San Lo Village chair presents ‘Filipinescas’/ Living Canopy launched
SUNDRY STROKES - Rosalinda L. Orosa () - May 18, 2005 - 12:00am
The cultured and highly dynamic San Lorenzo Village Barangay chairperson Joshua John C. Santiago and the Barangay Council have conceptualized a whole-day "Balik-Katutubo" fiesta for the entire village on May 21.

From 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., the Ati-Atihan Band will sound a wake-up call formally declaring the celebration open. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. there will be a food fair, native games, rides, arts and crafts, a sale of Filipiniana books – these activities to be climaxed by a performance of "Filipinescas: Philippine Life, Legend and Lore in Dance" as choreographed by Leonor Orosa Goquingco, the only living national artist for dance.

At the food fair, regional delicacies and specialties will be on sale; villagers and visitors will be treated to free taho in the morning and dirty ice cream in the afternoon.

Traditional games such as basag palayok, hagisan ng itlog, sang kayaw, palo sebo, ihip ng barya will be held in the morning with a demonstration of yoyo and arnis, followed in the afternoon by other native games, these to be highlighted by a giant pabitin.

A hands-on workshop will demonstrate Ifugao and/or Mangyan weaving with a backstrap loom. In cooperation with the National Museum, painting, carving and etching on polished bamboo will be demonstrated as also basic mat weaving. Bulacan artisans will show paper-cutting for pastillas, "puni"-coconut leaf folding, "singkaban" bamboo shaving for decor, and buntal hat-making.

There will be a sale of in-demand arts and crafts from indigenous groups: Kalinga, Ifugao, Gaddang, Yakan, Tausog, Maguindanao, Maranao and Mangyan. A wide variety of Filipiniana books will be on sale likewise.

At a dance workshop, residents of Barangay San Lorenzo will participate in Pangalay and Asalto for Maria Clara, with Julie Alagde as special guest artist.

At 6:30 p.m., a pica-pica buffet will precede the eagerly awaited program "Filipinescas: Philippine Life, Legend and Lore in Dance," with the scholars of St. Benilde College performing The Legends of the Creation, Tribal Story, Morolandia, The Flagellant, Sabong, Asalto for Maria Clara and The Bird.

"Filipinescas" choreographer Leonor Orosa Goquingco pioneered in revolutionizing the Philippine folk dances, stylizing and elevating them to a creative and artistic level while transmuting them into her own original choreography based on her own story lines.

Last staged in 1974, "Filipinescas" vanished from public view after garnering unprecedently glowing praise here and abroad. Thirty years later, the revived "Filipinescas" will be presented on May 21 by Barangay San Lorenzo in a preview of its grand reappearance at the CCP main theater Aug. 19, 20 and 21.

The late Oxonian Jesuit Fr. James Donelan of Ateneo U., after seeing "Filipinescas" in 1963, commented: "A vivid, unforgettable reincarnation of Philippine cultural history and of the history and spirit of the Filipino people."

The late National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, after seeing "Filipinescas" in 1961, wrote in part: "Tomorrow’s dancers will be specially indebted to Leonor Orosa who showed how Philippine dance can express the drama of our lives, and who created the mold in which it is now presented. Filipinescas is the peak: in this resumé of Philippine culture from pagan to modern times, the native dance has been brought to its highest stage of development. No further progress in this direction seems possible."
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On the afternoon of May 24, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Gaudencio B. Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, will launch a first-of-a-kind interactive CD-ROM at Villa Immaculada Reception and Garden Complex directly behind the Manila Cathedral.

The CD-ROM, entitled Living Canopy, and produced by the Manila Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (MACC) in cooperation with the Archdiocesan Archives and the Archdiocese of Manila Museum, covers the birth and growth of the Manila Archdiocese and its role throughout Philippine history.

MACC chair Fr. Gabriel Casal, working with Dr. Miguel Rapatan, department head of the De la Salle U’s Center for Multimedia, and Joji Ravina of Media Motions Production, observes with logic: "It is admirable that Living Canopy manages to include so much hitherto unpublished material."

Living Canopy
covers the following five major topics: Offshoots, Symbiosis, Local Adaptations, Orders and Families, and Efflorescence. One will be gratified to see information on such subjects as The Church against slavery and debt bondage; the enormous work the friars accomplished in relation to native languages (dialects); Spanish colonial economy and Church involvement, and the separation of Church and state.

Other valuable information may be had on science and the Philippine Church, the complex story of native priests, the Church and the education of a nation, and even the role of women in the Church. The wide scope of topics even includes Marian Philippines and the EDSA phenomenon, ending with an up-to-date section on "Pondo ng Pinoy", a project of Archbishop Rosales.

The wealth of materials in Living Canopy reflects the complex role of the Manila Archdiocese and its intertwined relationship with Philippine history. It is the Archdiocese’s fervent wish that the unprecedented CD-ROM, speaking in the contemporary idiom of our youth, will instill in them a deep appreciation and understanding of their Philippine Christian heritage.
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Welcome to Mr. Ben Suzuki, new director of the Japan Foundation in the Philippines. Highly efficient and organized, the Japan Information Center plays an active role in our cultural life.

We also bid Dr. Burt Armstrong, newly arrived cultural officer of the US Embassy, a warm welcome.

To mark 175 years of Belgian independence, Ambassador Christiaan and Gul Tanghe will present art historian Mariano Akerman for an invitational opening lecture entitled "Belgian Art: Reality and Fantasy". The lecture, to be held on May 24 at the Belgian residence, will be the first in a series on "The Belgian Contribution to the Visual Arts: From Van Eyck to Magritte", and will be continued in major educational institutions in Metro Manila.

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