April is National Literature Month per Presidential Proclamation No. 968 s. 2015.

As the lead agency in the celebration, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), led by National Artist and Chairman Virgilio Almario; together with the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and National Book Development Board, launched a one of a kind literary concert  last 18 March 2018 at the Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium.

pingkian concert

Dubbed Pingkian: Konsiyerto para sa Buwan ng Panitikan ng Filipinas, the literary concert featured various intersections of the literary arts with other different art forms. The concert was conducted under the 2018 Literature Month theme Pingkian Panitikan, rooted from the term pingkian, a Filipino term for sparking up, particularly pertaining to the action of making contact between objects leading to a spark.  

Pingkian served as a venue for showcasing inter-arts performances bound to spark up and strengthen collaborations between different sectors and featured art forms – literature in dance, literature with music, literature adapted to theatre arts.

Stand-alone literary performances by poets Michael Coroza and Vim Nadera exhibited the exemplary power of Filipino literature and the power of words as a form of expression. The group Makatas, composed of poets from the Linangan ng Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA), tackled the ageless question of romance and romantic prospects from past and present through a modern take on the classic oral literary form “Balagtasan”, popularized by Francisco Balagtas Baltazar.

Songwriting as a form of literature was also showcased in musical performances by renowned singer-songwriters Noel Cabangon and Aiza Seguerra.

Kundiman as a classic lyrical and musical form was be performed by notable Filipina soprano Lara Maigue. She rendered her version of “Mutya ng Pasig” written by Deogracias del Rosario, and “Sa Kabukiran”, written by National Artist Levi Celerio.

Group musical performances of Filipino songs were also showcased with the NCCA Rondalla and the Pambansang Samahan ng mga Banda sa Pilipinas.

Aside from lit-music intersections, lit-theatre collaboration was demonstrated in the ventriloquy performance of Ony Carcamo and the theatrical/dance adaptation of the pasyon, also rooted in the Filipino literary and musical tradition, by the Sinukwan Kapampangan. Contemporary dance groups Next 2 Innocence and Eccelerate also moved to Filipino beats and sounds.

Apart from these collaborative performances, NCCA also celebrated March as Women’s Month and, joining the world music of percussionist Paul Zialcita, a fashion show featuring the works of Bing Cristobal and other fashion designers from Pandi Bulacan.

The Dawn vocalist Jett Pangan closed the concert with Filipino rock songs Iisang Bangka and Salamat.

Pingkian concert paves the way for more collaborative activities in the literary scene this coming April.

NCCA, KWF, NBDB along with the different cultural agencies, educational institutions, local government units and non-government organizations, will be joining the National Literature Month celebration in April.

For questions on this press release please contact Mr. Rene S. Napeñas, Head of the NCCA Public Affairs and Information Office through numbers 527-2192 loc 625 or email your queries to ncca.paio@gmail.com.