Bibeth Orteza, 5 ‘virgin’ playwrights selected for 2020 Virgin Labfest

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The works of Bibeth Orteza and five other “virgin” playwrights have been selected from a pool of 290 submissions for the 16th edition of the Virgin Labfest, the annual festival of untried, untested, unstaged, and unpublished theater works, which runs June 10 – 28, 2020, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The 2020 VLF virgins are: Sorsogon-based writer Jobert Landeza who penned “Titser Kit;” Mark Norman Boquiren, with his “Mayang Bubot sa Tag-araw;” Floyd Tiogangco, with “Pilot Episode;” Daryl Pasion, with “Papaano Turuan Ang Babae Humawak ng Baril;” Luis Nario, with “Gin Bilog;” and film director Orteza who is the only woman playwright, with “Bituing Marikit.”

Completing the final list are: Tyron Casumpang, with “Black Pink;” Anthony Kim Vergara, with “The Boy Boy and Friends Channel;” Juliene Mendoza, with “Multiverse;” Jay Crisostomo, with “Dapithapon;” Juan Ekis, with “‘Nay May Dala akong Pansit;” and Dustin Celestino, “Doggy.” These six playwrights have participated in the previous editions of the festival.

For the Stage Readings, six works have been selected; three of which are written by “virgin” playwrights, namely “Jenny Li” by Buch Dacanay, “Matira ang Matibay” by Bernice Dacara, and “Mongoloida’s Casa de Pun” by Claro delos Reyes.

Other featured stage reading works are: “Lady Masters” by Rouchelle Dinglasan, “Bagahe” by Nicko de Guzman, and “Dominador Gonzales – National Artist” by Dingdong Novenario.

VLF festival director JK Aninoche expressed his gratitude to all the writers who “have shared their visions and voices to us.”

The 12 finalists chosen for full-staging were selected from the 290 submitted entries.

Rody Vera, VLF founder and former festival director, and dramaturg Ina Azarcon Bolivar assisted in this year’s unique set of plays.

“I’m very excited on the richness of thought-making and breadth and depth of representation of human condition and contemporary life in this year’s edition of the VLF. Masayang may mga kasama sa pagsulong at paglikha. I’m looking forward to the VLF as a collaborative development platform for untried, untested, and unstaged plays,” Aninoche said.

Co-presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, and the playwrights’ group Writer’s Bloc Inc., this year’s VLF is themed “Rurok.”

Established in 2005, the VLF aims to provide Filipino playwrights a venue to present their unpublished, untried, untested, and unstaged works to the theater-going public.

Follow VLF on Social Media, or visit for more information and promo.

#virginlabfest #vlf16 #vlf2020 #vlfrurok #CCPVirginLabfest #untrieduntestedunstaged

Feb. 28, 2020 is deadline for 2020 Cinemalaya short film entries

If you want to join the 2020 Cinemalaya short feature category, you have until Feb. 28, 2020, 6 pm, to submit your entries.

The Film, Broadcast, and New Media Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is now accepting entries for the short feature category of the 2020 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

In a statement, the CCP’s Film, Broadcast, and New Media Division said the competition is open to all Filipino filmmakers and that online or offline submission are accepted.  

For online submission, visit, fill out the online entry form and upload your film with the filmmaker’s profile.

For offline submission, the submission requirements include: a duly completed application form, a brief résumé/bio-data with two recent 2×2 photos of the filmmaker(s), synopsis in English, and the final work in MP4 format, with violator, saved in on DVD (1 copy) or USB.  

The final work should be properly labelled with the title, production company address (if any), contact numbers, production date, and director’s name. Its running time should not exceed 20 minutes, inclusive of the credit titles.

All entries must be submitted in a long brown envelope, properly labeled with proponent’s name, title, and contact details.

Interested participants must submit the requirements to the Film, Broadcast, and New Media Division, located at the 4/F Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

The 10 best short features will be announced on May 12, 2020, and will be screened during the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, scheduled Aug. 7 – 16, 2020.

#CCP #2020Cinemalaya #Film #IndieFilm

2nd #UPFair poster. 1982. GULO SA DILIMAN. By Zaldy Zuno of Philippine Collegian


2nd #UPFair poster. 1982. GULO SA DILIMAN. Poster by Zaldy Zuno of Philippine Collegian. Zaldy also created TIBO, the Philippine Collegian / Kule mascott. Thanks, Zaldy for this rare find. The 1st UPFair was called MAKI PARA KWAN #UPFair #UPFair2020 #UPD #UP #PhilippineCollegian #Kule #Tibo #UPD

Soprano Andion Fernandez-Ching sings with PPO, Salonga conducts Jeffrey Ching’s 'King Kong"

By Ibarra C. Mateo

On Valentine’s Day 2020, Soprano Andión Fernández-Ching performs with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) under the baton of Maestro Gerard Salonga at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Theater.

The PPO’s 6th season concert is at 8 pm.

Among the highlight of the Feb. 14 concert is the PPO performance of Jeffrey Ching’s “My Heart Stayed Numb (The True Story of King Kong).”

The Theatre of Magdeburg website described The True Story of King Kong as a chamber opera with puppets by Ching, libretto by Roscha A. Säidow, and with the composition commissioned by the Theatre of Magdeburg.

“Fascinated by the music of the Filipino-native, Chinese-British composer Jeffrey Ching and the energy of librettist and director Roscha A. Säidow’s puppet theatre, the Theatre of Magdeburg has once again commissioned a composition for a chamber opera. In King Kong, the two theatre artists have opted for an iconographic myth of the 20th century,” the website said.

“A godlike judge holds the protagonists of the famous story to account before a mythical court to determine the real circumstances of the death of King Kong. The perspectives of what happened are compared in flashbacks, whereby librettist and composer highlight the themes dealt with in the story such as power, corruption, western claims to hegemony and, of course, love, in bizarre fashion, inextricably linking the worlds of opera and puppet theatre in the process,” it said.

The concert program includes Lucio San Pedro’s “Ang Buwan sa Kabundukan,” Franz Schubert’s “Erlkőnig,” Manuel De Falla‘s “Siete Canciones Populares Españolas,” Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Tatiana’s Letter Scene” (Eugene Onegin), and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no.6, op. 74, B minor “Pathetique”.

Born in Manila, Fernández-Ching last performed at the CCP on Aug. 21, 2016, together with Spanish musician Alberto Urroz in a concert that paid homage to Enrique Granados, described as “a pianist and composer with a uniquely Spanish style.”

The August 2016 concert was part of the global celebrations marking the 100th death anniversary of Granados, who drowned in the English Channel while attempting to save his wife during World War I.

In the Granados concert, Berlin-based composer Ching reworked and contributed his “own Sonata Domenica to the Scarlattiana tradition that Granados began.”

Ching dedicated his composition to Urroz, who performed its world premiere in this particular concert at the CCP Little Theater.

Maestro Salonga is currently the music director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra in Manila, and is in his second season as assistant conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He has guest-conducted the HK Philharmonic, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra and Chorus, Evergreen Symphony, Bangkok Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, and Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne. Early this year, he made his debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. 

In December 2016, Salonga orchestrated the Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra by National Artist Col. Antonino Buenaventura, which was given its world premiere by the PPO and bassoonist Adolfo Mendoza.

Meanwhile, Fernández-Ching was a soloist of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2001 to 2010. She graduated with honors from the Universität der Künste, Berlin, and studied voice with Karan Armstrong and contemporary music with Aribert Reimann following her studies with Fides Cuyugan-Asencio at the University of the Philippines. 

She was a prizewinner of Operalia International Opera Competition (Placido Domingo World Opera Contest, Hamburg) and the Cardiff Singer of the World competition, and has sung in the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, the Festspielhaus in Baden Baden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Gulbenkian Auditorium in Lisbon, the Kallang Theatre and Victoria Theatre in Singapore, the Glazunov Hall in St. Petersburg, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

Tickets are priced at Php 1500 / 1200 / 800 / 500 / 400, with discounts available to students, senior citizens, and groups.  For inquiries, please call the CCP Box Office at 8832-3704.

CCP Photos

#PPO #AndionFernandezChing #JeffreyChing #GerardSalonga #CCP #ClassicalMusic MyHeartStayedNumb #TheTrueStoryOfKingKong

‘Arte Povera: An Italian Landscape’ exhibit opens in MetMuseum, 1st time in SE Asia

By Ibarra C. Mateo

For the first time in Southeast Asia, the “Arte Povera: An Italian Landscape” exhibit can be seen at the Tall Galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila at the bank of the Central Bank of the Philippines.

The art exhibit opens a week after the critically acclaimed Philippine premiere of Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia de Lammermoor” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines featuring world famous Filipino tenor Arthur Espiritu as Edgardo di Ravenswood and French soprano Melody Louledjian as Lucia Ashton.

In the opera and the art exhibit, the Embassy of Italy in Manila collaborated with Filipino institutions and groups. In particular, for Arte Povera, the embassy worked with Security Bank and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.

Arte Povera runs from Feb. 10 to April 30, 2020.

Arte Povera: Italian Landscape captures one of the most pivotal points in the history of Italian contemporary art in the 1960s through the 1970s.

“The Arte Povera movement broke boundaries in traditional art-making through new engagemenst with audiences and an experimental approach in making life and everyday objects integral to art,” the museum said in a statement,

The exhibit features the masterpieces of 12 Italian artists who gave birth to the Arte Povera movement, namely Jannis Kounellis, Marisa Merz, Mario Merz, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gilberto Zorio Pier, Paolo Calzolari, Francesco Arena, and Gianni Caravaggio.

With an enduring influence from their time to present-day art practices, Arte Povera responded to the sociopolitical milieu in Italy during the time, the museum said.

The era was marked by industrialization, mechanization, and instability of the economy.

As a reaction to the perceived dominating abstract modernism in painting, Arte Povera artists focused on sculptural works and installation by using assemblages of cheap throwaway materials evoking a distinct Italian aesthetic.

“Arte Povera emphasizes the physicality of our daily lives,” the museum said.

Arte Povera: An Italian Landscape is curated by Danilo Eccher, a well-known Italian art critic and curator who served as director of several cultural institutions in Italy since 1989, including the Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea di Trento, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna in Bologna, Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, and the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Turin.

Eccher eventually became an independent curatorial practioner in 2015, working on solo exhibitions of artists such as Jannis Kounellis, Albert Oehlen, Sean Scully, and Christian Boltansk.

Images from the Metropolitan Museum of Manila

ArtePovera #ItalianLandscape #EmbassyOfItalyManila #Jannis Kounellis #MarisaMerz #Mario Merz #GiuseppePenone #MichelangeloPistoletto #GilbertoZorioPier #PaoloCalzolari #FrancescoArena #GianniCaravaggio