupe, Shaira May Comeros, Tarlac State University Performing Dance Troupe, Upeepz and 5xb Gensan.

For dramatic arts, sole awardee is Clint Ramos, while for literary arts, awardee is Wilfredo Pascual.

 For music, awardees are Acapellago, Andrea Melisa Camba, Balon Dagupan Children’s Choir, Dennis Deovdes Reyes, III, Ligao National High School Voice Choral, Philippine Madrigal Singers and UP Medicine Choir

 For visual arts, the honorees are Allan Fesalbon Castaneda, Ananda Wisely, Danny Victoriano, Jamia Mei Tolentino, Joel Forte, Jophel Botero Ybiosa, Maria Angelica Tejada, Norman B. Isaac, Tanam (coffee-table book) and Trisha Co. Reyes

The Ani ng Dangal Exhibit will also be mounted, paying tribute to the awardees’ achievements and contributions by displaying their works and trophies.

Ani ng Dangal is one of the highlights of this year’s National Arts Month celebration spearheaded by the NCCA through its Subcommission on the Arts led by Commissioner Teddy Co. Co, Head of the National Committee on Cinema, is also joined by the heads of the different national committees namely: Ar. Rogelio Caringal of the  Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts,  Shirley Halili Cruz of the Committee on Dance, Rosanna  Quesada-Palm of the Committee on Dramatic Arts, Hope Yu of the Committee on Literary Arts, Mauricia Borromeo of the Committee on Music, and Egai Fernandez of the Committee on Visual Arts.

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 organize events and activities to highlight the artistic brilliance of the Filipinos.

For more information on this press release, please contact Mr. Rene Napeñas, head of the Public Affairs and Information Office, through 0928-5081057, 527-2192 loc 208 or through email address ncca.paio@gmail.com