Costumes are more colorful in Phl

(The Philippine Star) - May 11, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Costumes are objects of art. They can be visually engaging and sometimes mind-boggling. They are also cultural remnants, paying homage to a nation’s glorious history and unique heritage.

GMA Regional TV recently showed this as partner of Viva! Vigan! World Costume Festival 2013 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, with the support of the Heritage City of Vigan and Sinag Arts Foundation. This was another Kapuso step in bringing local flavor and festivity to national broadcast. The festival showcased the diverse colors and designs of Philippine costumes and also the harmony and unity in them. Thus, costumes are more colorful in the Philippines. The world costume festival also complemented Vigan’s Binatbatan Festival of the Arts.

The idea of hosting a world costume festival was broached by scenographer Rolly de Leon who was tapped by the Kapuso network to participate in the 2012 Rio Janeiro event dubbed RIO+20 UN meeting on Sustainable Development where it had a similar costume festival. Rolly spearheaded the art installation Tree of Dreams made of indigenous arnis sticks with the theme, What Future The Children Want.

To make things happen, Rolly approached the Heritage City of Vigan Mayor Eva Marie Medina, “who is into the arts and culture and (supports the) preservation of Vigan as a heritage site,” says AVP for Regional TV Oliver Amoroso. Rolly was in charge of inviting foreign delegates, while GMA 7 was in the thick of things in gathering representatives from top Philippine festivals. Participants came from countries such as the US, the Netherlands, Romania, Georgia, Brazil, Bangladesh and Indonesia. A jury was tasked to name the best and Indonesia won the Best Costume Festival 2013 Viva! Vigan! Grand Champion award.

“Rolly also identified the (Philippine) festivals with costumes which are intricately done and indigenous in each area,” Oliver adds, “(The chosen festivals) have their own uniqueness in their costumes and there’s a story behind the costume.”

Asked how unique the world costume festival is as compared with other festivals Filipinos are accustomed to, Oliver replies, “The focus is not on the performance but on the costume itself… The members of the jury also served as resource persons (on accessory and costume making).” There’s sharing of expertise and knowledge among regional and international designers.

This is a way of showing how costume making is at par in particular places and how to benchmark their creations. It will not only boost the efforts of preserving costume making as an art, but also the textile industry in each participating nation. To quote two of the missions of OISTAT (Organization of International Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians) where Rolly and other scenographer-delegates belong to, “(It) promotes the participation of individuals, alliances and institutions as well as the formation of OISTAT centers in all regions of the world… OISTAT enables the ongoing exchange of knowledge: Sharing innovations, encouraging experimentation and promoting international collaborations in the development of live performance as well as its technologies and the space that hosts it.”

The world costume festival in Vigan is a testament of OISTAT’s intention to meet the East and the West.

The awarding ceremony-cum-fashion show, where select Kapuso stars walked on the runway, culminated the event. They represented the fun feel and vibrant vibe of different festivals around the archipelago: Katrina Halili partnered with Arthur Solinap for Sublian; Mikael Daez, the Ati-Atihan; JC Tiuseco, Dinagyang; Wil Devaughn, Masskara; Bela Padilla, Paraw Regatta; Max Collins, Sinulog; Andrea Torres, Tawo-Tawo; Katrina and Mike Tan, Kaamulan; and Chloe Dauden, Kadayawan.

With the contingents’ works, one can say that costume making is still alive on this side of Earth.


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