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Ormoc culminates National Arts Month 2024 celebration with 'Pagsaulog' |

Arts and Culture

Ormoc culminates National Arts Month 2024 celebration with 'Pagsaulog'

Earl D.C. Bracamonte -
Ormoc culminates National Arts Month 2024 celebration with 'Pagsaulog'
The husband-and-wife tandem and local government officials Lucy Torres-Gomez and Richard Gomez at the culmination of the National Arts Month 2024 celebration in Ormoc City. / Earl D.C. Bracamonte  

ORMOC CITY, Philippines — City chief executive Lucy Torres Gomez and Leyte's 4th district solon gamely moved to the beat of the Unity Dance at the close of the "Pagsaulog" (Visayan term for celebration), together with the performers and spectators, to mark the finale of the city's 45-day National Arts Month 2024 celebration.

"Cultural mapping was set in place when I was the mayor of Ormoc. The culture and arts scene of the city is so much alive. It helps us understand who we are as a people. The NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts), on the other hand, simply fine-tunes what is innate in people," said Rep. Richard Gomez.

Participants from schools and local goverment units joined workshops on theater arts, music and dance in various venues days before the finale held in Ormoc City Museum's Grand Staircase grounds.

The Ormoc Sports Center and STI College Campus hosted workshops on contemporary/modern movements to ballet dancers and gave DanceSport sessions to children and persons with disabilities (PWDs), while the festival dance forum was an interaction of several street dancing choreographers.

Choreographers started as dancers before they got to design dance routines. In the medium of dance, it is body language that tells the story. Festivals are popular around the archipelago. There is always one in every LGU unit, especially during charter day celebrations.

Art as savior

"This is my first time to be mayor after serving twelve years as congresswoman. Our strong arts program helsp us to remember our history as people. Ormoc has a dark past. We were the drug capital of the region then. Life is hard enough. Arts soften the blow, one day at a time.

"The more we understand, the more we'll appreciate people. Sports, too, helped us rise from the darkness. And when we received accolades from the efforts of our young citizens, a more progressive Ormoc slowly took shape. We are also called a 'sexy city' because of our sea and mountains. Every Wednesday, I marry couples in my sala, where they tell me that they met the first time either in the city's sea wall or the church," said the lady mayor.

Ormoc City has been chosen as the lone official festival site for the Visayas region. The other festival sites included in the lineup were Pasig (National Capital Region), Calabarzon (Luzon), as well as Zamboanga and Koronadal (Mindanao).

The National Arts Month 2024 celebration culminated in the Art Capital of the Philippines, the town of Angono, in the province of Rizal. The annual celebration was made into a law, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 683 issued by then President Corazon C. Aquino in 1991, declaring February as National Arts Month to celebrate artistic excellence and pay tribute to the uniqueness and diversity of the Filipino heritage and culture.

RELATED: NCCA holds art, upcycling workshops for students in Zamboanga City

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