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Arts&Culture (10/18/23)

Ryan Cayabyab holds first solo painting exhibit

National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab will unveil over 50 paintings at his first solo exhibition titled “Tunay na Ligaya,” which will run from Oct. 21 to Nov. 5 at the Power Plant Mall, Rockwell in Makati. During the prolonged lull in live performances during the pandemic, Cayabyab revisited an old love in painting when he grew curious about acrylic as a medium. While his last major brush with the visual arts pre-pandemic was when he won the YMCA National Art Competition in 1968 at 14 years old, he continued to doodle and draw constantly in the years that followed. In 2022, the pandemic gave him an opportunity to rediscover his passion with more gusto, both as a means to cope with the challenges of the time and as a way to reinvent himself as an artist. “Tunay na Ligaya” showcases seven collections of Cayabyab’s various visual experiments: “Red” in bold sunset hues; “Estilo” in geometric neoplasticism; “Riprap” in the use of model paste; “Hardin” in vivid, bursting florals; “Dreams” in fluid color play; “Explorations” in modernist lines and strokes; and the headline “Eyefie” series, a 16-part collection drawing inspiration from the 16 voices of Cayabyab’s first, iconic record, One (1981). A second show for “Tunay na Ligaya” is slated for Nov. 10 to 26, at the East Wing of Estancia Mall, Pasig. Inquiries regarding the art pieces may be directed to Ma. Dinah Remolacio (, 0998-556-1158).

NCCA celebrates National Indigenous People’s Month

THE National Indigenous People’s (IP) Month will officially be celebrated on Oct. 20 to 21 at the Metropolitan Theater and Aroceros Park, both in Manila, as per Presidential Proclamation No. 1906 from 2009, which mandates the “recognition and protection of the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs)/IPs.” The National Commission for Culture and the Arts will mark the occasion by opening an arts and crafts fair, with demonstrations and workshops, at the Arroceros Park. They will also launch an IP exhibit at the Metropolitan Theater’s Gallery of Stars. Selected universities will be taking part in a cultural outreach with the IPs. This year’s theme is “Buháy na Dunong: Pagkamalikhain at Kalikasan” (Living Heritage: Creativity and Nature), which highlights how both the creativity of the IP and the richness of nature sustain intangible cultural heritage, according to the NCCA. Admission is free for the two-day event.

Vic Balanon solo exhibition at MO_Space

VICTOR Balanon’s latest solo exhibition, “ad nauseam ad infinitum,” asks some important questions about art-making and creativity. Throughout the years, working as artist, animator, and video maker, Mr. Balanon has put under scrutiny the painstaking process that artists must go through in keeping themselves “creative,” as once creativity becomes constant, it becomes routine. The show demonstrates the artist’s own take on art’s renewal, using his signature monochromatic compositions that involve both object and animation. “ad nauseam ad infinitum” is open for public viewing at MO_Space in B2, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, from Oct. 21 to Nov. 19.

Miss Saigon coming to Manila in 2024

THE heat is on in Manila as GMG Productions, in association with GWB Entertainment, has announced that Cameron Mackintosh’s globally acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Miss Saigon is heading to The Theatre at Solaire. The internationally acclaimed show has just completed a successful run at the Sydney Opera House and, following limited seasons in Melbourne and Adelaide, will land in Manila, a city that has a deep connection with this musical, in March 2024. Following the success of Hamilton in Manila, Carlos Candal, GMG Productions’ CEO, said that Miss Saigon has been “the stage where countless Filipino artists have had their moment to shine,” including Lea Salonga, Jon Jon Briones, Joanna Ampil, Rachelle Ann Go, and countless others. “We’re excited to welcome a new company of world-class performers to share the new staging of this phenomenal production,” he added. Miss Saigon, a retelling of Giacomo Puccini’s classic opera Madame Butterfly set in 1970s Vietnam, first premiered in London’s West End in 1989. The award-winning musical has since been seen by 38 million people worldwide, staged in 32 countries, in over 350 cities, and in 15 different languages over the years. Tickets will be on sale for the Manila staging on Nov. 6 via TicketWorld. Theatre fans can also enjoy exclusive first access to the show with UnionBank of the Philippines as the show’s official sponsor and pre-sale partner or through the GMG Miss Saigon waitlist at The pre-sale period will run from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3.

Eight Virgin Labfest writing fellows will go to Visayas

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) takes its two-week mentorship program on the study and practice of dramatic writing for the stage, dubbed the Virgin Labfest (VLF) Writing Fellowship Program, to the Visayas region this November. The program follows the basic curriculum observed by the VLF Writing Fellowship Program in Manila, but caters to the cultural geography of the regions to better represent the voices and experiences of its fellows. The regional leg, in partnership with The Performance Laboratory, Inc., will take place online and onsite from Nov. 7 to 18 at the Negros Museum in Bacolod City. The eight new fellows are Andy Moleño Abellar, Ursula P. David, Jalene Isabel J. Dumancas, Kym Lance G. Gelvero, Alessandro Kennz Nioda, Crystal Puying, Yehudi Sumalinog Santillan III, and Richard Bermejo Tolosa, Jr. They will be mentored by award-winning playwright Glenn Sevilla Mas, and will be given the opportunity to immerse themselves in Virgin Labfest Visayas’s Lab-as, the regional counterpart of CCP’s largest theater festival of untried, untested, and unstaged one-act plays as part of their mentorship. It will conclude with a staged reading of the fellows’ works on Nov. 18, also at the Negros Museum.

The M exhibit looks at PH-UK parallel histories

A COLLECTION of works by experimental filmmakers working in the Philippines and the United Kingdom from 1990 onwards will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila in Bonifacio Global City starting Oct. 26. The exhibit, “Parallel Histories: Moving Image from the Philippines and the United Kingdom,” focuses on works that illustrate the historical parallels between the two countries. It is curated by Erwin Romulo and presented in partnership with the British Council in the Philippines. The exhibition portrays experiences and artistic visions influenced by cultural, social, and political conflicts of their respective eras and milieu. It pairs Filipino and British moving image works that respond — and even protest — to these sweeping changes. The collection will be on view at The M in BGC, Taguig, until Dec. 31.

Woodwinds concert with Lara Maigue, Gian Magdangal

THE unique timbres of woodwind instruments will be showcased in the third installment of the CCP Out-of-the-Box Series (OOTB) of concerts, featuring the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) Woodwind Quintet, along with singers Lara Maigue and Gian Magdangal, on Oct. 27 and 28 at the Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez (CCP Blackbox Theater), CCP Complex, Pasay City. Here, the spotlight is on the woodwind quintet, which doesn’t get as much exposure compared to the string section. The ensemble concert will feature familiar selections of classical music and beloved Filipino tunes. The Woodwind Quintet is composed of bassoonist Frenvee Andra, oboe player John Peter Bautista, French horn player Ernani Pascual, flautist Marie Poblete, and clarinetist Ariel Sta. Ana. Soprano Lara Maigue will perform Giulio Caccini’s “Ave Maria,” while musical theater artist Gian Magdangal will cover National Artist Ryan Cayabyab’s Hibang sa Awit. The real-life couple will then perform a Swift Duet. Tickets for the concert are available at the CCP Box Office and at TicketWorld.

Joseph Emmanuel Garcia

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