Young Star

Poetic justice

Rogin Losa - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Last week was anything but chill. There were issues abound the metro, ranging from the nation’s socio-political state to the unbearable traffic. Put your own personal issues as the cherry on top and you’ll have a stress-filled Sunday! Poor attempt on wordplay aside, the previous week was just stressful for everyone involved. Everything was so entangled that a breather was a must. For the people who were in the know or found themselves at Satchimi last Aug. 29, finding a way to unwind became effortless. They simply had to do one thing — Tindig.

The Polaris Project, an organization showcasing the creatives of the local scene, held their annual spoken word event entitled “Tindig” last Saturday. The event itself wasn’t grand or super-heavy, at least not in a way that comes off as a bore. It was the word “chill” personified and that’s exactly what the week needed. A lot of people wanted to find solace after such a rowdy week and Polaris provided. In a way it was a contradiction. The atmosphere was calm but the spoken words weren’t. The theme for the night was feminism. The crowd may have been chill, but the artists were ruthless and heated — in the best way possible, of course. Polaris’ very own Olivia Solomon got the crowd’s first snaps with her heartfelt piece called “Pretty Ugly.” It dealt with body image and the concept of beauty. Other notable pieces of the night were from Patti Ramos’ “Stone,” a retelling of Pygmalion and Galatea, which tackled a woman’s worth. Another piece with a more political stance was Lakan Umali’s “Factory Woman.” It dealt with the tragedy that befell factory workers of Kentex Manufacturing last May 13. Young Star’s very own Jam Pascual also performed at the event with his poem entitled “Prayer.” Trisha O’Bannon was the last spoken word poet, closing the night with “The Algernon Effect,” which tackled self-worth and image.

Apart from food for thought through spoken word, ear food was also served through various acoustic sets. Music for the night was provided by indie gems of the music scene, like Reese Lansangan, Hannah + Gabi, Aly Cabral from Ourselves the Elves, and BP Valenzuela’s side project Half Lit, to name a few. The sets, both spoken word and acoustic, were truly communal. It was the product of what a relaxed atmosphere and art being shared could achieve. Sam Gonzales, co-founder of Polaris, was asked about the appeal of events similar to “Tindig” and the thirst of the public for it. “People want to find art and culture. It’s appealing when they come together. And then, on some level, they relate to it. They feel it,” she says. “The good thing when we have new, unknown people is you discover gems. Through these events we discover who the best in the scene are.” When asked about spoken word being the heart of the org, she gives a surprising response: “The heart right now is talent in many forms. That’s what we want to see. We want to see these passionate people in whatever art form they want and we want to bring people who are interested in these talents. We want to let people know they exist. Poetry is just a part of it,” she explains.

That being the case, what’s next for Polaris? “We plan to make a store that will carry art, music, film, and a bunch of other things. We want to be a hub. When you’re lying down at night thinking, ‘Where are all the Filipinos who will get me to feel things?’ I want you to go to the store and we’ll have something for you there.”

Through this event we got a peek at this future plan that Polaris has under wraps. The future may be uncertain, but expect a lot of art, feelings and impeccably great timing. It gives off some Woodstock vibes, though you have to admit: you’ll take Woodstock over another EDSA carmageddon in a heartbeat.












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