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NCCA celebrates National Arts Month with onsite and online activities

THE NATIONAL Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) celebrates this year’s National Arts Month (NAM) with both online and physical activities from February to March.

Themed “Ani ng Sining, Bunga ng Galing,” this year’s celebration aims “to immerse Filipinos in diverse cultural expressions and celebrate the bountiful harvest from the Filipino imagination,” a press release stated.

NCCA Executive Director Oscar G. Casaysay noted the word “galing” which refers to excellence in the arts as both a source of bounty despite challenging times, and a product of the passion of Filipino artists and cultural workers.

“It also underscores the capacity of the arts to heal, reveal, and restore in a post pandemic setting,” Mr. Casaysay said in a speech at a press conference announcing the activities on Feb. 1 at the Metropolitan Theater in Manila.

“[The arts allow] us to preserve and collect stories. It can be a personal story, story of a community, or story of a nation and presented in an art form that is allowed to be appreciated no matter if that person is from that community or not, whether they went through that experience or not,” beauty queen and NCCA Arts ambassador Catriona Gray said.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the NCCA was able to give 10,212 affected freelance artists and cultural workers financial assistance.

“They (the artists) are back into creating works and many of that we will harvest during this National Arts Month celebration. Kaya ang ating mga events ay dadalhin natin sa iba’t ibang probinsya para ma-showcase iyung ating mga artists (Our activities will be brought to various provinces to showcase our artists) who continue to create works in the different art forms,” NCCA Deputy Executive Director Marichu Tellano said.

The festivities will kick off with an opening ceremony on Feb. 12 at the Rizal Park Open-Air Auditorium showcasing various performances, workshops, a poem and story reading, and film excerpts. There will be a walking tour and workshops on visual arts, action-song for theater, dance, indigenous music, short film making using smartphone, and spoken word performances from 2 to 4 p.m. From 6-8 p.m., there will be performances by singer Joey Ayala, Kalinga Music, spoken word poetry, classical guitar, a rondalla, and a theater performance, among others.

THE ACTIVITIESThe architecture and allied arts committee will host a hybrid-webinar series called Saan Ka Lulugar 2023: Resiliency in the Built and Design Environment which will discuss how interior and exterior spaces changed in the new normal. It will include hybrid webinars, an exhibition, and walking tours that highlight the history and significance of selected sites in the context of their communities and how they have stood the test of time attesting to their resilience. It will be held on Feb. 27 at the Metropolitan Theater, and March 3 in Cebu City.

The committee on cinema will host the 15th Cinema Rehiyon, a festival that promote films that tell stories rooted in the culture of the regions. It will provide an opportunity for regional filmmakers — first-timers, veterans, amateurs, professionals — to show their films to a wider audience and to provide an opportunity for regional filmmakers to build networks. It will be held in various venues in Baguio City on March, with onsite and online activities such as film talks with an online component, and on ground screenings, talkbacks and round table discussions. The schedule will be announced on the NCC Facebook page (

The dance committee’s Sayaw Pinoyfestivalwill host a show on Feb. 19 at Manila’s Rizal Park, with more performances on Feb. 23 to 24 in Kalibo, Aklan, Feb. 27 in San Fernando and Mabalacat, Pampanga, and March 29 to 30 in Bacolod. Founded by artistic director Dr. Shirley Halili-Cruz, Sayaw Pinoy aims to provide venue for established and upcoming dance groups to interact, exchange choreographic ideas, discover more groups from the regions and provide them with opportunities to showcase their works.

The 17th TANGHALunder the dramatic arts committee will consist of two components — regional live theater performances in in-person festivals in each island cluster, and a national online festival wherein the performances at the regional festivals will be videoed, edited, uploaded, and disseminated through online platforms. The schedule of activities will be announced later.

The National Committee on Literary Arts (NCLA) will conduct Panitikan ng Panumduman, an on-site conference that will delve into the “literature of memory” within and along the strands of Klima (Climate), Kuwerpo (Body), and Kronika (Chronicle). The two-day public plenary event will have National Artists Resil Mojares and Jimmy Abad as the keynote speakers. There will be a tribute to the literary stalwarts of Pangasinan like the late National Artist F. Sionil Jose, Carlos Bulosan, and Maria Magsano, as well as a launch of four literary publications by the NCLA. The schedule of activities will be announced on the NCLA Facebook page (

Musikapuluan: Mga Bagong Tugtugin Natin is the project of the National Committee on Music (NCM) with the aim to provide a venue for different music forms and genres from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the National Capital Region to showcase their works. The program will enable different musicians, choirs, symphonic bands and orchestras, and production teams to be innovative in these uncertain times. To provide more space for artistic expressions, newly created works and music will be showcased through a four-weekend program. The schedule of activities is to be announced at a later date.

The committee on visual arts will present the Bagong Biswal festival which is composed of three sections: Sineng Sining, Sining Sinag, and Sining Biswal. Sineng Sining features videos from artists/groups with in-community art engagements related to visual arts activities such as art therapy workshops, public performance art, new media or video engagements, street art initiatives, art residency programs, and art education campaigns. “Sining Sinag” is a physical art exhibit which will include artist’s talks and fellowship activities. Sining Biswal Scene is an introduction of artists and their works, with discussions on a variety of topics including copyright, production and praxis, return to the native, ageless artmaking, street art now, new media, and exploration of possible solutions. The schedule of activities is to be announced on the NCVA Facebook page (

This year, the NCCA will also host the Ani ng Dangal awarding ceremony which recognizes artists, cultural workers and works that have earned international awards and accolades during the past year. Details for this year’s Ani ng Dangal have yet to be announced.

For more information, visit the NCCA Facebook page ( — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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