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NCCA concludes extended National Arts Month celebration |

Arts and Culture

NCCA concludes extended National Arts Month celebration

Kristofer Purnell -
NCCA concludes extended National Arts Month celebration
Concluding photo opportunity during the National Arts Month and Sayaw Pinoy 2023 finale in Silay, Negros Occidental / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) officially concluded celebrations for 2023's National Arts Month (NAM) with dual closing ceremonies held in Silay, Negros Occidental.

Often celebrated every February, the NCCA decided to extend NAM celebrations until March in order to include and visit more locations around the Philippines, in a way also making up for the past two years of celebrations that were done virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result the NCCA were also able to bring NAM to provinces such as Pangasinan and Sultan Kadarat in March.

The NAM finale also coincided with the end of Sayaw Pinoy 2023 — the country's longest-running touring dance concert — which concluded with visits to cities around Negros Occidental while in Bagio was the conclusion of Cinema Rehiyon.

Newly-elected NCCA chair Victorino Manalo was instrumental in the decision to end NAM in Silay, which during a finale program referred to it as the "cultural and intellectual hub of Negros" and birthplace of the late architect and National Artist Leandro Locsin.

The NAM finale featured a performance by singer-songwriter and former NCCA ambassador Ice Seguerra, who amid technical difficulties performed his hit song "Pagdating ng Panahon" as well as covers of "Tadhana," "Buwan," Ang Huling El Bimbo," and "Sa Piling ni Nanay" — the latter he dedicated to all mothers, including his own.

The Sayaw Pinoy finale made up a majority of the performances to conclude NAM, a testament to its 17-year run that had involved 400 cities and municipalities and over 100 dance groups from different genres.

Participating in the NAM Finale were the De La Salle Chorale, Performance Laboratory, Musikat, San-aw Dance Troupe, Tribugok Dance Troupe, Maskara Theater Ensemble, Tribu ni Kasuljay, Kagayon Dance Company and VMA Poseidon Dance Theater.

The latter two groups had previously performed in the Kabankalan City, Himamaylan City and Cadiz City legs of Sayaw Pinoy around Negros Occidental, as did Sindaw Philippines, Halili Cruz Dance Company, JCrisis and Melengas Dance Ensemble.

The latter four groups meanwhile also contributed to a collaborative performance put together by Sayaw Pinoy director and NCCA's dance committee head Shirley Halili-Cruz; she also choreographed the unity dance that formally closed NAM 2023.

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