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Cinema Rehiyon XV, Unity Dance, regional festivals: NCCA announces 2023 projects |

Arts and Culture

Cinema Rehiyon XV, Unity Dance, regional festivals: NCCA announces 2023 projects

Earl D.C. Bracamonte -
Cinema Rehiyon XV, Unity Dance, regional festivals: NCCA announces 2023 projects
The National Commission on Culture and the Arts is gearing up for a slew of activities for its 2023 calendar. / Earl D.C. Bracamonte

MANILA, Philippines — The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) revealed its 2023 flagship projects from the fields of music, dramatic arts, cinema, dance, literary arts, visual arts, architecture and the allied arts at the beginning of National Arts Month this February. 

"We have finally returned to on-site events. Experiencing the arts through our five senses is still a very exceptional experience. The combination of the senses has deepened our neural pathways in the brain, creating memorable moments to be long remembered. This year, the NCCA has calendared a nationwide array of activities for every Filipino," said NCCA executive director Oscar Casaysay.

In 1991, the National Arts Month celebration was promulgated by the late President Corazon Aquino, through Proclamation No. 683, which declared February of each year as a month that celebrates Filipino artistic excellence, as well as pay tribute to the uniqueness and diversity of Filipino heritage and culture.

This year's celebration underscores the capacity of the arts to heal, rebuild and restore in a post-pandemic setting.

The different dances in the Philippines.                                                                                                                                                      Earl D.C. Bracamonte

"This is a time of pride and nationalism. The national leadership has given recognition to the celebration of our arts and culture, showcasing the best of Filipino creations and their creators. Meanwhile, 10,200 freelance cultural workers have been extended aid during the height of the pandemic," said deputy executive director Marichu Tellano.

The National Arts Month 2023 highlights Philippine artistic excellence through the theme "Ani ng Sining, Bunga ng Galing," which aims to immerse Filipinos in diverse cultural expressions and celebrate the "bountiful harvest" from the Filipino's creative imagination.

"While the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) guidelines considered art as non-essential, a survey conducted by the NCCA revealed the following observations — it afforded 'pagbubuklod-buklod ng bayan,' that it was a form of entertainment, it promoted mental health and wellbeing. It was a transmitter of values, and, more importantly, it afforded Filipinos an identity as a race. The arts makes us proud," said Dr. Alvin Manuel Villalon, who chairs the Music committee.

Several committees shared the various programs and projects on their 2023 calendar. Among these are the 8 Living Cultures (including indigenous and pop culture), the Musikapuluan project that will culminate with the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) awards night, a walking tour of the Rizal Park and Cinema Rehiyon XV featuring 100 filmmakers. 

Dance will also take center stage featuring activities such as the Unity Dance and the Sayaw Pinoy featuring traditional, folk, neo-classical, ballroom, hip-hop and ballet traditions. 

A plenary on Panitikan ng Alaala (Literature of Memory), art camp on mural making, theater workshops highlighting the use of traditional instruments and Tanghal's 17th year featuring four regional festivals — one each from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the National Capital Region — are also included in this year's activities. 

The Higantes Festival feature giant papier-mâché puppets.                                                                                                                       Earl D.C. Bracamonte

"We need to support the platform of artists and their works, as well as develop new platforms for the arts in general. We redefine the new normal for the arts in a much bigger and exciting way and to recognize the important role of the arts to serve the greater good despite the prevailing conditions," remarked NCCA chairman Victorino Mapa Manalo.

The opening salvo takes place on Sunday, February 12, at the Rizal Park open-air auditorium through afternoon and evening performances showcasing, among others, workshops, poetry and story readings, and film excerpts from the seven featured art forms.

RELATED: National Arts Month: Must-know Filipino artists, must-visit exhibits

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