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Filipino Heritage Festival marks 20 years with ‘Pamana’ music, fashion show |

Arts and Culture

Filipino Heritage Festival marks 20 years with ‘Pamana’ music, fashion show

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo -

MANILA, Philippines — Ending the National Heritage Month this May on a high note is Filipino Heritage Festival’s 20th anniversary, marked with “Pamana: Woven Legacies through Fashion and Dance” yesterday in the grand ballroom of Manila Polo Club in Makati City.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Makati Mayor Abigail Binay were among the guests at yesterday’s fashion and musical extravaganza, which featured the works of esteemed Filipino fashion designers Patis Pamintuan Tesoro, Rhett Eala, Lulu Tan-Gan and Jo Ann Bitagcol, among others, modeled by beauty queen Samantha Bernardo, supermodels Ria Bolivar and Jasmine Maierhofer-Patrimonio, among many more.

Armita Rufino, Filipino Heritage Festival Inc. President, recalled that 20 years ago, Macapagal-Arroyo signed the presidential proclamation declaring May as National Heritage Month to preserve the country’s tangible and intangible heritage. Thus, in her opening remarks, Rufino said that yesterday’s show was in cooperation with ArteFino and with special participation of Dancespace Ballet School – ArteFino representing the weaves of communities as tangible heritage, and Dancespace’s performances as representative of the intangible ones.

Director Floy Quintos, who died recently, started writing the show’s script and program flow.

Rufino also recounted the foundation’s 20-year milestones, including hosting performances, exhibits, lectures, tours, setting sail two Vintas in the Manila Bay in partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard; mounting UNESCO Heritage-declared Indigenous Peoples’ performances in Cultural Center of the Philippines; and “capacity building to transform communities.”

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation continued championing for local heritage “via YouTube and Zoom,” she noted, and also held events in Singapore, China and Japan.

As mission and vision for the future, Rufino said that through their activities, they are “hoping that these will inculcate in the mind of the youth today the importance of knowing our heritage – knowing who we are and be able to pass to the next generation… Mabuhay ang lahing Pilipino!” — Video by Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo, video editing by Anjilica Andaya

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