The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) shares healing and hope this month of love with the world premiere of award-winning filmmaker Jerrold Tarog’s new film “Ang Kabaligtaran ng Gunaw” (The Opposite of the End), back-to-back with the launch of “Hilom: Sayaw Dalangin ng Pag-asa at Pagkakaisa,” on Feb. 14, at 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, to be broadcast via CNN Philippines channels.
Director Tarog transformed the original poem by playwright Eljay Castro Deldoc with the same title into a cinematic experience, showcasing the original concept and choreography by Ronelson Yadao.
Tarog also composed the music for the dance film.
The film features dancer Eloisa Jessa Tangalin, as well as other faculty members of CCP Dance Workshop, including Sarah Anne Alejandro, Monica Amanda Gana, Stephanie Kerilen Santiago, Karla Marie Santos, Victor Maguad, Lester John Reguindin, Earl John Arisola, Al Frederick Abraham, Louise John Ababob, Danilo Dayo Jr., Bonifacio Guerrero Jr., and Justine Joseph Orande.
Adapted to screenplay by Tarog and Deldoc, the eight-minute short feature film brings together the different art forms, from literature, dance, music, theatre, and film, to create a unique collaboration which hopefully reminds all artists and the public on the importance of artistic expression and undaunted creativity that is much needed in the process of healing and overcoming the pandemic, the CCP said.
Gunaw is also a promise that once time permits, CCP will open its doors again and welcome artists back, it said.
“There are stories to be told, songs to be sang, and ideas to be expressed. As artists always say, the show must and will go on,” the CCP announcement said.
For 51 years now, the CCP is a place where creativity thrives, and a home to various productions, festivals, and artists.
In 2020, CCP shuttered its doors due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The arts sector is one of the most affected industries by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of artists and cultural workers were displaced.
“The question lingers: will the arts survive? And Tarog responds through the short feature film,” the CCP said.
Meanwhile, Hilom features folkloric dances associated with Filipino rituals and dance traditions to show how relevant dance is to the lives of the people, especially during difficult and challenging times.
Hilom engages various folkloric dance groups and communities in working together to produce dance performances that would highlight the affinity of the Filipinos to connect to the spiritual world for prayer, supplications, thanksgiving, and worship.
Featured dance groups and artists are: Abigail Calma (as Inang Bayan) from Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group; the Kaloob Phil Music and Dance Ministry (with Ed Lapiz as artistic director); Lyceum of the Philippines University of Batangas – Lahing Batangan Dance Troupe (Rodel M. Fronda, artistic director); Leyte Dance Theatre of Jess De Paz Foundation Inc. (Lowe S. Taňa, artistic director); University of Cebu Dance Company (Victor Lim Hao Cuenco, artistic director); Melengas Dance Ensemble (Odysso D. Oyales, artistic director); and Koronadal Hinugyaw Cultural Dance Troupe (Benhur Zerrudo Abulencia, artistic director).
Directed by Stephen Ramos Biadoma, the dance video production follows the story and concept by the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, with music by Teresa Barrozo, edited by Gem Aňonuevo, cinematography by Brandon Relucio, and costumes by Carlo Viray Valderama.
“Hilom is a dance film that forwards the Filipino spirit to the forefront of our fight against the global health crisis. Our differences in culture, language, or ethnicity do not hinder, us but rather enrich and unify our call and prayer for healing,” Director Biadoma said.
“We shall move as one nation, one community, one Filipino toward the hope for recovery,” Biadoma said.
After the twin bill production premiered on CNN Philippines, the CCP plans to have a hybrid outdoor screening to be knowns as “Cinema Under the Stars” at the CCP grounds. The planned screening will follow strict health protocols.
An online premiere is also being planned through the CCP social media accounts (official Facebook page and YouTube channel).
For more information and updates, visit the CCP website (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph), and follow the official CCP Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and YouTube Channel.
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