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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Getting Ready: Thousands of Artists Gather for the Biggest Arts Festival in the Philippines

The artsphere is gearing up for yet another festive and fruitful month as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) launches “Ani ng Sining,” the Philippine International Arts Festival (PIAF) in celebration of National Arts Month as per Presidential Proclamation No. 683 in 1991. It will be the womb for the hosting of the Asean Ministerial and Experts Meeting on Culture and Arts Festival.

Now on its 19th year, Arts Month will bring together thousands of artists from all over the country to cultivate love for the arts and preserve culture in line with the UNESCO observance of the International Year of the Rapprochement of Cultures. It promises to be grand on visuals and enriching in the mind as well. As arts goes to key cities nationwide the festival, which has gone international, aims to instill the richness of Philippine tradition to all Filipinos. The international component is undertaken in liaison with the IAO led by Deputy Executive Director and Philippine ITI Secretary General Malou Jacob.

In touring the seven different art forms, the festival aims to raise awareness and to discover artists whose talents are left untapped due to lack of venues.

According to NCCA Executive Director Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, the Philippines, under the leadership of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, holds the honor of being dubbed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as the 1st Cultural Capital of Asean for 2010 and 2011. In 2007, the Philippines successfully hosted the heads of states summit in Cebu. Likewise, the Philippine International Theater Center, with the support from the Asean Director General and NCCA, organized the Regional Millennium Development Goals Performance and Media Arts workshop from Ancestral Roots to New Routes of Artistic Expression.

The NCCA chaired by Education Undersecretary Dr. Vilma Labrador has been bringing the “Ani ng Sining” celebrations to different agencies and institutions around the country since 2005 as an avenue for the application of culture as a force for education and a vehicle for social transformation.

The preparations for this month-long activity, which happens in February, are already underway with the committee heads lining up various seminars, workshops, exhibits, and performances.

Aptly themed “Ani ng Sining,” PIAF assembles the best of the best as well as the budding talents with the hope of nurturing arts and culture for future generations. The seasoned artists may learn new ideas from the youth of the digital age and may see arts in a different perspective. The youth, in turn, will learn from the experiences of their esteemed counterparts.

“Archi(Types/Text): Architecture in Philippine Life” of the Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts is set to hold touring exhibits of the Philippine architectural landscape as influenced by different colonial eras, photographs of Zamboanga by an American soldier, and a feature on famous architect and painter, Andres Luna de San Pedro. Architect Gerard Lico, Ph.D. vice head of the committee leads the nationwide exhibition tours and seminars.

The Committee on Dance led by Shirley Halili-Cruz pursues yet another dance concert tour to bring dance in all its diversity to all Filipinos. “Sayaw Pinoy 2010: Creating Venues of Creative Interaction through Dance” links mainstream and traditional dances and provides opportunity for the dance artists to exchange ideas and expertise.

Film enthusiasts will have to block off the dates for CineRehiyon 2 by the Committee on Cinema led by Dr. Miguel Rapatan, together with vice head Teddy Co. For this Arts Month, CineRehiyon goes yearlong to reach out to more filmmakers in different regions in the country. These efforts may help revitalize the film industry, both independent and mainstream. Recent recognitions in international film festivals are proof that Philippine cinema is alive and kicking. The committee will also hold dialogues and workshops with the aim of deepening the understanding of film in the country.

Taboan 2010: The 2nd Philippine Writers Festival of the Committee on Literary Arts headed by Arts Sub-Commissioner and PIAF Festival Director Ricardo de Ungria, is probably the busiest with a long lineup of talks and fora by renowned writers. Topics range from writing critical reviews to eco literature to historical writing. This year, the committee decides to recognize prolific writers from the Visayas region as well as interaction with writers from other countries.

The Committee on Visual Arts led by Egai Fernandez goes to Boracay for the Philippine Visual Arts Festival (PIVAF). Sand sculpture is just one of the highlights of the festival, which also include printmaking, photography, and body painting competition. The festival is looking at opening more doors to new talents and exhibiting the works of seasoned and award-winning Filipino visual artists.

Musician Joey Ayala leads the Committee on Music in staging Organik Musik 2: Palay Bigas Kanin. Ayala and company are set to bring together traditional and contemporary music with Radioactive Sago Project and the likes of Cynthia Alexander. The committee hopes to invite 300 artists for performances and to participate in fora and talks.

Tanghal: 4th National University and College Theater by the Committee on Dramatic Arts headed by Dr. Glecy Cruz Atienza will recognize the efforts of school theater groups in nurturing theater arts among the youth. There will be theater performances, conferences, and interactions with invited international artists.

For more details and concerns, please contact Mr. Rene Napeñas, PIAF Media Director and Head of the NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) at 09285081057/ 09275582656 and 527-5529, or Ms. Vanessa Marquez, PIAF Deputy Festival Manager, at 527-2209 or 09186380412. You could also call us at 527-2192 loc. 612-615 or email us at Or visit the website at

Ani ng Sining 2010 opens in a simple but still festive mood

Go to the official web site of the Philippine International Arts Festival:

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