NCCA Prepares for a Grand Feast of the Arts at the Philippine Arts Festival 2014

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) goes full throttle in the preparation for a grand, national fete of the arts, designed to engage everybody in the edifying and enriching experience that art can bring.

The Philippines celebrates the National Arts Month (NAM) during February since the signing of Presidential Proclamation 683 in 1991. As the country’s main agency for the arts and culture, the NCCA, headed by its chairman Felipe de Leon, Jr., leads in celebrating National Arts Month with the Philippine Arts Festival (PAF).

Spearheaded by the NCCA’s Subcommission on the Arts, PAF comprises mainly the flagship projects of the seven committees of the subcommission–architecture, cinema, dance, literature, music, theater, and the visual arts. It aims to highlight the artistic talent and brilliance of the Filipino people. Initially centering around the National Capital Region, PAF activities will be held all over the country in order to reach as many people as possible.

With private and government agencies as partners, PAF 2014 promises to be an exhilarating celebration of the arts with workshops, exhibitions, forums, performances, and many other events participated in by numerous artists.

For 2014, PAF has taken the theme “Art on the Edge,” highlighting the advancements achieved in different art forms, the innovations, the modern evolution of art, and the artistic creations in the peripheries.

The seven committees of the NCCA’s Subcommission on the Arts have prepared a rich repertoire of activities and events.

The National Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts, headed by architect Gerard Lico, will hold several exhibitions, conferences, lectures and competitions on Philippine architecture and allied arts, collectively called Archi[types/texts] 2014.

The National Committee on Cinema, headed by Dr. Miguel Rapatan, will hold Cinema Rehiyon 6 in Cagayan de Oro City on Feb. 19-22 with screenings and forums that focus on the film productions from the regions. Independent filmmakers from Baguio, Pampanga, Calabarzon, Naga, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Zamboanga and others will showcase their latest films. Film curators, festival programmers, and film enthusiasts will also be in attendance.

The National Committee on Dance, headed by Shirley Halili-Cruz, will present Sayaw Pinoy, the longest-running NAM project with a full house audience in every performance. It will tour dance concerts showcasing the different dance forms (folk, ballet, hiphop, and contemporary) by various dance companies, performing back to back with upcoming dance groups. Now on its 11th year, Sayaw Pinoy will spread the beauty of dance in key areas all over the country. Sayaw Pinoy will underline the dance icons in the major venues of the event in the different cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Dance workshops and artists dialogues will be participated in by visiting and local dancers, choreographers, directors, and SPA teachers from the different regions.

The National Committee on Literary Arts, headed by Priscilla Macansantos, will mount the literary arts festival, Taboan 2014: Philippine Literary Arts Festival, to be held at the Subic Freeport Zone on February 24-26, 2014. Taboan 2014 will gather writers, teachers and students for forums, lectures, a book fair, literary readings, performances, arts and crafts exhibits, cultural tours, other satellite projects, and an awards ceremony for outstanding writers from the regions.

The National Committee on Music, headed by Prof. Felipe de Leon, Jr., will stage the Taal-Tunugan, wherein a new musical ensemble will be trained and then toured using musical instruments they made themselves from scraps and other recycled materials. Â The Taal-Tunugan is aimed at resonating the sounds and or music found in different communities in the Philippines that utilize locally-crafted musical instruments.

The National Committee on Dramatic Arts, headed by Lutgardo Labad, will hold Tanghal 2014, a theater festival underscoring the works and achievements of community and university-based theater groups.

The National Committee on Visual Arts, headed by Nemesio Miranda, will hold the Philippine Visual Arts Festival (PVAF) in Tacloban, which will gather visual artists from all over the country for a lineup of activities including conferences, exhibitions, competitions, workshops, painting sessions, tours, and many others. This is will be held on Feb. 20-24.

Aside from these, there are other components of PAF. The opening ceremony, to be held in Roxas City, Capiz, on January 31, 2014, is not to be missed because it is a rousing start of the colorful celebration filled with performances and other activities that will afford attendees a foretaste of the seven arts and their sumptuous offerings.

Also of importance is the second Likha Asya festival and conference on community theater, creative industries and community-based tourism, a cross-cultural exchange of experiences and expertise in the creative industries and cultural tourism between Lihok Bisaya, a cultural association of seven community-based cultural groups in the Visayas region, and similar groups in Asia striving for sustainable livelihoods.

The Ani ng Dangal awarding ceremony honors Filipino artists who are recognized with top honors in international awards, competitions and festivals. It will be held on February 2, 2014, at the Newport Performing arts Theater in Resorts World Manila.

It may be the shortest month of the year, but expect February to be brimming with wonderful events with the Philippine Arts Festival.