It’s all about creativity and the arts this February 2018 as the whole nation celebrates National Arts Month (NAM).
Being the country’s prime government agency for arts and culture, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), led by its chairman National Artist Virgilio S. Almario, executive director Mr. Rico S. Pableo, and deputy executive director Ms. Marichu G. Tellano, is spearheading numerous events and activities to celebrate the seven arts with the theme “Ani ng Sining, Alab ng Sining” (Harvest of the Arts, Flame of Art), emphasizing the bounty of artistic endeavors in the Philippines and the passion of Filipino artists and cultural workers.
NCCA’s NAM celebration will offer a wide array of events and activities that will show the diversity and richness of Filipino creative expressions, according to Teddy Co, commissioner of NCCA’s Subcommission on the Arts (SCA), which will lead the month-long fete.
The SCA’s seven national committees—Architecture, Cinema, Dance, Literary Arts, Music, Dramatic Arts and Visual Arts—will each have flagship projects headlining NAM events that will transpire all over the country.
NAM opening ceremonies will be held in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. In Luzon, the municipality of Angono in Rizal, known as the Art Capital of the Philippines, has prepared a multisensory feast of activity booths, exhibits, workshops, spectacles and performances on February 3 to usher in a month of celebrating inspiration and the imagination. This will be followed by opening ceremonies in Roxas City, Capiz, for the Visayas, and in Cagayan de Oro City for Mindanao.
Architecture and Allied Arts
The National Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts, headed by Architect Rogelio D. Caringal, will present “Loob at Labas: Talakayan at Pagpaparangya,” an exhibit and forum which will travel around the country to enhance appreciation and awareness on Philippine architecture. It will go to Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, on the first week of February; to Baguio City and Davao City on the second; Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, on the third; and Batangas on the fourth.
The National Committee on Cinema will hold the tenth installment of Cinema Rehiyon Film Festival, a non-competition film festival which highlights some of the best works in the regions. The festival has been raising awareness on the efforts on and progress of filmmaking in the different regions, and providing a platform for these films, most of which in local languages and showing culturally-rooted narratives, to be exhibited and appreciated by a wider audience. Over the years, Cinema Rehiyon has been held in different parts of the country. This year, it will make the rounds in universities in Metro Manila.
The National Committee on Dance, headed by Ms. Shirley Halili-Cruz, will once again amaze the public with the traveling dance concert series “Sayaw Pinoy” in different parts of the country. The dance tour brings together different dance forms such as classical ballet, folk dance, contemporary and modern dance as the country’s top dance companies 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 dance event and the most attended of NAM events. It will go around Metro Manila, around the different municipalities of Capiz, in Surigao and in Davao City.
The National Committee on Dramatic Arts, headed by Ms. Rossana Q. Palm, will hold Tampok, convergences in the regions to gather and document the pioneers and key theater practitioners. There will be performances, workshops, and discussions.
The National Committee on Literary Arts, headed by Dr. Hope S. Yu, wanted to showcase, promote and develop intersections of the literary with other arts in the different regions of the Philippines with Maartext: National Arts Month Celebration, an interdisciplinary arts festival that connects audiences and artists through spoken word, dance, music, theatrical performances, writing workshops, lectures, exhibits and more. It aims to engage the public with artists and their art while participating in conversations and celebrations that further boost the artistic spirit of the Filipino community. Throughout February, Maartext events will be held in the Bicol Region; Baguio City; Tacloban City in Leyte; Pampanga; Cebu; and Aklan.
The National Committee on Music, headed by MS. Mauricia D. Borromeo, will hold Musicapuluan: Music of the Philippine Islands, a music festival with performances, lectures, and workshops that will celebrate our local music. It will be held in different venues—Quezon City; Catbalogan City, Samar; Cebu; Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental; and Davao City.
The National Committee on Visual Arts, headed by Mr. Edgar Talusan Fernandez, will mount the Philippine Visual Arts Festival in Santiago City, Isabela, from February 1 to 3. It will include workshops, art talks, exhibits and numerous activities that will highlight the works of visual artists around the country.
Ani ng Dangal
As a tradition now for several years, the NCCA’s NAM celebration 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.
The National Arts Month celebration is also led by the NCCA Arts Section headed by Mr. Ferdinand Isleta and Arts Month Festival Coordinator Ms. Vanessa Marquez-Nicolas.
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