Philippine International Arts Festival 2011 This February

This February 2011, the Philippines marks 20 years of celebrating National Arts Month through a month-long fete, the Philippine International Arts Festival (PIAF). The festival’s impressive lineup of activities is designed to further Philippine art and the Filipino’s regard for local arts and culture. The celebration is organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ (NCCA) Subcommission for the Arts, headed by Commissioner Ricardo de Ungria. The subcommission comprises the seven arts, architecture, cinema, dance, literature, music, theater, and visual arts.

PIAF’s tagline is “Ani ng Sining,” and the celebration will indeed prove to be a harvest for the arts. Thousands of local artists and cultural workers will gather all over the Philippines for the biggest artistic celebration to date. Joining in the festivities are artists from Japan, Lithuania, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. Celebrations will be all over the archipelago, with four foci, National Capital Region, Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon.

The celebration per area will comprise workshops, exhibitions, forums, and performances and grand opening programs participated in by representatives of all the seven arts. The Grand Opening Program for the National Capital Region is slated for January 30 at Rizal Park in Manila. For Mindanao it will be at People’s Park in Davao City on February 6. Visayas will have its Grand Opening Program on February 13 at the Bacolod Provincial Capitol. And the Grand Opening Program for Luzon is on February 20 at Burnham Park in Baguio City. All four Grand Opening Programs will feature elaborate performances, exhibitions, and parades.

The Grand Opening Program for the National Capital Region is a day-long affair with workshops conducted by artists belonging to the seven arts kicking off the celebration. The workshops will then be followed by a Grand Parade participated in by various marching bands and dancing contingents from all over Metro Manila, local artists, National Artists, officials, and the NCCA’s two ambassadors, Boy Abunda and Dingdong Dantes.

The seven arts, represented by their respective NCCA National Committees, will be holding special activities in concordance with PIAF.  Like in the previous years, these activities are held in various locations and with touring components to further promote the arts in the whole archipelago.


The Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts will be holding several exhibitions, conferences, and competitions to mark the celebration of PIAF 2011. The exhibitions revolve around various themes and topics from the morphology of Filipino buildings and colonial urbanism is the American development of Manila to architectural postcards and the relationship between architecture and fashion.


The National Committee on Cinema is holding CinemaRehiyon 3. The festival features screenings and forums that focus on the artistic endeavors in cinema from the regions. To add further interest to the festival, films from Taiwan are set to be screened with the movies from the regions.


The National Committee on Dance will be presenting Sayaw Pinoy as its contribution to PIAF. Sayaw Pinoy, the longest-running Arts Month project and one of the most attended, has been part of the PIAF for the past eight years. This year’s project will be touring 21 key areas nationwide, with featured performances from Cambodia, Thailand, Brunei and Vietnam.


The National Committee on Literature is participating in PIAF via the literary arts festival, Taboan. Envisioned to gather some 80 national and international writers, Taboan Philippines International Writers Festival 2011 will be held in Davao City. The best writers of the country will compose the national delegation, while award-winning writers from Hong Kong, Australia, and Singapore will be joining the international delegation. The Taboan components will include panel discussions, lectures, outreach and school visitation programs, a book fair, literary readings and performances, and the Taboan Awards.


The National Committee on Music, will be staging Organik Muzik 3 in Manila, Davao, Puerto Princesa, and Dumaguete with the special participation of musicians from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Organik Muzik 3 is aimed at bringing a variety of cultural influences that are not readily accessible through the mass media to a broader and younger society. It will feature concert tours and workshops for local artists, students, and educators.


The National Committee on Dramatic Arts will be holding the fifth installment of Tanghal: University Theater Festival for PIAF. Tanghal is a gathering of university-based theaters and student artists nationwide. Tanghal 5’s main activities will be held in the Visayas, specifically Bacolod. The University of St. La Salle, Colegio San Agustin, and West Negros University will be the venues in Bacolod.

An added feature of this year’s Tanghal celebration is the first Manila International Monodrama Festival with delegates from Lithuania, United States of America, Cambodia, and Fujaira of the United Arab Emirates joining in.

Visual Arts

For the Committee on Visual Arts, the hub of celebration is Boracay, where they will hold the Philippine International Visual Arts Festival (PIVAF). This year’s visual arts festival will be focusing on the traditional Philippine tattoo art practices, methods, and designs.   Special events, exhibitions, and lectures will explore specialized tattoo topics such as the elaborate Pintados etchings, the delicate patterns of the Bontoc Igorot and the Kalinga and Ifugao people, and the unique designs of the T’bolis in Mindanao. As has been tradition for PIVAF, body painting will be one of the festival highlights. Guest artists from Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, and Thailand will be participating in PIVAF 2011.

Although the core of PIVAF is in Boracay, there will be PIVAF activities in satellite venues all over the country. In Luzon, PIVAF will have events in Angono, Rizal and Isabela. In the Visayas, it will be in Cebu City. And in Mindanao, it will be in Davao City.

The annual celebration of National Arts Month came into being with Presidential Proclamation 683, in 1991, declaring February as National Arts Month. Since then the celebration has grown into the international artistic event that it is. The Philippine International Arts Festival is a grand celebration of the myriad wonders of Philippine arts and culture and is a testament to the synergistic nature of the arts as it blurs form, genre, and national boundaries to create new ways of expression.

The public is invited to participate in PIAF 2011. Given the large number of activities and locations, there is bound to be a PIAF event happening nearby.

For more details on the activities and schedules, contact PIAF Media Director and NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) Head, Rene Sanchez Napenas at (632)527-2192 or 0928-508-1057, or PIAF Deputy Festival Manager, Vanessa Nicolas at 0918-6380412.  Email us at