The National Arts Month with the theme “Paghabol: Weaving Arts in the Visayas” opens today in Bago City with art workshops and a grandiose performance by KZ Tandingan, the newest National Commission for Culture and the Arts ambassador.
The celebration, spearheaded by the National Commission for Culture and Arts, emphasizes the richness of artistic endeavors in the Philippines and the passion of Filipino artists and cultural workers.
Teddy Co, Commissioner for the Arts, said this is the opening salvo of the National Arts Month outside of Manila. Bago is the first city outside of Manila to do a solo launching.
He said this year, they will also have openings in Binondo in Manila; Bagac, Bataan in Luzon; and Koronadal, South Cotabato in Mindanao.
Co, who heads the Committee on Cinema, said in a press conference that Negros is teeming with very creative people andin the realm of the arts and has produced vibrant film makers.
Co said Negros has made a major contribution to Philippine cinema with directors like Peque Gallaga, Eric Matti, and Laurence Fajardo, who have created a new approach to filmmaking with their sleek craftsmanship and violent films.
He said that in the Venice Biennale in 2015, where the Philippines participated again after an absence of 50 years, Negrense artist Manny Montelibano was chosen to represent the country. And this year, Negrense visual artist Mark Justiniani will be exhibited in this very prestigious event.
Co said Negros has also produced actors like Joel Torre, Ronnie Lazaro and Susan Roces.
Bago Mayor Nicholas Yulo said the event will greatly help in the enrichment of culture and arts in Bago. Since this is a national event, it will help promote the importance of culture and arts in other places outside Bago and will also have a big impact on their city and Negros Occidental.
He said history is a part of culture and that Bago is home of historical and natural treasures.
Yulo said there will also be local performances during the launching of the National Arts Month (NAM) at the Ramon Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum and Cultural Center, with the most notable “pianica” to be performed by about 500 students from Bago City.
Rudy Reveche, NAM program launch director, said the art fair today will be interactive. They will have simultaneous workshops on Baybayin, face painting, calligraphy, photography, and performances on dance, theater movement, and film screening.
Reveche said there will be exhibits of the creative industries, which are the product of NCCA funded program like weaving industry, as well as exhibits on some forthcoming events during the National Arts Month that will happen in Negros particularly in Bacolod City.
Clem del Castillo, Balayni Tan Juan Museum director, said Ronnie Baldonado, who comes from Bago, will hold a photography exhibit at the famed heritage house.
Aside from workshops, there will also be performances on spoken word poetry and dance alongside features on Arts in public spaces at the launching of the National Arts Month in Bago today.*
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