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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Instituto Cervantes Publishes Jesús Balmori’s Los Pajáros de Fuego

Majority of the classical Philippine literature was written in Spanish. Unknown to many, a great portion of Filipino nationalists were masters of the Spanish language and their works now bear testament to the nation’s Hispanic roots.

Clásicos Hispanofilipinos, a project by Instituto Cervantes de Manila aiming to preserve the works of Fil-hispanic authors from the beginning of the 20th century, is publishing the Spanish novel of Filipino journalist, playwright and poet, Jesús Balmori Los pájaros de fuego (Birds of fire) on June 28, 7pm at Instituto Cervantes’ Salón de Actos.

Funded by Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain, Biblioteca Clásicos Hispanofilipinos seeks to bring recognition to the last batch of Spanish works written in the Philippines. It was launched last January with Adelina Gurrea Monasterio’s book Cuentos de Juana (Juana’s Stories).

A novel with remarkable historic and literary value, Balmori’s Los Pájaros de fuego is considered to be as the “lost novel.” All pages of the book, except the final chapter, were written by Balmori during the Japanese occupation. It miraculously escaped the repeated raids of the Japanese henchmen as Balmori stored each chapter in glass bottles and buried them under the garden of his house.

After the war, the manuscript was recovered from the ruins of Balmori’s house, finished and sold by the author to the Government, who committed to publish it. However, the manuscript of Los pájaros de fuego remained unnoticed for decades until three years ago in the National Archives.

Filipino Heritage

The book, edited by scholar Isaac Donoso, is of great significance to the Philippine History as it recounts Manila life during the Japanese occupation. “A great portion of the Philippine literature was written by native Filipinos in Spanish and Biblioteca Clásicos Hispanofilipinos aims to reintroduce and put into the hands of Spanish speaking readers a literature with remarkable value”, says Instituto Cervantes director José Rodríguez. "This project is about preserving and promoting Filipino Heritage."

Born in Ermita, Manila on January 10, 1887, Balmori is a Spanish literary prodigy having excelled in Literature at an early age. In his early years, he was already winning literary honors for poetry and at age 17, he already published his first book of verses, Rimas Malayas.

He often engaged in friendly debate via poetry known as “balagtasan” with fellow poet Manuel Bernabe – with the former emerging as the winner every time.

Before the war, Balmori – under the penname “Batikuling” – had his journalistic stint for the La Vanguardia where he wrote about the society’s power elite – showcasing his talent as a creative writer.

As a lyric poet, Balmori garnered different national awards like for his poem “Gloria” (1908) which won first prize in a contest sponsored by El Renacimiento and “A Nuestro Señor Don Quijote de la Mancha,” (1920) which attained the major award in a contest promoted by Casas de España. However, some of Balmori’s greatest poems are in the collection “Mi Casa de Nipa” (1940), which won the grand prize for poetry in the national literary contest sponsored by the Commonwealth government.

Clásicos Hispanofilipinos is planning to publish two titles every year. Among the scheduled writers are Claro Mayo Recto, Antonio Abad, T. M. Kalaw and Evangelina Guerrero.

Biblioteca Clásicos Hispanofilipinos is organized by Instituto Cervantes de Manila in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines, the Spanish International Cooperation Agency for Development (AECID) and the Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation from Ministerio de Cultura de España. Among the supporting universities are the University of the Philippines (Department of European Languages, UP Diliman) and the University of Alicante (Spain).

Entrance to this book launch is free. For more information, please call 5261482 or visit http://manila.cervantes.es Instituto Cervantes de Manila is at 855 T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila.

Gotad Ad Ifugao Celebrates the Hudhud and Indigenous Culture

From June 17 to 20, 2010, the province of Ifugao is celebrating its 44th founding anniversary through Gotad ad Ifugao with a varied lineup of activities including street dancing, indigenous games, agro-industrial fairs and others. One of the highlights of the Gotad ad Ifugao is the hudhud chanting competition to be held on June 18 in the capital town of Lagawe with Pedro Dulawan at the helm.

Different municipalities all over Ifugao will send delegations of chanters for the contest. The grand winner will receive cash incentive and the Hudhud Perpetual Award trophy, a sculpture by artist Rosario Bitanga called Circle in a Spiral made of stainless steel and resin. The Hudhud Perpetual Award trophy is a revolving trophy to be passed on to the next winner. The Circle in a Spiral trophy is a new trophy launched last year. The old one, also by Bitanga, was given to the municipality of Lagawe in perpetuity for winning three consecutive times from 2007 to 2009.

The annual hudhud competitions organized in Ifugao and the Hudhud Perpetual Award, created and launched in 2006 as an annual recognition of performances in cultural context, were initiated by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to encourage the involvement of the community and to ensure the continuous practice of the hudhud in its social-cultural context.

About the Hudhud Chants of the Ifugao

The hudhud is recited and chanted among the Ifugao only during four occasions: the harvesting and weeding of rice, funeral wakes, and bone-washing (bogwa) rituals. Estimated to have originated before the 7th century, the hudhud—comprised of over 200 stories with about 40 episodes each. The language of the chants, almost impossible to transcribe, is full of repetitions, synonyms, figurative terms and metaphors. Performed in a leader/chorus style, the lead chanter, munhaw-e—often an elderly woman—recites an introductory line to set the tone, and then this is taken up by a chorus of women—the mun’abbuy—to the end of the phrase. This cycle is repeated until the end of the episode. It may take days to complete a story, depending on the situation. The hudhud is a celebration of Ifugao heroes, heroines, wealth and culture.

The conversion of the Ifugao to Christianity weakened their traditional culture. The hudhud is linked to the manual harvesting only of tinawon or indigenous rice. The few people who know all the epics are now old, and young people are not inclined toward the practice of this tradition. The NCCA/ICH has completed the UNESCO/Japan supported three-year action plan of safeguarding and the transmission of the epic, to rekindle life in the dying chant. The project actually took eight years.

About the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity

On 18 March 2001, UNESCO for the first time awarded the title of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" to 19 outstanding cultural spaces or forms of expression from the different regions of the world. In Asia, UNESCO honored six masterpieces, among them, the hudhud chants of the Ifugao of northern Luzon.

On November 25, 2005 the Maranao epic chant, the Darangen, was also proclaimed as another Philippine masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

UNESCO defines oral and intangible heritage as “the totality of tradition-based creations of a cultural community, expressed by a group of individuals and recognized as reflecting the expectations of a community in so far as they reflect its cultural and social identity; its standards and values are transmitted orally, by imitation or by other means.

The NCCA Intangible Heritage Committee (NCCA/ICH) undertakes the inventory of Philippine forms of intangible heritage; and the safeguarding of these. There are five categories: 1) oral traditions and expressions, 2) performing arts, 3) social practices and festive events, 4) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, and 5) traditional craftsmanship.

About the Hudhud Perpetual Award

The Hudhud Perpetual Award is the final strategy of the action plan to safeguard and promote the hudhud chants, engaging the active participation of the practitioners and the community, and seriously involving the local government and the education department in the process which best exemplifies what a country can do to help safeguard its intangible heritage. The action plan identified activities that focused on education, research, publication, and promotion.

To encourage the involvement of the community and to ensure the continuous practice of the hudhud in its social-cultural context, the Hudhud Perpetual Award was created and launched in 2006. The annual award encourages the chanting of the stories during harvests, wakes, and bone washing (bogwa) occasions in the participating municipalities.

The NCCA successfully completed the safeguarding programme for the hudhud chants of Ifugao province in eight years. The programme was focused primarily on transmission of the hudhud chant to young Ifugao in seven, out of 11, municipalities of Ifugao province, through a range of activities including formal education in local primary schools—the Hudhud Schools for Living Traditions (HSLT)—as well as documentation, publications, competitions and festivals. A signal achievement of the project was its success in maintaining the tremendous local diversity within the hudhud tradition, as each class learned to chant based on the singing of a hudhud elder within its own village.

The programme was implemented by the NCCA through three activity-financing contracts from UNESCO, with funds coming from the Japan Funds in Trust and the Arirang International Prize from the Republic of Korea. NCCA in turn worked closely with the Ifugao Division of the (national) Department of Education and with the province of Ifugao. The programme was directly managed by the Intangible Heritage Executive Committee (IHEC), established in the context of the hudhud safeguarding activities and comprising concerned local officials (from DepEd and several provincial bureaus), local intellectuals, and representatives of NCCA and the National Museum.

Despite the termination of UNESCO-Japan FIT and Arirang financial assistance, the province of Ifugao has committed itself to the continuation of the programme, as evidenced by Executive Order 16/S.2008, signed by its governor Teodoro B. Baguilat, Jr. on January 24, 2008, in which a Provincial Council on Cultural Heritage is established and the Province undertakes to assume financial responsibility for sustaining the Hudhud Schools for Living Traditions and related safeguarding activities. This Executive Order provides for an integrated advisory and management mechanism for safeguarding both intangible heritage and tangible heritage—notably, the rice terraces of Ifugao, inscribed in 1995 on the World Heritage List.

Philippines and Russia Ink Cultural Agreement

Aimed at strengthening and developing cultural ties, friendship and mutual understanding, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation led by Russian Ambassador Vitaly Vorobriev and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) led by Chairman Vilma Labrador signed a Protocol on Cooperation to ensure a healthy cultural exchange between the two countries last June 16 at the NCCA Office of the Chairman.

According to the agreement, both parties should be committed at promoting the exchange of cinema events in which delegates from both countries will be allowed to participate in these events and interact with their fellow filmmakers. The two countries have also agreed to send in their best artists in the field of music, dance and theater for the possibility of mutually organizing the Days of Russian Culture, to take place in the Philippines in 2011 and the Days of Philippine Culture to be held in Russia in 2012. Scholastic development is also eyed with the agreement on the proposal to develop cooperation in museum and library studies to encourage direct contacts between the respective experts and institutions.

Also in the hopes of fostering Phil-Russian relations, the Protocol on Cooperation states that the two countries “shall encourage cooperation in the field of fine arts, as well as traditional and folk arts, including handicrafts, through the exchange of exhibitions and fairs.”

The signing of Protocol of Cooperation was witnessed by Hon. Leslie Baja, Assistant Secretary of the European Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Performing for the event was the award-winning Tagala Brothers String Quartet composed by Jonathan, David, Jimmy Jr., Daniel and Samuel.

Year-Round Art Workshop Schedule

The L.A. Workshop
''Celebrating 24 Years of Art and the Nurture of Fine Artists'

To all our Art Friends:

We would like to announce :

Our New SCHEDULE:
YEAR-ROUND ART WORKSHOPS FOR ALL AGES

Art Workshops in Traditional Media
Drawing & Illustration, Pastel Drawing, Charcoal Drawing,
Acrylic Painting, Oil Painting, Watercolor Painting,
Anime Illustration, and many others....


Wednesdays : 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Saturdays :10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

For more Information Please see or call:

Cecile Luna

The L.A. Workshop
66 G. Puyat St., B.F. Homes, Phase 1,
Paranaque City (Entrance: Soriano St.
Behind Bank of P.I.)

Tel: 807-7624 / 842-5200
mobile no. 0927-9856148
emai: artlandph@gmail. com

15th French Film Festival at the UPFI Film Center

15th French Film Festival : ERIC ROHMER

JUNE 22, 23 and 24, 2010
5pm and 7pm
UPFI FILM CENTER
*Free admission*


MY NIGHT AT MAUD'S
JUNE 22 / TUE / 5PM

After spending several years abroad, Jean-Louis, an engineer recently settled in Clermont-Ferrand, longs for some peace and quiet. At the church he attends every Sunday, he notices a young blonde woman he fancied and decides that she will become his wife. Then, while at a local restaurant, he meets Vidal, an old school friend, now a philosophy professor at Clermont-Ferrand University. Vidal invites him to spend Christmas Eve at Maud’s house. A doctor and divorcee, the dark-haired Maud, a beautiful, fascinating and single woman, is not impervious to Jean-Louis’ charms.

CLAIRE'S KNEE
(French: Le genou de Claire)
JUNE 22 / TUE / 7PM

a 1970 film by Éric Rohmer. It is the fifth movie in the series of the Six Moral Tales.
Synopsis:
On the eve of his wedding, on holiday on the Lake Annecy shore, a career diplomat visits an old acquaintance, perhaps a former girlfriend. Through her he meets an intense teenager, Laura, and then lusts after her sister, Claire. Whilst Laura attempts to flirt with him, his fantasy becomes focussed on wanting to caress Claire's knee.-wikipedia

A GOOD MARRIAGE
Le Beau Mariage
JUNE 23 / WED / 5PM

a 1982 French film directed by Éric Rohmer, starring Béatrice Romand, André Dussollier, Féodor Atkine. It is one of Rohmer's "comedies and proverbs" (comédies et proverbes).
Synopsis:
Sabine, a student in art history, is growing tired of the part of the mistress of a painter and family man, Simon. She meets Edmond, beautiful, young, rich and free, and declares that she is going to marry him.

PAULINE AT THE BEACH (1983)
French title: Pauline à la plage
JUNE 23 / WED / 7PM

Synopsis:
Recently divorced, Marion decides to spend the end of summer in the family beach house on the Normandy coast. She takes her young cousin Pauline, who is delighted tho prolong her holidays, along with her. At the beach, they meet up with Pierre, Marion’s ex-lover. He offers to teach them windsurfing and introduces them to Henri who invites them to his place. While at the local casino, Pierre confesses his love to Marion, but she now fancies Henri. Pauline, meanwhile, has met Sylvain…

SHORT FILMS BY ERIC ROHMER
(SUZANNE'S CAREER + THE GIRL AT THE MONCEAU BAKERY + CHARLOTTE AND HER STEAK + NADJA IN PARIS)
JUNE 24 / THU / 5PM

MY GIRLFRIEND'S BOYFRIEND
Boyfriends and Girlfriends (French title:L'Ami de mon amie, also known as My Girlfriend's Boyfriend)
JUNE 24 / THU / 7PM

Synopsis:
Blanche is freshly installed in Cergy-Pontoise, a trendy new town near Paris. She has a new apartment, a new job with no one over and no one under her. She meets Léa at the swimming pool, and soon she meets an acquaintance of Léa, Alexandre of whom she approaches somewhat awkwardly. The movie then follows the time honored plot of exchange of relationships, as Blanche and Lea switch boyfriends. The title of the movie in French is a pun: The boyfriend of my friend (could be my boyfriend).

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