CCP’s Arthouse Cinema honors teachers in these turbulent times

The CCP Arthouse Cinema Online honors Filipino teachers through Jerrold Tarog’s “Faculty”, a short feature film about two teachers in a private college whose views on how to educate their students clash.

With the opening of classes early this October, teachers are being burdened with unprecedented responsibilities as an aftermath of the Covid19 pandemic.

Poor Internet connectivity, lack of access to appropriate technology and gadgets for online education, and inadequate government support are among the long list of obstacles educators must hurdle daily.

Faculty (2010) is a 7:35-minute drama, which is a prequel to the full feature film “Senior Year.” It stars Che Ramos and Bea Garcia, and written by Tarog.

Meanwhile, the CCP celebrates the National Indigenous People’s Month this October with the special screening of “K’na, The Dreamweaver” and “Tembong (Connecting)” on October 9 to 11, 2020. Faculty will also be shown during this period.

Directed by Ida Anita del Mundo, the 85-minute film tells about Kana, a young T’boli woman who becomes a dreamweaver and has a chance to unite her village’s warring tribe.  But will she give up on love to do so?

The film won Best Production Design and received the Special Jury Prize at the 2014 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

“Tembong” (Connecting) is a story of a T’boli man who collects a series of patterns when an abaca goddess visits him in his dreams.  Grieving due to the death of his mother, he takes a journey of unearthing his history, prompting him to disregard the consequences of his actions. He defies a sanctified practice.

Directed by Shaira Advincula, the 15-minute film won the Special Jury Prize in the Short Feature Category of the 2019 Cinemalaya.

The featured Cinemalaya films, which tackle the plight of indigenous Filipinos from South Cotabato and that of Filipino educators, will be screened for 48 hours on Vimeo on Demand for free. 

For existing CCP Film Society members, don’t forget to check on your emails to know how to exclusively access these films.

Be a member of the CCP Film Society Club to get regular updates and screening schedules of the CCP Arthouse Cinema, as well as invitations to film-related events.

For more details on the membership and film screenings, follow the CCP and CCP Media Arts Division Facebook pages. Or visit the CCP website (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph). ##

#CCPArthouseCinemaOnline #Faculty #Kna #Tembong #Cinemalaya #Teachers #Covid19PH

Artist Welfare Project Inc. turns 13

On October 7, 2007, 15 artist-leaders incorporated and registered the Artists Welfare Project Inc. (AWPI) at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC registration paved the way to legally and formally assist Filipino artists deal with a number of issues they face, notably rights and welfare concerns.

They 15 artist-leaders were Fernando Josef. Nick Pichay. Grace Nono Aves. Glecy Atienza. Ronnie Lazaro, Raul Sunico, Dennis Marasigan, Madeleine Nicolas, Sid Gomez Hildawa, Clotilde Lucero, Rica Arevalo, Rafael Froilan, Jose Victor Torres, Ricardo Eric Cruz, and Rebecca Jose. Board members were Jun Lozada, Emily Abrera and Nes Jardin.

The action to legally and formally organize artists was a direct response to the stark reality that thousands of Filipino freelance artists are working without a legal employer-employee relation framework. This precarious situation was not helpful when they need assistance on financial and health issues, for example. Then, there are the more important concerns on benefits covering health, unemployment, retirement, and assistance on building a house.

Most of the time, fellow artists “rescue” their colleagues by passing the hat for financial contributions. These are, however, temporary and palliative steps.

AWPI turned seven years old in 2014. By then, the organization considered dissolving itself. Board members felt nothing substantial was happening. But they decided to make another try as there was support from the membership.

As executive director, Grace Nono worked with congressional contacts to push for bills which would institutionalize solutions for short-term and long-term problems of artists.

After 13 years, AWPI continues to serve Filipino creatives in an effective manner possible, given the limitations.

Among the current AWPI initiatives are: coordinating with government agencies such as SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG Fund to inform and educate freelance artists and creatives on how to register, contribute, and avail of their services

Through persistent working with congressional allies, AWPI was instrumental in the House and Senate deliberations of various bills that will advance and protect artists’ rights and welfare.

These bills include the Eddie Garcia Bill which proposes to institute safety in the workplace of workers in the audiovisual, broadcast, and entertainment industries.

On top of its regular literacy campaigns via the AWPI Talks, the organization is at the forefront of an unprecedented program called the HMO for Artists, where about 600 creatives from different art sectors and their families avail HMO benefits by paying reasonably priced health insurance.

In April 2020, as the Covid19 pandemic caused havoc on lives, jobs, and the economy, AWPI became a fund manager of different fund-raising activities initiated by artists.

Many events were cancelled due to the pandemic, throwing artists out of jobs, thus no income. This drastic work disruption and dislocation prompted different artist groups to band together and raise Php 4 million. The amount assisted almost 2,000 creatives in need. More artists are needing assistance and support.

AWPI’s current executive director, Jenny Bonto, has been busy coordinating aid, grants, linkages, sponsorships, fund-raisers, and Covid19 prevention campaigns.

The most challenging project confronting AWPI currently is the development of a Philippine Registry of Creatives, which is aimed at preventing arts and culture workers from being left out of the government support mechanism and social safety nets, most especially the freelancers who have no regular sources of income. 

The current AWPI is governed by a board of directors, with Fernando Josef as chairman, Carmela Manuel as president, Ronnie Lazaro as vice president, Dennis Marasigan as secretary, Lisa Macuja Elizalde as treasurer.

Board members are: Anthony Cruz, Ibarra Mateo, Emmanuel dela Cruz, Tednicolao Camahalan, Monet Pura, Kate Lim, Jonas George Soriano, Raffy Tejada, Mae Paner, and Simon Balboa.

Even in the middle of the Covid19 pandemic, AWPI continues to champion the artists’ rights and welfare.

It is one of the leading organizations which value Filipino creatives, whose ranks include but are not limited to artists, culture bearers, craftsmen, culture educators, production workers, and other creators in the country. For AWPI, they are as essential as the other workers in many sectors. Artists, among others, help the country by nurturing the soul of the nation.

With continued support from its members, sponsors, donors, government and non-government leaders advocating the interests of Philippine culture and the arts, AWPI will continue to serve the Filipino artists and creatives in the years to come.

For more information on the AWPI activities and the ongoing HMO for Artists program, please log on to: awpi.ph or FB Artists Welfare Project Inc. ##

Instituto Cervantes’ Pelicula, Spanish Film Festival, streams online from Oct. 3

The 19th edition of Pelicula, Spanish Film Festival, will feature the best of contemporary Spanish cinema from Oct. 3 to 11, 2020.

Presented by Instituto Cervantes and the Embassies of Spain in the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia, the 2020 Spanish Film Festival screens online eight feature films and four short films.

Since its first run in 2002 organized by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the Spanish Film Festival has been an annual attraction in Philippine cinemas.

The Covid19 pandemic has posed the greatest challenge in the history of the festival, which prompted Pelicula to offer online screenings and webinars.

This year, Pelicula is expanding to two other countries, now covering the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia.

Each movie will be available for viewing for free at http://www.pelikula.es for 24 hours, starting at 6 pm (in the Philippines and Thailand) and 8 pm (in Australia), on the programmed screening date.

Pelicula opens today, Oct. 3, with La filla d’algú (2019), a film directed by 11 students from the Escuela Superior de Cine y Audiovisuales de Cataluña.

Other movies in the line-up are: El increíble finde menguante (Jon Mikel Caballero, 2019), the comedy Asamblea (Alex Montoya, 2019), and dramas like Jaulas (Nicolás Pacheco, 2018), and Arima (Jaione Camborda, 2019).

Likewise, there will be documentaries such as Mudar la piel (Ana Schulz and Cristóbal Fernández, 2018), and El cuadro (Andrés Sanz, 2019).

The festival also features Latin American cinema, with the screening of Costa Rica’s El despertar de las hormigas (Antonella Sudassasi, 2019).

Aside from online screenings, webinars, and online discussions are also programmed.

Within Cineclub Pelicula, directors of the movies screened during the festival will participate in several online discussions.

On Oct. 5, a round-table discussion about “Marketing Asian Cinema in Europe and Spanish Cinema in Asia,” will be held. On Oct. 9, the directors of Spanish, Thai, and Filipino major film festivals will discuss the issue of “Any Future for Film Festivals?”

These events may be accessed free of charge through the site http://www.pelikula.es.

Encounters through short films

The Tagalog word “pelikula” comes from the Spanish “película” (film), which is proof of the deep cultural ties shared between the Philippines and Spain.

With this spirit in mind, Pelicula had among its main objectives to organize joint Spanish-Filipino programs which foster dialogue and joint projects between filmmakers from the Philippines and the Spanish-speaking world.

On Oct. 10, Pelicula offers “En corto: Short Films from the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, and Spain” in which four short films, one from each country, will be featured. Directors of each film will join an online discussion after the screening.

Audience Choice Award

Last but not least, film buffs should not miss the yearly “Audience Choice” Award.”

Established in 2004, the Premio del Público (Audience Choice Award) recognizes annually the film voted by the audience as their “best of the festival.” It is a very popular feature of Pelicula.

Adapting it to the new condition of online festival, viewers will rate the movie they have seen online. The winning movie will be screened again on Oct. 11, 6 pm, at the festival’s platform http://www.pelikula.es .

Pelicula is presented by Instituto Cervantes through Instituto Cervantes in Manila and Instituto Cervantes in Sydney, the Embassies of Spain in the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia, and AECID, with the collaboration of the ICAA, the Málaga Film Festival, the Thai Film Archive, the Sydney Film Festival, the Travelling Film Festival, Intramuros Administration, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, and the UP Film Institute.

For the schedule, film details and further information on the festival, please visit http://www.pelikula.es, or https://manila.cervantes.es , or the Facebook page of Instituto Cervantes: http://www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila

Instituto Cervantes in Manila Images

#Pelicula #SpanishFilmFestival #Cine #Film #Cinema #InstitutoCervantes #Festival

HUMANS OF THE LOCKDOWN: Painters, paintings during the Covid19 pandemic

Instead of holding placards to beg for money from passers-by and vehicle owners, these two men proudly hold aloft their paintings in a bid to sell them along Mayon Street, between Pi y Margall and Padre Florentino streets, two blocks from Mabuhay Welcome Rotonda.

If you are not familiar with the area, look for One Mayon Place, #68 Mayon Street, they stand across from the tall building, where they seek shelter when the weather is unkind.

They told me each painting sells at Php 2,500. Six paintings were on display at the sidewalk when I visited them. One can always bargain.

Let us support the hard-working Filipinos struggling to survive in these difficult days.

October 3, 2020 LockdownDay204 #LockdownPhotoDiary #LockdownDiary #Covid19PH #StreetLife #StreetArt #VisualArt #Painting

Kwek kwek, a Filipino take on tempura

COMFORT FOOD OF THE LOCKDOWN: A kwek kwek is a battered quail’s egg deep fried until it turns crispy, similar to Japanese tempura. However, the batter for kwek kwek is orange in color, giving it a distinct appearance. Kwek kwek is sold along side with fish balls, squid balls, and hotdogs. October 2, 2020 #LockdownDay203 #LockdownPhotoDiary #LockdownDiary #Covid19PH #Streetfood #Foodie #FoodTrip

Turon and bitso-bitso

TURON (left), bitso-bitso (right)

COMFORT FOOD OF THE LOCKDOWN: Turon (deep fried banana wrapped in flour wrapper, sprinkled with lots of brown sugar) for 15 pesos per piece and bitso-bitso (deep fried dough, rolled in white sugar) for 10 pesos per piece. For 25 pesos, one can have a fill of sugar rush. September 30, 2020. #LockdownDay201 #LockdownPhotoDiary #LockdownDiary #Covid19PH #Food #Filipino

Covid19 pandemic restrictions may add 214,000 births to 1.7 M babies expected by yearend

By Ibarra C. Mateo

The hampered access to family planning services and commodities due to the Covid19 pandemic restrictions could add 214,000 Filipino babies to the estimated 1.7 million births expected by the of 2020.

Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, executive director of the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) said the “current scenario of the pandemic” has limited the access by couples and individuals to family planning services and commodities.

Perez said this scenario may result in 214,000 more births on top of the initially-estimated 1.7 million deliveries by end of the year.

“Because of the pandemic, a new live birth may have unintended socioeconomic impact on a family affected by unemployment and its meager income,” he said.

While 3 out of 10 pregnancies are unplanned, the 2017 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) estimated that the trend will cause the Philippine population to swell by an additional 2 million-plus Filipinos in 2021, the PopCom said.

With a population of 109.1 million as of end September 2020, the Philippines is ranked as the second country in Southeast Asia with the highest population number.

Since mid-March, the Philippine government has placed various parts of the country in varying degrees of quarantine and community restrictions, affecting millions of people’s access to basic services.

Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros, chair of the Senate committee on women, children, and family relations, said that women and children issues have been “invisible” during the pandemic. She urged the government to focus again on these issues.

“There are obstacles in health and medical service delivery brought about by Covid19, including the provision of essential family planning information, and supplies. This is the reality we are now facing as a nation,” he said.

“That is why considering and availing of contraception will be vital during these days. It will help keep our population numbers in check, particularly at this time of the pandemic, where we anticipate limited resources at the household and macro levels,” Perez said.

“The implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law has boosted the overall family planning program in the country by 100% in terms of women and couples who have joined the program: from 4 million in 2012, to almost 8 million in 2019,” he said.

“However, the Supreme Court’s decision on the RPRH Law limiting the access of adolescents to family planning in 2014 has adversely affected adolescent birth rates, particularly among 10- to 14-year-old minors. This has made universal access to family planning difficult to accomplish,” Perez said.

Starting early

Perez said that 1 out of 10 women aged 15 to 19 have already started their “sexual debut” and has given birth, citing data from the 2017 NDHS.

“Curiously, Covid19 has not only taken lives; it is also producing new lives, albeit mistimed,” he said.

“There are hindrances being caused by the virus in getting across critical items that couples and individuals need at this time, and these might very well include family planning methods and contraceptives,” Perez said.

In terms of development, Perez said unintended pregnancies borne from the series of lockdowns and quarantines may obstruct women of reproductive age to reach their full potential and to contribute for their families.

Filipinos can reach out to POPCOM through Facebook via @OfficialPOPCOM and @UsapTayoSaFP to inquire about contraceptives and learn more about them, he said. They can contact POPCOM helplines at 0961-743-2337 and 0927-299-8764 for Manila, as well as those in their respective areas posted in the POPCOM Regional Offices’ FB pages.

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) is the country’s lead organization in population management for well-planned and empowered Filipino families and communities. POPCOM aims to empower Filipino individuals, families, and communities by enabling them to achieve their fertility intentions, prevent adolescent pregnancies, and consciously consider population factors in sustainable development initiatives.

PopCom Images

#Covid19PH #Population #ReproductiveHealth #PopCom #Women #Chuldren

#NeverForget films about martial law relaunch CCP Arthouse Cinema, CCP Film Society on digital platform

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) screens for 48 hours from Sept. 25, 3 pm, four films revisiting the martial law era, considered as one of the most turbulent and violent periods in Philippine socio-political history.

The premiere of the #NeverForget films also serves to relaunch the CCP cinema program, formally known as the CCP Arthouse Cinema, and the CCP Film Society on the digital platform.

The films are from the past editions of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and the Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video.

Online audiences can view the following films:

“Edjop” (director Joe Cuaresma, 1987) follows the life and times of student leader Edgar Jopson.  Famously derided by Marcos as the “son of a grocer,” the young “Edjop” led the student movement that sparked the historic First Quarter Storm.  The documentary won the top prize at the first Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video.

“ML” (Benedict Mique Jr., 2018) tells the story of college jock Carlo (Tony Labrusca) as he experiences Martial law style incarceration and interrogation when he stumbles into the demented existence of a retired military general (played to the horrific hilt by Eddie Garcia).  The political thriller won for Eddie Garcia the Best Actor award at Cinemalaya and Best Editing for the film.  It was lauded for direction and editing at the 2019 Gawad Urian Awards.

“Sigwa” (Joel Lamangan, 2010).  Dolly, a junior correspondent of a US magazine, is sent to the Philippines in 1970 to do a story on student activism in Manila.  She returns to Manila after being arrested and deported in 1975, the third year of martial law.  Her mission is personal this time: to look for her daughter, who was supposed to have died 35 years ago, but who, she has been told, is alive.

The 6th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival awarded the Best Supporting Actor to Tirso Cruz III; while it won Best Story and Best Screenplay at the 2011 FAMAS Awards.  It also bagged Best Motion Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress for Zsa Zsa Padilla and Best Supporting Actor for Tirso Cruz III at the 2011 Golden Screen Award Phils.

“Beyond the Walls of Prison” (Lito Tiongson, 1987) is a documentary about the quest for justice and freedom of former political detainees under the new government.  The video bagged Best Documentary at the 1st Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video.

Audiences can learn more about the films by reading the informational content that will be released on the CCP Official Facebook page.  The films will be available for free public viewing on the CCP Channel Vimeo Video-On-Demand Platform.

Audiences may use the promo code NEVERFORGET to avail themselves of the free screening of films.

As part of the online relaunching of the CCP Arthouse Cinema and CCP Film Society, audiences will be able to watch online all of their exclusive offerings featuring the best of Philippine cinema.

The Php100 Membership to the CCP Film Society comes with year-long access to the film screenings and special programs of the CCP Arthouse Cinema.  Those interested to join may visit the CCP Media Arts Division Facebook page for more information.

For more information, visit the CCP Facebook accounts and web site (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph).

CCP Images

#NeverForget #NeverAgain #CCP #CCPArthouseCinema #CCPFilmSociety #Cinemalaya

Tanghalang Pilipino announces September PangsamanTanghalan shows

Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), announced its September line-up of productions for ‘PangsamanTanghalan’.

Last August, TP started PangsamanTanghalan, the online streaming of its theater productions, as a response to the Covid19 pandemic, which led to the closure of all CCP public venues and cancellations of all CCP shows.

The August launch of PangsamangTanghalan coincided with the annual Buwan ng Wika celebrations.

Members of the Actors Company bring to life a timely and informative tale in “May Giyera sa Katawan ni Mark” by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, adapted for the production by Nono Pardalis.

As the title suggests, Mark’s body will try and resist foreign bacteria entering his body. Visuals for the antibodies and bacteria will be produced by Anino Shadowplay Collective.

TP releases a special medley of songs for the concert “Handa, Awit.” Nar Cabico reprises his role in a special performance of songs from “ZsaZsa Zaturrnah: Ze Muzikal,” the award-winning play by librettist Chris Martinez.

Cabico sings the most memorable songs composed by Vince De Jesus with Cabico’s own arrangement, engineered by TJ Ramos, and directed by Carlitos Siguion-Reyna. This concert is on September 16 at 6 pm, which also happens to be Cabico’s birthday.

“Bagong Tagpo” shows the new film collaboration between TP and Voyage Studios. Directors Missy Maramara and Chuck Gutierrez, along with assistant director and Actors Company member Antonette Go, film an excerpt of Anton Juan’s Centennial Literary Prize winner, “The Price of Redemption.”

The “Price of Redemption” is a haunting play that examines the parallelism between the Philippine society during the American period and martial law years through the lens of artists, freedom fighters, and traitors. The production features the TP Actors Company’s first ensemble performance on screen for this year.

“The Price of Redemption” streams on the eve of the anniversary of the declaration of martial law, Sept. 20, at 6 pm.

For this month’s iKAPWA workshop classes, TP Artistic Director Fernando Josef shares how an actor can adapt in performing for online theater productions in “SArili para sa BAYan” (SABAY-KAPWA).

Meanwhile, theater director and former TP Artistic Director Dennis Marasigan teaches a special class for aspiring directors for online productions and performances through the “Kamalayang Pilipino.”

Both classes begin on Sept. 19 and run until Oct. 4, conducted during weekends.

Finally, to conclude the CCP Arts Education – TP partnership for the month, Gawad Buhay Award-winning dance artist JM Cabling discusses movements and techniques he used in “Lam-ang.” He will tackle “conveying narratives and emotion in choreography.” The class streams on Sept. 25 at 10 am.

For more information, please follow the official Tanghalang Pilipino Facebook page.

Help and support TP on its mission to continue inspiring the public with relevant artistic presentations during these trying times by donating via the fundraising Pantawid Ng Tanghalan.

To donate, please visit KTX via https://bit.ly/KTXPantawidNgTanghalan

BPI

Account Name: Tanghalang Pilipino Foundation, Inc.


Savings Account Number: 3131-0387-46


Bank Branch: BPI – Harrison Plaza

GCash


Gcash Number: 0915-453-8933

Please subscribe to TP’s official YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/tanghalangpilipino

For sponsorships and collaborations, you can email us at tanghalangpilipinomarketing@gmail.com or contact 0999-8843821.

#CCP #TP #PangsamanTanghalan #Theater #Arts #Culture #covid19PH

CCP during, beyond Covid19 pandemic

By Ibarra C. Mateo

While the purists pontificate that theater must have live audience, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) quickly understood the brutality that Covid19 has caused since January this year.

The CCP moved decisively as Covid19 savaged the global economy, infecting 27.48 million and killing 894, 983, according to the World Health Organization data as of Sept. 9, 2020.

Recall that on March 12, 2020 at 5:42 pm, the CCP announced its initial list of show cancellations due to the rapid rate of Covid19 infection. Included in the initial list were the Philippine Philharmonic Concert Series VII scheduled on March 13, and the anticipated 40th anniversary production of Rama Hari by the Ballet Philippines, which was to open on March 20 and to run until March 29, 2020.

On March 13, 2020, 9:02 pm, the CCP made a shocking, drastic, but wise step to shut down all its public venues and to postpone all slated productions and exhibits.

“As prescribed by the Philippine government, the CCP will still function on a skeleton workforce. Restricted access will be enforced for employees, artists, suppliers, and other public entities, except those attending the basic and safety operation of the building,” the March 13 CCP announcement said.

‘Shows’ must go on

One sunny day last April, weeks into the lockdown, Chris B. Millado, CCP vice president and artistic director, ventured outside of his house, braved the virus-cloaked metropolis, and went to the CCP complex.

Millado had one important mission at the time: to mine the CCP vast HD and archival recordings of productions in theater, dance, visual arts, film, literary and workshop events during the last 50 years, which were housed at the CCP Cultural Content Digital Archives office.

Under Libertine S. dela Cruz, officer-in-charge of the CCP Cultural Content Department, the nondescript CCP digital archives office is located in the terra incognita of the complex. It is near the south entrance of the CCP main building, accessible via a narrow hallway. The first time I went there to watch a vintage production, I was lost in the maze.

As technological innovations disrupted contemporary lives and changed ways of conducting business, the CCP Cultural Content Digital Archives, one can say, is the unknown and unseen powerhouse of the CCP, compared to its more prominent counterparts, whose outputs graced the CCP Main Theater, CCP Little Theater, and Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Black Box).

Among the first measure taken by the CCP to cope with the challenges posed by Covid19 was to “realign” its programs. The announcement was made on April 24, 2020.

“In response to the extended community quarantine and the post-Covid19 recovery situations, the Cultural Center of the Philippines is realigning its artistic programs with the goal of protecting lives and livelihoods while continuing to deliver educational and inspiring content to Filipinos on alternative platforms,” the CCP said.

The new configuration of programming prioritized the immediate implementation of “Arts and Culture Online,” “Live Arts on Lockdown,” “Arts for Therapy” and “Capacity Building.”

Under Arts and Culture Online, the video streaming of archival recordings, HD, edited recordings was rolled out in early April.

The Live Arts on Lockdown program saw the unprecedented launch in June of the annual Virgin LabFest online.

The Arts for Therapy Program develops and implements modules on “Arts for Mental Wellness” and pursues “Arts for Healing” activities such as pocket concerts of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and “PPO at your bedside events.”

Under the Capacity Building program, CCP provides training modules for upskilling of artists and cultural workers in art therapy and online technology.

“The shows will go on at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Despite the shutdown, the CCP continues to make arts matter to every Filipino,” the CCP said.

The curated CCP productions initially streamed via Facebook and YouTube, eventually tapping the Vimeo and iwantTV (now iwantTFC) platforms.

‘Better normal’ from the 51st year and beyond

As the Philippine lockdown entered its 6th month this September, coinciding with the winding down of CCP’s 50th anniversary celebrations and the start of its 51st season, the center seeks to return to its normal operations, ensures that the whole complex is safe, and vigorously migrates to the digital platforms “to make arts and culture still at the forefront of the social development, while keeping as many artists’ livelihoods as possible.”

In another breakthrough, on Sept. 8, at 9 am, the CCP held its first virtual flag ceremony since it locked down on March 15.

Streamed via the CCP Facebook page, the virtual flag ceremony closed the celebrations of the CCP’s 50th anniversary, which began in September 2019.

The September 8 virtual flag ceremony also ushered in the beginning of the CCP journey to another 50 years.

Included in the ceremony was a tribute to artists, cultural workers, arts and culture advocates, media members, and employees of CCP who passed away during the Covid19 pandemic.

“Setyembre ng 2019 noong tayo’y nagtipon upang ilunsad ang ika-50 anibersaryo ng Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas. Ibang-iba ang panahon noon. Kung hindi nangyari itong pandemya, ngayon siguro ay abala tayo sa paghahanda para sa malalaking ganap upang tandaan ang pagtatapos ng 50th anniversary,” Millado said during the flag ceremony.  

“Naka-setup na marahil ang sound and light exhibition sa front facade at lawn na pinamagatang Luces. Nakaabang na ang maraming mga booth sa buong complex para sa festival. Nag-eensayo na para sa CCP Gala sa Main Theater. Naghahanda na ang lahat upang buksan ang bagong Black Box Theater,” Millado said.  

“Ngunit dahil sa pagsasarado dulot ng pandaigdigang sakuna, kailangan nating ipagpaliban ang mga ito,” Millado said.

Last February, CCP cancelled Pasinaya, the Open House Festival and one of the biggest events produced by the center. Pasinaya would have been a super-spreader of the virus had the management decided to push through.

While the theaters remain closed, the CCP migrated its artistic programs online and launched CCP Online, streaming its digital archives in HD.

The CCP made historical milestone with the launch of the digital version of the Virgin Labfest in June, followed by the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, and other programs.

Jobs for artists, technical staff

“These endeavors have provided jobs to artists and technical staff,” the CCP said.

“We are doing our best to take care of the welfare and safety of our employees. If there are any shortcomings, we are trying to overcome and improve. We are making the best in this trying time. In this time of difficulty and uncertainty, let us still count our blessings,” Rodolfo del Rosario, CCP vice president for administration, said.

CCP Chairperson Margie Moran-Floirendo said pandemic and its effects have “given the trustees the time to clarify and work on their respective roles in the CCP, in accordance with the law and their mandate to fulfill it.”

“You have now active Board Members who are taking their positions seriously to improve our role as trustees at the CCP. Maybe, and I am certain providentially, they have time to be more involved,” Moran-Floirendo said.

Theater will survive

“This might be the worst time in our lifetime due to the serious economic downturns; however, as an institution, we have to last more than a lifetime. Theaters existed for 2,500 years, surviving pandemics and wars,” Moran-Floirendo said.

“There are reasons for us to come out stronger, and achieve our missions and visions more than ever. In so doing, we can’t leave our artists behind,” Moran-Floirendo said.

“Our job is to prepare the CCP for better normal, adapting to the needs of our stakeholders and audiences,” Moran-Floirendo said.

CCP President Arsenio Lizaso expressed his gratitude to those involved in the preparation and execution of the 50th anniversary events.

Lizaso urged everyone to continue to strive to make 51st anniversary “more accessible and significant for our people.”

“Ang CCP ay hindi tumigil sa paggawa ng iba’t ibang paraan para makapagbigay ng inspirasyon, lakas ng loob at kahulugan sa ating mga kababayan sa kabila ng pagsubok na dinaranas natin sa kasalukuyan,” Lizaso said.

“We have adapted to the realities, and we have succeeded in bringing shows and productions to our people through the digital platforms without sacrificing the institution’s ideals and goals of achieving excellence in the artistic projects,” Lizaso said.

As the final event commemorating the 50th anniversary, the CCP is scheduled to hold a light and sound show on its façade facing the Roxas Boulevard. The event will be live streamed on the CCP Facebook page.

The CCP plans to launch the CCP digital time capsule and special videos in collaboration with its resident companies and other artists. “Sinasabing ang industriyang kinabibilangan natin, kasama ng entertainment at turismo, ang siyang pinakahuling babangon sa paglipas ng pandemiyang ito. Hindi pa tapos ang laban. Patuloy tayong titimbangin sa ating naging sagot at paninindigan sa hamon na ito,” Millado said.

CCP Images

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