Salaysay 2018

CHRONICLE OF EVENTS IN 2018


JANUARY

January 5
Mama Sita Commemorative Stamp launching. The Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) honored the birth centennial of Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes with the launch of special commemorative stamps at the Manila Central Post Office, Liwasang Bonifacio, Intramuros, Manila. PhilPost issued 80,000 stamps designed by visual artists Ian Darren Aycocho and Cristian Molina featuring the trademark Mama Sita image bearing the slogan: “Kababayan, Ina, Kusinera.” Reyes was an icon of Philippine culinary arts. She developed and improved world renowned condiments, sauces and mixes that highlighted the unique flavors of Filipino cuisine.

January 13
Isang Paggunita sa Buhay, Sining at Ambag sa Malikhaing Paglilimbag ni Mang Maning. A tribute and celebration to honor the life, works and legacy of Manuel “Mang Maning” Rodriguez Sr., a pioneer of contemporary printmaking in the Philippines. The tribute ceremony was hosted by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Association of Pinoy Printmakers at the CCP Main Theater Lobby. Friends, colleagues and the visual arts community honored the significant contributions of Rodriguez in the field of creative printmaking.

January 22
Elmer Borlongan: An Extraordinary Eye for the Ordinary. A major exhibition by Borlongan, one of the most prolific visual artists of the Philippines, “An Extraordinary Eye for the Ordinary” was curated by historian Dr. Ambeth Ocampo and featured more than 200 works of art created from 1979 to 2015. Included in the exhibit are Borlongan’s drawings, murals and paintings that reflect the everyday life and struggles of the Filipino. Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila in Malate, Manila, until March 28.

January 24
10th Cinemagis Film Festival and Awards. The banner program of Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts and supported by the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Cinemagis sought to highlight the cinematic voices of Northern Mindanao’s budding filmmakers and directors. This year’s grand winner was “Redempsyon,” a short film by Edmund Telmo and produced by Illustrado Productions of Ozamiz City. Other winners include Reena Duque’s “Ayo-ayo,” Tat Soriano’s “Good Night,” Iliganon Christian Toring’s “Simulacrum,” Reyan Amacna’s “Baslayan“ and Miguel Fernandez’s “Kita Nakita.” Held at the Xavier Ateneo Little Theater and SM CDO Cinema 1 until January 27.

January 25
MADE 2018: Art Made Public. The 2018 Metrobank Art and Design Excellence featured a series of critical lectures, art workshops and exhibits. Spearheaded by the Metrobank Foundation Inc., this year’s event showcased the works and designs of past MADE winners as well as the diverse influences and styles of participating visual artists. Kick-off ceremony was at SM Aura Premiere, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

January 30
8×12: A Book Launching. Eight illustrious De La Salle University writers, including National Artist for Literature Cirilo F. Bautista, launched their books at Henry Sy Sr. Hall, De La Salle University on Taft Ave., Manila. The event was hosted by the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center of DLSU in collaboration with publishing partners: the University of the Philippines Press (UP Press), University of Santo Tomas Publishing House (USTPH), Balangay Productions and Bookmark Inc. Bautista presented his latest collection of poems, In Many Ways: Poems 2012-2016. Joining him at the launch were Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, Alice M. SunCua, Em Mendez, Vijae Alquisola, Genaro Gojo Cruz, Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles and Rolando B. Tolentino.


FEBRUARY

February 1
National Arts Month 2018 Launching. Grand opening ceremonies featuring the performances of Philippine pop icons Ms. Pilita Corrales, Dulce and Pinky Marquez with the Bayanihan Dance Company, the Philippine National Folk Dance Company and Pangkat Kalutang of Marinduque. The day-long gala also features featured a series of workshops on kalutang performance, baybayin writing, photography and dance. A parade of heroes, mythic creatures and Angono’s Higantes caps capped the event. This year’s celebration of the National Arts Month banners bannered the theme: “Ani ng Sining, Alab ng Sining (Harvest of the Arts, Flame of Art).”

February 3
Graphika Manila 2018. A two-day conference of graphic artists and design professionals featuring multi-disciplinary approaches to creative identities, including design workshops on animation, art direction, web architecture, and environment design. Held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, until February 4.

February 3
Arkitektura Festival 2018. A three-part learning festival that highlighted the importance of “living architecture,” a bold concept which focuses on holistic approaches to the discipline and emphasizing the central role of nature and human being in the built environment. Arkitektura Festival featured a month-long international exhibition at the Vargas Musuem; a lecture series by local and international experts at the Arete in Ateneo de Manila University; and a study tour to introduce the concept of living architecture to the public.

February 3
Pasinaya Open House 2018: Pusuan ang Sining. An open door festival hostedby the Cultural Center of the Philippines offering a see-all-you-can-pay-what-you-can admission scheme. With the theme Pusuan ang Sining, the festival featured day-long performances from the CCP’s resident companies and guest artists, art workshops, music lessons, concerts, film screenings, and exhibits in the multi-arts. Most of the festival activities were held inside the CCP complex in Pasay City, but the public could catch other exhibitions from 14 partner museums across Metro Manila until February 4.

February 7
Fringe Manila 2018. One of the biggest open access multi-platform art festivals in the Philippines offered more than 100 shows in 20 different venues around Metro Manila. This year’s festival featured local and international artists from the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, France, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Austria, and the United Kingdom. Top billing the event was the restaging of Tanghalang Pilipino’s Himala and Ian Lomongo’s Night Mother staged by PETA until February 25.

February 7
Sayaw Pinoy 2018. Grand opening dance concert at the Lyceum of the Philippines in Manila in celebration of the month-long National Arts Month. Sayaw Pinoy was a flagship program of the NCCA National Committee on Dance led by Shirley Halili-Cruz. This year’s touring performances featured 40 concerts by 50 dance groups from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The dance exhibitions showcased different dance forms such as folk/traditional, ballet/classical, modern, and hip-hop. Performances were held in different cities and universities across the Philippines until February 28.

February 9
Anthology Architecture and Design Festival. A gathering of some of the world’s best and leading architects and design professionals for a series of round-table discussions, exhibitions, workshops, and fora. This year’s festival highlighted the importance of “social architecture” which seeks to break down built barriers in order to promote free spaces and proactive engagement with local communities. Held at Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila, until February 11.

February 12
Democracy and Disinformation. A conference of scholars, journalists, communications professionals, and bloggers on the issue of modern-day disinformation and the effects of fake news on democratic institutions and practices. Conference panelists included Br. Armin Luistro, president of De La Salle University and Fr. Jett Villarin SJ, president of Ateneo de Manila University. Held at Ateneo de Manila Rockwell Campus, until February 13.

February 13
12th Spring Film Festival. A celebration of Chinese culture featuring free screenings of six full-length feature films, exhibits, a music concert, and an art workshop. This year’s festival offered simultaneous screenings in select cities, including Davao, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu and Iloilo. The event was co-presented by the Ateneo de Manila University and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. Held at Shangri-la Plaza, until February 18.

February 17
Pandindim: Pagtanaw sa Nakaraan, Pagtahak sa Hinaharap. A speech choir and oral interpretation competition featuring ten high school students from all over the Philippines. Pandindim sought to revive the youth’s appreciation of Philippine heritage, culture and literature through speech communication and performance art. Held at the Cine Adarna, UPFI Film Center, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City.

February 17
Buhay na Buhay Premiere. Launching of a TV documentary series produced by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) featuring the rich multi-cultural heritage of the Philippines. Hosted by Senator Loren Legarda, Buhay na Buhay is an eight-part documentary show that draws inspiration from Felipe de Leon’s concept of eight cultures as the foundation of the development of Filipino heritage from the pre-Islamic,  pre-colonization to modern periods of Philippine cultural history.

February 19
Loob at Labas: Talakayan at Pagpaparangya 2018. A travelling architecture exhibition, fora and workshops led by the NCCA National Committee on Architecture and the Allied Arts in time for the celebration of National Arts Month. Featuring a sub-exhibit dubbed “Luntiang Pook” which focused on Philippine landscape designs; “Habang may Retaso, May Trabaho,” hosted by the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers; “Laman + Loob,” focused on upcycling and recycling of waste materials for interior design; and “Haligi ng Dangal,” an exhibit showcasing the winners of NCCA award for architecture, interior design and related fields. Held at Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (February 19), Palawan State University (February 26), Notre Dame of Dadiangas University in General Santos City (March 5) and University of San Agustin in Iloilo City (March 12).

February 22
Asia On Screen. Featuring 10 award-winning independent films from Laos, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. Dubbed as Asia’s premiere event for independent cinema, the festival serves served as a platform for indie artists, directors, and scriptwriters to showcase their creative imagination and skills in film making. Held at the Greenbelt Cinemas in Makati City, until February 25.

February 25
Cinema Rehiyon X. Opening gala of the festival of regional films at the Evia Lifestyle Center in Las Piñas City featuring the premiere of Keith Deligero’s Babylon and Christopher Gozum’s Dapol tan payawar na Tayug 1931. Cinema Rehiyon is spearheaded by the NCCA National Committee on Cinema in connection with the celebration of National Arts Month 2018. The festival also featured school tours, film fora and collaborative activities with Dakila Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism and Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival until February 28.


MARCH

March 1
Art Fair Philippines 2018. Considered the biggest contemporary visual arts fest in the country, this year’s Art Fair Philippines got bigger by occupying all available spaces in The Link’s seven-storey covered car park building. The fest featured painting and mural exhibitions, sculpture/installation displays and the new art photography exhibit. Top billing the event was “Everyday Impunity,” a chilling narrative of the war on drugs curated by Erwin Romulo, and the selection of vintage photos by world-renowned photographer Arthur Fellig. Also on display was Kidlat Tahimik’s expansive “WW3–the Protracted Kultur War.” Other activities included 11 sessions of artist’s talks, a lecture by Dr. Ambeth Ocampo and a round-table discussion on Philippine photo documentary until March 4.

March 1
Launching of the First Bantayog Wika. Formal launching and unveiling ceremony for the first Bantayog Wika (Language Monument) in the Philippines, a program of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) designed to honor and promote the use of diverse Philippine languages. The first Bantayog Wika is for Kinaray-a, a major language spoken in many parts of PanayIsland, Guimaras and some areas in Palawan. It is one of the oldest languages in the Visayas and the root of Hiligaynon. The monument, a three meter high stainless steel structure in the form of a large bamboo, was designed and created by installation artist Luis Yee Jr. The baybayin text of Andres Bonifacio’s poem, “Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa,” was inscribed on the monument. The unveiling ceremony was held at the provincial capitol grounds in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique.

March 7
Sinag Maynila 2018. Featuring a carefullcurated line-up of Filipino independent movies top billed by Yam Laranas’ “Abomination,” “Tale of the Lost Boys” by Joselito Altarejos and “El Peste” by Richard Some. Sinag Maynila was sponsored by Solar Entertainment with award-winning director Brillante Mendoza. Also included in the festival are short films and documentaries.Held in various SM Cinemas in Metro Manila until March 15.

March 14
Thirteen Artist Award 2018. Awarding of winners of the prestigious Thirteen Artist Awards by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The awardees were chosen based on their “sustained engagements and responsiveness to contemporary realties.” This year’s winners are Eisa Jocson (dance), Bea Camacho (performance art), Shireen Seno (film), Carlo Gabuco (photography), Zeus Bascon, Cian Dayrit, Janos dela Cruz, Dina Gadia, Guerrero Habulan, Russel H. Trinidad, Raffy Napay, Archie Oclos and Lynyrd Paras (visual arts). The works and productions of the winners were exhibited at the CCP in October.

March 14
Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art Opening. Formal launching of Iloilo City’s first world-class contemporary art museum at the Casa Emperador, Mandurriao District. The three-storey museum features five exhibit areas and a souvenir shop. Helmed by its art director, Martin Genodepa, the museum offers exhibition space for local and international artists and a permanent gallery for the personal art collection of Edwin Valencia.

March 23
Colorizing History: Exhibit and Lecture. A lecture workshop about the latest techniques on colorizing vintage historical photographs. The event also featured an exhibition of rare World War II images collected by University of the Philippines professor Dr. Ricardo Trota Jose. Colorizing History is a project of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in coordination with Project Saysay and the Philippine History in Color. Held at Museo Rizal, Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila.

March 24
Gandang Ganda sa Sariling Gawa. Featuring 30 women writers, visual artists and graphic designers in an open access book-zine-art fair hosted by Gantala Press in collaboration with the Cultural Center of the Philippines Intertextual Division. The event was part of the celebration of International Working Women’s Day and highlighted the leading role of women in the production of creative art works. Held at the Silang Hall, CCP Complex, Pasay City.

March 26
Cine Juana Film Festival. A joint project of the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the Philippine Commission on Women in celebration of National Women’s Month. Featuring full-length movies that portray the strength and resilience of Filipinas including the iconic Insiang by National Artist Lino Brocka, Ano ang Kulay ng mga Nakalimutang Pangarap by director Jose Javier Reyes, Lauriana by Mel Chionglo, Ang Tag-araw ni Twinkle by Gil Portes, Bacao by Edgardo Vinarao and Sonata by Peque Gallaga. Held at the Cinematheque Center, Ermita, Manila, until March 28.

March 28
Pabasa: Himig ng Kultura sa Semana Santa. A signal event that launched the celebration of National Literature Month in the Philippines featuring the pasyon readers and singers of Bulacan, Marinduque, Pampanga, Bicol and Iloilo. The event was hosted by the city government of Malolos and the Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. It highlighted the various forms of chanting the pasyon as practiced in different provinces while emphasizing the importance of popularizing traditional literary art form in the country. Held at the historic Barasoain Church in Malolos City, Bulacan.


APRIL

April 2
Balagtas Day Commemoration. Celebration of the 230th birth anniversary of Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar, the “Prince of Tagalog Poets.” This year’s ceremony started with a symbolic internment procession from the historic Orion church to the Hardin ni Balagtas where the monument of the poet was erected. A wreath-laying ceremony was led by National Artist Virgilio S. Almario for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Gov. Albert Raymond Garcia of the provincial government of Bataan. Almario, representing the NCCA and Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino conferred the prestigious Gawad Dangal ni Balagtas to scriptwriter-author Ricky Lee. Other activities included the official launching of the National Literature Month, opening of Rene Villanueva Young Adult Prize Contest, poetry performances by participants of Kampo Balagtas and workshops for students.

April 3
Ammungan Festival. Special anniversary festival for the 50th foundation year of the Philippine Art Education Association (PAEA) with the theme “Daluyan ng Buhay, Edukasyon, Sining at Kultura.” Highlights included a national conference on art and education, film screenings, art exhibitions and a whole-day art buffet at the Cultural Center of the Philippines until April 29.

April 6
Youth-Oriented and Culture-Focused Formation. Training workshop on basic documentation of tangible cultural heritage involving 40 youth leaders of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao and indigenous people’s communities. The activity  provided the young with the necessary skills for making an inventory of their cultural assets. Sponsored by the NCCA in cooperation with the Kalimudan Arts Center. Held at Tiera Montana, General Santos City, until April 7.

April 14
Design Week Philippines. The 7th edition of Design Week featured an array of interactive creative exhibitions, including baybayin writing workshops, film screenings, design talks, weekend markets, art booths, poetry reading and performance art. Sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry Design Center Philippines, Design Week promoted awareness on Filipino creativity and encouraged the public to participate in different creative endeavors. Held in various venues in Manila until April 22.

April 19
9th Philippine International Literary Festival. A gathering of award-winning writers, publishers, poets and authors featuring a talk by renowned scriptwriter-author Ricky Lee; a panel discussion by Elaine Castillo, Glenn Diaz, and Kristine Ong on “Fiction, Displacement, and Everything in Between;” and screenings of Kristian Cordero’s Hinulid, Loy Arcenas’ Larawan and Alberto Monteras’ Respeto. Other activities included the public exhibition of Filipino-made board games based on Philippine folklores, book fair, publishing workshops and spoken word performance workshops. Held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Pasay City, until April 20.

April 22
40th anniversary of “Concert at the Park.” A grand anniversary concert featuring the UP Manila Chorale, Centro Escolar University Singers, Mapua Cardinal Singers and Santa Isabel College Singers. “Concert at the Park” is the longest running public service arts show and program by the National Parks Development Committee.Held at Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium, Manila.

April 23
SiPat: Sining at Panitikan 2018. A series of screening of the critically acclaimed movie Smaller and Smaller Circles by director Raya Martin in celebration of the National Literature Month. Screenings were held at the Cinematheque in Iloilo City, Manila and Davao City. This project was led by the Film Development Council of the Philippines in partnership with the NCCA, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and the National Book Development Board until April 27.

April 24
Kolokabildo para sa Mga Bakwit, Pulis,ug Militar (Dialogue for the Children of the Evacuees, Police, and the Military). A literary workshop and dialogue designed for those who experienced the horrors of the Marawi Siege. The event offered poetry reading, storytelling and drawing activities for Maranao children and photo narration workshop for participating soldiers and policemen. Included in the activities were performances by the MSU-IIT Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) and the Kalilang traditional Music Ensemble. The dialogue was spearheaded by the Mindanao State University in collaboration with Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA) and the NCCA. Held at the MSU-IIT Mini-Theater, Iligan City.

April 25
Pagtuturo ng Panitikan at Pananaliksik. A seminar on the literary tradition of the Bondoc Peninsula and a talk about the teaching strategies on creative writing in classrooms. Prof. Romeo Peña talked about “Panitikan ng Maglulukad sa Bondoc Peninsula, Gunita at Danas Tungo sa Panlipunang Kaakuhan” while Prof. Jomar Adaya discussed “Ang Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Klasrum, Ilang Mungkahing Pedagohikal.” The event was hosted by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Departamento sa Filipinolohiya, Sentro ng Malikhaing Pagsulat with the NCCA. Held at Efren Turla Memorial Hall, PUP Unisan, Quezon province.

April 26
Dance Xchange 2018: Philippine International Dance Festival. An annual dance festival in celebration of the National Dance Week as mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 154. This year’s Dance Xchange featured dozens of cultural dance groups from South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Hongkong, Indonesia, Japan, Brunei, India, Taiwan, Russia, Turkey, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom and the Philippines. Participating local dance troupes included Hinugyaw, Dabawanon, Kagayanon, Saot Capiz, Kutawato and many more. The festival promoted cross-cultural understanding among participating dance groups and served as a global platform for dance education. Hosted by Dumaguete City with the NCCA National Committee on Dance, the event was held at the Quezon Park in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, until April 30.

April 28
44th  National Writers Congress. Annual convention of the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) and awarding ceremonies for the 31st  Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas with the theme “Kadulum kag Kasanag: Panitikan ng Pag-asa (Darkness and Light: The Literature of Hope).” The congress served as a closing event of the National Literature Month which featured a keynote lecture by award-winning fictionist Macario Tiu. Held at the Gerry Roxas Foundation Training Center in Barangay Dayao, Roxas City, Capiz.


MAY

May 2
National Heritage Month Opening. Official launching of National Heritage Month celebration with the theme “Pambansang Pagkakaisa para sa Pamana” (National Unity for Heritage). The program was led by National Artist Virgilio S. Almario, NCCA chair, and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. The day-long event featured performances by the Philippine Opera Company, Madayaw Cultural Ensemble, the Ka’gan Group of Muslim gong players, and Teatro Ambahanon from General Santos City. Other activities included the formal launching of limited edition postage stamps featuring heritage churches led by the Philippine Postal Corp., and a youth forum about intangible Philippine heritage. National Heritage Month recognizes the need to raise people’s awareness on the importance of Philippine cultural history pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 439 s.2013. The grand launch was held at Ecoland, SM City Davao Annex, Davao City.

May 10
Discovery of Early Human Presence in the Philippines. Presentation of a landmark scientific paper and evidences on the discovery of early hominin activity in the Philippines from 709,000 years ago. The breakthrough discovery was made by a team of international and local experts led by Dr. Thomas Ingicco of the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle of France with Clyde Jago-on, Marian Reyes, Catherine King and Angel Bautista of the National Museum of the Philippines. The team presented the archaeological evidences, including an almost complete skeleton of Rhinoceros Philippinensis, tektites and stone tools in a press briefing at the National Museum of Natural History in Rizal Park, Manila.

May 17
Writing the Classroom 2: National Conference on the Teaching of literature and the Humanities. A national conference of senior high school and college educators on the teaching of creative writing, creative non-fiction, contemporary art, 21st  century literature and pop culture with master classes, open fora and lectures by the leading literary scholars in the Philippines. Keynoted by Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay, the three-day conference included a panel of experts namely Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Susan Lara and John Iremil Teodoro. Held at the Yuchengco Hall, De La Salle University, Manila, until May 19.

May 18
National Museum of Natural History Opening. Grand public opening of the Museum of Natural History in time for the celebration of International Museum Day and National Heritage Month. The new museum showcases the country’s diverse flora and fauna including the preserved remains of Lolong, the largest crocodile held in captivity. It is located inside the newly renovated Department of Tourism Building in Rizal Park, Manila.

May 21
Philatelic Exhibition. Exhibit featuring the special collection stamps of renowned Filipino philatelic collectors led by Dr. Jaime C. Laya. The exhibit showcased 620 pages in 40 frames of Philippine issued stamps depicting the different cultural heritage sites, churches, indigenous traditions and great Filipinos. Hosted by the Philippine Postal Corp. in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the exhibit was part of the celebration of National Heritage Month at the historic Manila Post Office Building in Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila until May 28.

May 21
First ASEAN Small and Medium-sized Cultural Enterprises Caravan. A gathering of artists and craftsmen from 10 member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the first ever regional cooperation on cultural mapping, creative economy, and intellectual property rights issues. The artists represented different creative fields from bamboo weaving, performing arts, sculpture, beading, furniture crafts, loom weaving, traditional puppetry, folk performance, visual arts and design, traditional dance, lacquer making, accessory design and costume design. The event offered workshops, fora, round-table discussions on indigenous people’s rights, and exhibitions of the best of ASEAN cultural enterprise arts. The caravan created a platform for cross-border exchange of artistic ideas, imparting of traditional expertise and improvement of crafts and artistic outputs of member states. Held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines until May 24.

May 23
50th Anniversary of Association of Pinoy Printmakers. Grand golden year celebration featuring a major exhibit that showcases 300 artworks of 100 fine print Filipino artists. Dubbed Tirada, the exhibit honored the achievements of the pioneers of Philippine printmaking and showed the evolution of the craft into a distinct art form. Formerly known as the Philippine Association of Printmakers, the PAP paved the way for the popularization of the art of fine print. The anniversary celebration and exhibit launching was held at the CCP’s Bulwagang Juan Luna.

May 24
Venice Architecture Bienalle 2018. Unveiling of “The City Who Had Two Navels,” the Philippines’ entry to the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice after a 51-year absence. Curated by Edson Cabalfin, the Philippine national pavilion exhibited the development of the country’s architectural traditions and cities under the influences of colonizing powers and the forces of neo-liberalism. Joining Cabalfin in the inaugural ceremonies were Sen. Loren Legarda, National Artist Virgilio S. Almario and fellow exhibitors Prof. Yason Banal (installation art), Angelo Regalado (UP Mindano), Joseph Espina (University of San Carlos), Gerald Thomas Joson (UP Diliman), Arlene Lusterio (TAO-Pilipinas) and the DLSU-College of St. Benilde team. The Philippine pavilion ran for six months until November 25.

May 25
Gabii sa Kabilin. Annual heritage festival celebration in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-lapu organized by Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Culture and Heritage Unit and the local governments of participating sites. Featured 29 museums, heritage churches and cultural destinations, including the historic Cebu City Archdiocesan Museum, Fort San Pedro, Casa Gorordo and the Museum of Heritage and Folk Art. Gabii sa Kabilin offered walking tours of Cebu’s famous museums, concerts and performances by local artists, art shows, exhibits, trade expositions, and photo contests. The theme of this year’s festival was “Balangay” in honor of the pre-colonial sea vessel of the Visayas and in preparation for the 500th year commemoration of  Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival in the Philippines on 2021.

May 26
Pagbabalik-Tanaw sa Unang Hari ng Balagtasan. Commemoration of the 86th death anniversary of Jose Corazon de Jesus (1894-1932), also known by his pen name Huseng Batute, the acclaimed First King of Balagtasan. The event paid tribute to the legacy of the Philippines’ foremost poet of the early 20th century with performances by theater actor Lou Veloso, the sopranos of the Philippine Opera Company, contemporary rap artists and the new Balagtasan trio known as The Makatas who presented a modern-day duplo which incorporated the classical form of balagtasan using present-day slang in English Tagalog verses. Held at the CCP’s Huseng Batute Theater, Manila.


JUNE

June 1
Korean architectural Film Festival. This annual film festival integrated cinema arts with architecture. Sponsored by the Korean Cultural Center, it was designed to strengthen the shared artistic experiences of Korea and the Philippines. The festival was held in the country for the first time and featured full-length and short films about architecture from Korea and the Philippines. Other activities included lectures, open fora, photo exhibitions and installations. Held at the Cinematheque Center Manila in Ermita until June 3.

June 14
National Arts and Crafts Fair. This national trade fair and exposition showcased the country’s living traditions and heritage crafts. Hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry, the four-day event featured a wide selection of indigenous products from wearable crafts to traditional furniture and decorative arts. This year’s expo included lectures, workshops, on-site trainings, a fashion show directed by Floy Quintos, and book launching of Felipe de Leon’s Linangin ang Likhang Bayan. Held at the Megatrade Hall, SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City until June 17.

June 16
Pelikula: Talks on Philippine Cinema. A series of lectures on “New Perspectives in Philippine Film Historiography” by filmmaker and historian Nick De Ocampo, director of the Center for New Cinema. He challenged the traditional dominance of corporate cinema and presented new strategies for the creation of a national cinema in a lecture titled “Bagong Pananaw: New Perspectives in Philippine Film History.” The second lecture, “Balik-Tanaw: One Hundred Years of Philippine Documentary,” discussed the evolving significance of Philippine documentary films while the third lecture explored the role of alternative indie I redefining the meaning of national cinema. Held at the Ayala Museum in Makati City until June 30.

June 20
22nd Philippine Academic Book Fair. The only book fair in the country that featured Filipiniana textbooks for educational institutions, trade and scientific magazines, journals, audio-video training materials, electronic references and publishing aids. Hosted by the Academic Booksellers Association of the Philippines, this event highlighted the importance of traditional educational reading materials for educators and students. Held at the Megatrade Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City until June 23.

June 25
Apo Whang-Od Oggay Receives Dangal ng Haraya award. The NCCA conferred the Dangal ng Haraya for Intangible Cultural Heritage to the legendary manwhatok (folk tattoo artist) Apo Whang-Od Oggay of Kalinga. The NCCA recognized Whang-Od as the oldest whatok practitioner and a living treasure for her invaluable contribution to the preservation of indigenous culture and practices. The 102-year old tattoo master of Kalinga gained fame throughout the world for her exquisite traditional Kalinga designs and her three linear dots signature using the traditional whatok technique. National Artist Virgilio S. Almario of the NCCA, Sen. JV Ejercito and Vice Gov. Jocel C. Baac of Kalinga conferred the Dangal ng Haraya medal to Apo Whang-Od in a ceremony held at the Kalinga Capitol Plaza, Tabuk, Kalinga.

June 26
Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage Forum. A public forum about the latest research on underwater cultural heritage with special discussions on preservation and protection of marine resources and heritage in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The event was hosted by the National Museum of the Philippines, organized by its Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage Division at the Ayala Hall, National Museum of Anthropology in Rizal Park, Manila.

June 27
14th  Virgin LabFest. An annual theatre festival created for new playwrights, unstaged productions and unpublished works presented by Writer’s Bloc Inc. with the CCP and Tanghalang Pilipino. The festival served as a platform for untested and untried theatrical productions with the aim of popularizing the undiscovered works of budding playwrights. This year’s Virgin LabFest featured 12 new productions and three favorite plays from the previous festival, a series of staged readings, and presentation of output of the fellowship workshop. Some of the plays that were featured include Mga Eksena sa Buhay ng Kontrabida by Dustin Tolentino, Ang Mga Propesyunal by Sari Saysay, Labor Room by Ma. Cecilia dela Rosa, Marawi Musicale by Tyron Casumpang, and Birdcage by Rick Patriarca. All shows were held at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP, until July 15.

June 28
Taga-alog 2018: Ilog Pasig Balik Tanaw, Balik Sigla. Launching of a flagship project that sought to revitalize the Pasig River through a creative campaign that integrates the seven arts with actual rehabilitation work. The project aimed to transform the Pasig River into an area for collective memory and cultural identity. It was led by the NCCA in partnership with Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, Philippine Educational Theater Association, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, British Council, local governments of Mega Manila, and national government agencies. A memorandum of understanding was signed during the launching event at Villa Imaculada Events Place in the city of Manila.

June 30
Pulso Filipinas: Filipino Dance Gala 2018. A dance production featuring some of the country’s top performing dance groups and artists presented by the CCP. Directed by Paul Morales, the dance gala showcased the synergy of different dance genres in the Philippines from folk and classical ballet to contemporary and hip-hop. Also served as a platform to raise the awareness of the public about Filipino dance creations, performing groups and indigenous choreography. Some participating dance groups in Pulso Filipinas include the CCP Resident Companies, Ballet Manila, Airdance, Pangalay dance artist Ligaya Amilbangsa, the UP Dance Company, among others. Held at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Complex, Pasay City, until July 1.


JULY

July 4
Free the World. International literary forum and poetry performances organized by PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) Philippines to uphold freedom of expression. The forum panelists included Romana Cacchioli of PEN International UK and writers from Uganda and Myanmar with moderator Karina Bolasco of the Ateneo de Manila University Press. Gary Granada, Krip Yuson, and John Iremil Teodoro led the Filipino poets and artists in a poetry reading performance together with poets from Cambodia, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Hongkong. Held at the CCP Main Gallery in Pasay City.

July 4
21st  Eigasai: Japanese Film Festival. Annual film festival celebrating Philippine-Japan Friendship Month organized by the Japan Foundation Manila. This year’s Eigasai featured 15 full-length films of various genres shown in 100 theaters nationwide. World-renowned director Nori Koizumi graced the opening gala and premiere showing of Chihayafuru Part 3. Other activities during the festival included directors’ talks, Japanese Budo exhibition, and live demonstration of the Japanese card game Karuta. Held at the Greenbelt Cinemas until August 26.

July 5
Posporos 2018. Music development collaboration among the Embassy of Spain, Instituto Cervantes, the NCCA and stakeholders from the Philippine music scene. Now on its third season, Posporos opened with roundtable discussions on Philippine music media, artists management and events, music marketing and distribution at the NCCA Auditorium in Intramuros, Manila. Other activities included a tour of the Pasig River with musical performances and a concert in Dolores, Quezon, by the Talahib People’s Music until July 8.

July 8
12th Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival. The Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO) bagged the top prize in this prestigious international classical music competition in Vienna, Austria. The 50-member MSJO under the baton of Jeffrey Solares played four classical pieces by Mozart, Antonin Dvorak and Bela Bartok and was cited “With Outstanding Success” in the string orchestra division. The group bested 26 other orchestras from 13 countries.

July 12
Banaue International Music Composition Competition. A multifaceted music competition organized to highlight the need to preserve and save the Banaue Rice Terraces with the participation of 20 composers from 10 countries. The event, sponsored by the local government of Banaue and Universal Harvester Inc., started with a four-day cultural immersion workshop followed by three days of music readings. A culminating concert for the grand winners was held at the CCP on July 25.

July 16
Teaching Cebuano Literature: Seminar for Educators. Lectures and demo-teaching presentations for educators and teachers of Cebuano literature hosted by the University of San Carlos Cebuano Studies Center in partnership with the NCCA. The seminar helped develop a critical reading of Cebuano literature and presented strategies for teaching in the light of reforms made in the K-12 curriculum. It highlighted problems related to teaching the subject such as lack of reference materials and translated works. The lectures and presentations were led by Haidee Emmie Palapar (Precolonial Period), Trizer Dale Mansueto (Hispanic Period), Joanalyn Gabales (American Period), Liean Haney Rama (Postwar Period) and Cindy Velasquez (Contemporary Period). Held at the Rigney Hall, University of San Carlos Talamban campus, Cebu until July 18.

July 25
Taginting: Resonating 45 years of Filipino Musical Excellence. Launching event for the annual National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) to discover exceptional Filipino talent for various music genres. NAMCYA, established in 1973 through Presidential Proclamation 1173, led dozens of activities such as concerts, workshops and competitions with a culminating finals showdown during the National Music Week. This year’s launching ceremony was attended by National Artist Ramon Santos with performances by the young musicians of Kwerdas Filipinas, Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra, tenor Radnel Olfasa and pianist Gabriel Allan Pagarigan. Held at the CCP Silangan Hall in Pasay City.

July 30
Launching of Buwan ng Wika 2018. Symbolic flag raising ceremony to launch the celebration of 2018 Buwan ng Wika for the whole month of August with the theme: “Filipino, Wika ng Saliksik.” Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) Director-General Anna Katarina Rodriguez led the oath “Pagtataguyod ng Wikang Filipino” while KWF Fulltime Commissioner Purificacion Delima keynoted the event attended by leaders and executives of different government cultural agencies. Held at the Bulwagang Leandro Locsin, NCCA Building, Intramuros, Manila.

July 30
Bridging Worlds, Illuminating the Archives. An international conference celebrating the legacy, writings and career of National Artist Resil B. Mojares. The conference, organized by the School of Social Sciences of Ateneo de Manila University and the Southeast Asian Studies of Kyoto University, sought to engage new ideas and contexts built upon by the writings of Mojares in various disciplines of social science. Held at the Novotel Manila, Araneta Center in Quezon City until July 31.

July 31
Konsiyerto ng Kundiman. Grand showdown concert of the Timpalak Kundiman 2018 by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts featuring the eight grand finalists: Paul Hidalwa (“Kung Di Man”), James Noriel Reyes (“Kung Hindi Na Ay Paalam Na”), Queeny Rose Ann Peñaflorida (“Pangungulila”), Ramoncito Carpio (“Minsan Lang”), April Merced-Misa and Vim Nadera (“Pag-ibig”), Serafin Murillo (“Kundiman ng Paglisan”), Rica Aquino and Khamille Ann Linsag (“Kundiman 2600”), and Anton Luis Villa and Stefanie Quintin (“Kabiyak”). With special performances by Mabuhay Singers and Manila Symphonic Junior Orchestra. The songs “Kundiman 2600,” “Kabiyak,” and “Pag-ibig” shared the grand prize in the final showdown concert held at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Pasay City.


AUGUST

August 2
Kongreso sa Wika 2018: Adyenda sa Pagbuo ng Gramatika ng Wikang Pambansa. A national gathering of language experts, educators, Filipino teachers, researchers and media personalities initiated by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino in cooperation with the NCCA. The congress aimed to build a consensus on the integration of different aspects and grammar of the major languages in the Philippines. National Artist Virgilio S. Almario delivered the “State of the Language Address” as his keynote presentation to the congress. Held at the Dr. Roberto C. Sy Grand Ballroom, University of Santo Tomas, España, Manila until August 4.

August 3
14th  Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Acclaimed as the biggest independent film festival in the Philippines, the 2018 edition of Cinemalaya bannered the theme “Wings of Vision” to signify its continuing support to Filipino filmmakers who articulate Philippine realities with bold visions and artistic integrity. Featured 10 full-length movies and 10 short films competing for the top plum. Also featured the festival mainstays that included Dokyu category for documentaries; Best of the Festival which highlighted the best movies of local festivals; Indie Nation for independent productions; Visions of Asia for the best of Asian cinema; and the feature projects of Cinemalaya Institute under its directing and production workshops. Also included in this year’s festival was a special screening tribute of Bagets and Magnifico by Maryo J. Delos Reyes and Manila by Night starring Bernardo Bernardo and directed by National Artist Ishmael Bernal. Held at the CCP and Ayala Cinemas with the awards night happening at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo on August 12.

August 13
Agora: Crossroads of Creativity, Culture and Ideas. A national gathering of artists, teachers, craftsmen and cultural workers featuring a market fair and performances that showcased the cultural products, heritage and talent of different provinces in the Philippines. The event was organized by the NCCA through its Philippine Cultural Education Program in partnership with the local governments of participating provinces and other national government gencies. Activities during the three-day affair included product expo, storytelling sessions, art talks, on-the-spot sketching lessons, spoken word /poetry reading and performances by the Philippine High School for the Arts Cultural and Dance Troupes. Held at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia until August 15.

August 15
Minsan lang Kami Maging Musiko. A grand concert for the 45th anniversary of the NAMCYA featuring performances by past NAMCYA winners, Kwerdas Filipinas, and the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra. The concert was a joint presentation of NAMCYA, the NCCA and the CCP at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Complex, Pasay City.

August 15
Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. A nationwide week-long celebration spearheaded by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in partnership with all theater owners in the Philippines. Featuring eight full-length movies selected by the FDCP Selection Committee composed of director Jose Javier Reyes, cinematographer Lee Briones-Meily, film editor Manet Dayrit, director Carlos Siguion-Reyna and veteran actress Cherie Gil. The eight films which were shown exclusively in theatres nationwide included Signal Rock by Chito Roño, Ang Babaeng Allergic sa Wifi by Jun Robles Lana, The Day After Valentines and Bakwit Boys by Jason Paul Laxamana, We Will Not Die Tonight by Richard Somes, Pinay Beauty by Jay Abello, Unli Life by Miko Livelo and Madilim ang Gabi by Adolfo Alix Jr. Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino ran until August 21.

August 16
28th Annual Circle Citations for Distinguished achievement in Film in 2017. Annual awards ceremony of the Young Critics Circle Film Desk that recognized exceptional film productions and performances of the past year. The event was keynoted by Dr. Jazmin B. Llana of De La Salle University College of Liberal Arts. Held at Jose B. Vargas Museum, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

August 17
Film Industry Conference and Workshop Series. Dubbed “This Time Asia,” this event featured 11 conferences by the leading experts on Asian film industry. Keynoted by Stephen Jenner, vice president of Motion Picture Association International, the workshops focused on the best practices of cinema development, post-production, distribution and global marketing. “This Time Asia” was hosted by the FDCP in time for the celebration of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Held at Novotel Manila in Quezon City until August 18.

August 24
Panaghiusa sa mga Kabatan-onan alang sa Kalamboan. A Mindanao-wide conference that gathered youth leaders from Maguindanao, Maranao, Bukidnon, Iranun, Talaandig, Higaonon, Manobo, Pulangihon, Arumanen, Kamayo and T’boli tribal communities to discuss indigenous people’s heritage, culture, rights, traditions and territories. This was part of the peace and community building effort spearheaded by the Federation of Tribal Youth Councils in cooperation with the NCCA. The program included an open forum, focus group discussions and cultural performances by the articipating tribes. Held at Taipan Hotel in Valencia City, Bukidnon, until August 26.

August 25
Sama-sama ASEAN. Celebration of the 51st anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in time for the commemoration of ASEAN Month featuring cross-cultural presentations and performances that highlighted the beauty of ASEAN art form. The activity was opened by a ceremonial sounding of the gong followed by the singing of the ASEAN anthem by the Mandaluyong Children’s Choir. Other highlights included a showcase of ASEAN dances by the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, a rendition of “Bugkos Suite” by Ballet Philippines and spoken word performance by the DLSU Harlequin Guild. Held at the Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium in Manila.

August 26
Musikang Atin: a Buwan ng Wika Concert. A concert celebration for the Buwan ng Wika featuring some of the most iconic Filipino classical and Original Pilipino Music (OPM) songs including the kundiman compositions of National Artist Nicanor Abelardo, Augusto Espino and Ernani Cuenco; the theater masterpieces of National Artist Ryan Cayabyab and Vincent de Jesus; and the OPM classics of Louie Ocampo, Willy Cruz and Vehnee Saturno. Held at the Manila Pianos Ronac Lifestyle Center in Makati City.

August 26
Ateneo Art awards 2018. Announcement of winners by the Ateneo Art Gallery for the 15th edition of Ateneo Art Awards. This award-giving body honored the emerging talent of Filipino visual artists and art critics. Held at the Arete, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City.

August 28
Pammadayaw: Araw ng Gawad. Annual awards night presented by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, the NCCA and the CCP in time for the celebration of Buwan ng Wika. The award recognized the notable contributions of academics and institutions in promoting and preserving the national language of the Philippines. The awarding ceremony was keynoted by Dr. Maria Stanyukovich, the head of the Department of Australia, Oceania and Indonesia of the Kunstkamera Museum. She is noted for her groundbreaking research on Philippine epics, particularly the Hudhud of Ifugao. Held at the CCP in Pasay City.

August 30
Epikong-Bayan ng Filipinas Conference: Tradisyon, Lipunan, Inobasyon. This national conference gathered hundreds of Filipino academicians, scholars, epic chanters, educators, writers, and cultural workers spearheaded by Koro Bulakenyo and the NCCA with the support of the National Museum of the Philippines and the office of Sen. Loren Legarda. The conference sought to expand the knowledge of Filipinos on traditional folk tales, epics and local legends and also served as a platform for preserving Philippine epic and folk narratives. Held at the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila until August 31.

August 30
12th International Silent Film Festival. Annual exhibition of the world’s best silent films featuring eight classics from eight countries. This year’s showcase included Satanic Rhapsody (Italy), This Is Not A Lost Film by director Khavn (Philippines), La Passion de Jeanne D’Arc (France), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Germany) with musical accompaniment by Kontra-Gapi, A Straightforward Boy (Japan), Our Hospitality (USA), Frivolinas(Spain), and Die Klein Veronica (Austria). Held at Cinema 2 of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City until September 2.


SEPTEMBER

September 1
Korean Film Festival 2018. Annual film festival hosted by the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines to celebrate the long tradition of Philippine-Korea friendship and cultural linkages. With the theme, “Time Travel,” the festival featured five blockbuster Korean full-length movies about history and heritage. Held at selected SM Cinemas in Manila, Baguio, Davao, Iloilo and Cebu until September 30.

September 8
Haligi ng Harayang Filipino: Orden ng Pambansang alagad ng Sining at Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan. Opening ceremony of the traveling exhibit Haligi ng Harayang Filipino featuring live demonstrations by the National Living Treasures Uwang Ahadas and Ambalang Ausalin with an artist talk by National Artist Ramon P. Santos. Other highlights of the program included performances by the Blaan Di Amatutung Performing Arts Ensemble of South Cotabato accompanied by Ahadas’ kulintang masterpieces, a choral interpretation of Filipino folk song “Ay Kalisud” by Ateneo de Davao University Chorale, and a violin rendition of National Artist Nicanor Abelardo’s “Bituing Marikit” by Josh Lintag of Ateneo Repertory Company. Held at the Arrupe Hall, Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City.

September 8
Beyond the Mainstream: A Salute to Philippine Independent Cinema. Screening of the rare documentary produced by Mowelfund Film Institute and created by Nick Deocampo, Teddy Co, Lauro Rene Manda and Josephine Atienza. Beyond the Mainstream was last shown in 1986 and narrated the development of Philippine independent cinema from 1954 to 1986 featuring interviews with industry icons Lino Brocka, Lamberto Avellana, Larry Alcala, Benedicto Pinga and Nonoy Marcelo. The special screening was presented by the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film as part of the Reflexive Cinema Series. Held at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde and Main Gallery, Pasay City.

September 12
39th Manila International Book Fair. Considered the Philippines’ longest-running and the biggest book fair and exposition featuring the most diverse collection of literary titles, trade publications, academic books, journals and many more. This year’s highlights included book launches, author signings, dialogues, artists’ talks and literary contests. Held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City, until September 16.

September 12
27th Annual Manila Studies Conference. Annual gathering of experts, academicians, conservationists and artists who presented new studies and research on issues affecting the city of Manila, focusing mainly on archaeology, heritage, arts and culture and history. This year’s conference, hosted by the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) and the NCCA, gathered 100 stakeholders from 29 institutions and produced seventeen new research papers including the presentation/documentary of filmmaker Nick Deocampo on “Don Jose Nepomuceno, Father of Philippine Cinema,” and a paper by Architect Elmer Soliman on “Commercialization of Heritage Sites.” Held at the Seminar Room of TIP in Quezon City until September 14.

September 12
Cinema of National Artists. Special screening of digitally restored film classics by two of the greatest directors in Philippine cinema: National Artists for Film Gerardo de Leon and Ishmael Bernal. Hosted by the University of the Philippines Film Institute, the screening features Lilet, Banaue and Ang Bagong Maestra by de Leon and Nunal sa Tubig, Hindi Kita Malimot and Daluyong by Bernal. Held at the UPFI Film Center Videotheque, UP Diliman, Quezon City until September 29.

September 13
Boceto for Spoliarium. The public viewing of Juan Luna’s boceto or sketch for his masterpiece “Spoliarium.” The boceto was deemed authentic based on the artist’s unique signature and penmanship found at the bottom of the canvas. Richie Lerma, director of Salcedo Auctions, unveiled the rare find August 30 at the Manila Peninsula Makati. The “Boceto for Spoliarium” is considered as the “greatest art discovery in the Philippines.” Exhibit held at the The Gallery of Peninsula Manila, until September 21.

September 15
39th Ambula: Katatagan Lecture Series. A lecture by Kapampangan historian Joseph Cabral Dizon on “Hukbalahap: Revisiting the Stories of the Kapampangan Women Generals During the Japanese Occupation” organized by the Katipunan da ring Talasaliksik at Talaturung Kapampangan and the Museum of Philippine Social History. Held at the Music Gallery of the Museum in Angeles City, Pampanga.

September 22
Tribute to the King: The Music of National Artist Lucrecia “King” Kasilag. A celebration of the centennial birth anniversary of National Artist for Music Lucrecia Kasilag featuring performances by the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Ballet Philippines, Philippine National Dance Company and Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestro Herminigildo Ranera with the special participation of guest artists from UST Guitar Ensemble, Kabataang Gitarista and PWU Vocal Ensemble. Highlights of the night included the performances of National Artists Dr. Ramon Santos (music), and Alice Reyes (dance). Kasilag was instrumental in discovering the roots of indigenous Filipino music and fusing it with Western influences and techniques. She was an educator, a cultural entrepreneur, a performer and served as the artistic director and president of the CCP. The tribute, written by Floy Quintos and directed by Dexter Santos, was held at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Pasay City.

September 26
The Reshaping of Philippine Studies: Contending Viewpoints, Voices and Knowledge. Annual national conference and summit of the Philippine Studies Association featuring the presentation of 97 papers produced by 110 researchers from the Philippines and abroad. The conference was opened by National Artist Virgilio S. Almario of the NCCA together with Commissioner Prospero J. De Vera of the Commission on Higher Education. Held at the Auditorium of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila until September 28.

September 27
West Visayas association of Museums Summit 2018. A gathering of museum workers and managers with the aim of updating the capabilities of museum practitioners on proper management and conservation. The summit also served as a platform for building linkages between museums in Western Visayas. Featuring the presentations of Marika Constantino on “Museums as Storytellers,” Christian Acevedo on “Designing Museum Education Programs” and Joyce Colon on “Museums, Social Activism, and Critical Public Engagement.” Held at the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts, Iloilo City until September 28.

September 28
Environmental Concerns of Indigenous People of the Cordillera Administrative Region. A public forum/workshop on the present issues affecting the use of indigenous lands in the Cordilleras, keynoted by Michael Umaming of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. Highlights of the program included a talk on the sustainable forest management practices of the Cordillera people and presentation of output and recommendations by workshop participants. Held at the University of Baguio, Baguio City.

September 29
Sipat-Salin sa Filipinas. A seminar on translation organized by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, Filipinas Institute of Translation and the University of Santo Tomas Dapartamento sa Filipino Sentro sa Salin featuring the talks of National Artist Virgilio S. Almario on “Ang Katangian ng Pagsasaling Teknikal,” and Dr. Michael M. Coroza on “Ang Katangian ng Pagsasaling Pampanitikan.” Held at the Lourdes J. Custodio Hall, UST, España, Manila.


OCTOBER

October 3
2018 International Conference on Cultural Statistics and Creative Economy. An international gathering of academicians, cultural managers and data scientists with the aim of developing the use of data science in quantifying the contribution of arts and culture in the economy. Among the notable papers presented at the conference were “Algorithms and Big Data as Strategy for Capturing Cultural Data by University of Brazil’s Danielle Dantas;” the Cebuano Studies Center’s paper on “Diminishing Natural Heritage” presented by Trizer Dale Mansueto, and Japanese architect Hiroki Yamada’s study on “Adaptive Reuse of Japanese Built Heritage.” Held at Diamond Hotel, Ermita, Manila, until October 4.

October 8
2018 Dayaw: Philippine International Indigenous People’s Festival. The biggest and most colorful gathering of 40 ethnolinguistic and cultural communities in the Philippines, held in celebration of National Indigenous People’s Month. Dayaw offered an impressive array of activities that included “Bantug sang Banwa” featuring traditional performances through dances, songs, and cultural expressions; “Katutubong Likha, Daluyan ng Biyayang Kaalaman,” an interactive exhibit of indigenous art and craftsmanship; “Maaram, Maalam, May Kinaadman,” the workshops and conferences component of the festival; and the community outreach and engagement program called “Mamugnaong Pagpaambit.” Organized by the Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts of the NCCA, this year’s festival bannered the theme “Pagpupugay sa Pamana ng Malikhaing Sambayanan.” Held in different venues in Roxas City and Cuartero in Capiz until October 10.

October 15
Community Initiatives in Protecting Local Cultural Heritage. A training program spearheaded by the NCCA National Committee on Museums designed to upgrade the skills of museum workers in managing and protecting cultural artifacts. The Luzon leg of the program was held at Teatro Amianan, UP Baguio while the Mindanao sessions were held at the Little Theater of Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City.

October 17
10th ManilaRT. A national art fair organized by the Bonafide Art Galleries Organization and the NCCA showcasing the works of Filipino contemporary visual artists. With the theme “Ang ARTe ng Pilipinas,” this year’s art fair featured a walking tour for students, fashion in art workshops, portraiture and sketches live demonstrations, a show by performance artists, poetry and music improvisations, and performances by the Bonifacio Choir Flash Mob and the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra. Held at the SMX Aura, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, until October 21.

October 18
6th National Archives Congress. A national gathering of archivist and record managers to discuss issues and developments in the field of archiving. With the theme “Archives Links, Archives Connects,” the congress served as a venue for linkages between archives managers in the country. Executive Director Victorino Manalo discussed the general direction of the National Archives of the Philippines. Merselle Santos presented a paper on “Ephemera in the Archives: Personal Narratives to Local History.” The event was a project of the NCCA National Committee on Archives in partnership with Santo Niño de Cebu Augustinian Social Development Foundation. Held at Radisson Blu, Cebu City, until October 20.

October 19
Manila FaME 2018. One of the largest trade shows, gathering hundreds of artisans, craftsmen, designers, and small enterprises in the Philippines to promote and cultivate Filipino made decors, furnishings, indigenous crafts, and jewelries. Organized by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Center of International Trade and Exposition Mission, the 68th  edition of Manila FAME showcased the creative works and designs of 360 participating artists and enterprises across the country. Held at the World Trade Center Manila, Roxas Blvd.,Pasay City until October 21.

October 20
INKfest 2018. A whole day gathering of illustrators and authors to promote children’s books, crafts and art works created by young people. Organized by Ilustrador ng Kabataan, the 2018 edition of INKfest featured an illustrator master class, storytelling sessions, exhibits, drawing demonstrations, book sale and crafts merchandise. Held at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig.

October 21
2018 QCinema International Film Festival. The sixth edition of the biggest international film festival in Quezon City hosted by the QC Film Development Commission featured five films in its banner Circle Competition: Hintayan ng Langit by Dan Villegas, Billie and Emma by Samantha Lee, Dog Days by Timmy Harn, Oda sa Wala by Dwein Baltazar and Masla A Papanok by Gutierrez Mangansakan. Other highlights included the Asian Wave section with six full-length films, the DocQC section for documentary films, six LGBT international films for its RainbowQC section, and five feature films for its Screen International section. The festival also showcased digitally remastered local films, children’s cinema and French classics. Held in different venues and cinemas in Metro Manila until October 30.

October 21
Sayaw Pinoy 2018. A flagship program of the NCCA National Committee on Danceled by Dr. Shirley Halili-Cruz. The national dance competition featured dozens of dance troupes and companies across the Philippines competing in various genres such as folk dance, contemporary, hip-hop, and ballroom. Held at the Open Air Auditorium of Rizal Park in Manila until October 22.

October 24
Proclamation of New National artists and Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan. President Rodrigo Duterte proclaimed seven National Artists into the Orden ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining. The President also honored three National Living Treasures and announced six recipients of the first ever Philippine Heritage Award. The seven new National Artists are Lauro “Larry” Alcala (Visual Arts–posthumous), Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio (Theater), Ryan Cayabyab (Music), Kidlat Tahimik (Film and Broadcast Arts), Francisco Mañosa (Architecture and Allied Arts), Resil Mojares (Literature) and Ramon Muzones (Literature–posthumous). The new GAMABA awardees are Estelita Bantilan (B’laan mat weaver), Ambalang Ausalin (Yakan weaver) and Yabing Dulo (B’laan Ikat weaver). Proclamations held at the Rizal Hall, Malacañang Palace.

October 25
39th National Conference on Local and National History. A national gathering of historians organized by the Philippine National Historical Society in partnership with the NCCA Committee on Historical Research and the Philippine Social Science Council. With the theme “History and Eastern Visayas: Local History in the Context of National History,” the conference featured paper presentations including Jhonil Bajado’s “Women Chanters for the Dead,” Kina Kwan’s “The White Russian Refugee Camp in Guian Eastern Samar,” John Crossley’s “Spanish Occupation,” and Rolando Borrinaga’s “1521 Magellan Arrival.” Held at Samar State University in Catbalogan City until October 27.

October 26
Sawikaan 2018: Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Salita ng Taon. Annual gathering of Filipino language experts and academicians featuring competitive presentations for the selection of “Salita ng Taon” or the Filipino Word of the Year. Theconference chose the word “tokhang,” the operational code of the Philippine National Police for its campaign against illegal drugs which became synonymous with the widespread killing of drug suspects. Tokhang, derived from two Visayan words “toktok” (to knock) and “hangyo” (to plead), bested 10 other entries for the word of the year. Sawikaan 2018 is a project of the Filipinas Institute of Translation and Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. Held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.


NOVEMBER

November 3
5th International Rondalla and Plucked String Festival. A festival of plucked string music featuring 250 musicians from the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Portugal, South Korea, Israel, Uganda, France, India, Thailand and Iran. The groups performed for the public in different heritage sites and cultural venues across Silay City. The festival was jointly organized by the NAMCYA, NCCA, UP College of Music, Asian Composer’s League and the Silay City local government. Held in various venues in Silay City, Negros Occidental, until November 11.

November 10
ENTaCool: Baguio Creative arts Festival. The newest creative arts and culture festival of the city of Baguio, recognized by UNESCO as a “Creative City.” Inspired by the Cordilleran indigenous word entaku (let’s go), Entacool featured various activities in the arts including the Baguio Crafts exhibits, the Talastasan Series on Arts and Creativity, the Kulay Siglo visual arts exposition, Latag handicrafts market, launching of Forest Bathing site, creative entrepreneurship workshops, the “Ay Apo! May Shooting sa Baguio Film Festival,” live demonstrations of local weaving techniques, and a culminating concert of tribal and contemporary musicians. Held in various venues in Baguio City until November 18.

November 14
Italian Cinema from Venice to Manila. This film festival showcased selected movies of the prestigious Venice International FilmFestival organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines and the Philippine-Italian Association in partnershipwith the Film Development Council of the Philippines. Featured nine full-length films including Sebastiano Riso’s Una Familia, Paolo Virzi’s The Leisure Seeker, Silvio Soldini’s Il Colore Nascosto Delle Cose, among others. Held at the Central Square in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, with screenings at Greenbelt Cinemas and UP Town Center until November 18.

November 16
Banga, Bangka, Bangkay. A lecture by Prof. Michael Charleston Chua on the burial practices and concept of death of pre-colonial Filipinos with special discussions on the use of boat-adorned burial jars commonly known as “Maitum” and “Manunggul.” The event was hosted by the Museo ng Libingan sa Ilalim ng Lupa ng Nagcarlan. Held at the Chapel of Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery Historical Landmark in Laguna.

November 22
61st  Philippine PEN National Congress. A national gathering of Filipino writers, poets, novelists and essayists led by National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose. The congress, with the theme “Writing the Nation: The Filipino Writer and Nation-Building,” featured five panel sessions: “On National Literature” with Ramon Guillermo, Priscilla Macansantos, Raniela Barbaza, and Maria Fres-Felix as panelists; “Writing the Nation in Poetry” keynoted by Dr. Gemino Abad; “Writing the Nation in Fiction” led by Eros Atalia and Isidro Cruz; “Writing the Nation in Drama, Film, and the Multi-Arts” with Charlson Ong and Manix Abrera; and “The Jose Rizal Lecture” presented by Amina Rasul Bernardo. Held at the CCP Silangan Hall, Pasay City, until November 23.

November 24
37th National Book Awards. Awarding ceremonies for the 37th edition of the National Book Awards honoring the best books published in 2017. Started by journalist Isagani Cruz, the National Book Awards is organized by the Manila Critics Circle in collaboration with the National Book Development Board. The awards night was held at the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila. Manila Central Post Office Declared Important Cultural Property. The National Museum of the Philippine recognized the Manila Central Post Office as an Important Cultural Property (ICP) pursuant to National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009. The iconic neo-classical building designed by Architects Tomas Mapua and Juan Arellano was recognized for its exceptional cultural and artistic significance and history.

November 24
Haligi ng Dangal awards. Awarding ceremony for the winners of Haligi ng Dangal recognizing the completed works in architecture and the allied arts. The award was given by the NCCA through its Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts. Held at the Marble Hall, Ayuntamiento de Manila.

November 26
2nd  ASEAN Tingin Film Festival. This film festival celebrated artistic collaboration and exchange between member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Now on its second edition, Tingin Festival featured the works of NationalArtist for Film Kidlat Tahimik: “Perfumed Nightmare” and “Who Invented the Yoyo, Who Invented the Moon Buggy.” Held at the Gateway Cineplex in Cubao, Quezon City, until November 29.

November 26
Digital archiving of languages. A national workshop on data management, digital archiving data collection, fieldwork models, data storage, recording tools and software, data conversion and documentation. The workshop was led by language archivist experts from School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. Held at the Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City until November 28.

November 28
Festival of Hearts and Ideas. A special festival presentation of the CCP in cooperation with the Julia Buencamino Project on raising mental health awareness through the arts. The festival featured film screenings, a visual arts exhibit, workshops,poetry readings and theater performances. Held at the CCP Complex in Pasay City until December 9.

November 28
CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine art. Public book launching of the CCP’s most comprehensive encyclopedia on arts and culture. First published in 1994, the 2019 second edition of the encyclopedia consists of 12 volumes with 5,000 entries and 3,500 photos. More than 500 leading scholars of Philippine arts and culture contributed to the project. The launching ceremony was held at the CCP Main Theater Lobby in Pasay City.


DECEMBER

December 8
AHRT! Artists for Human Rights. A gathering of artists, cultural organizations and media groups to make a statement on the importance of human rights. The event was part of the celebration of the Human Rights Consciousness Week and featured the launching of “The Memory Project: The Thirteen Artists in the Time of Dictatorship.” Other activities of AHRT included a red carpet walk protest and signing of the artists’ manifesto for human rights. Held at the CCP Bulwagang Juan Luna, Pasay City.

December 8
Pambansang Edukasyong Pampanitikan. A seminar-workshop on writing poetry in Filipino hosted by the CCP with the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) and Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA). Other activities included poetry reading and spoken word presentations and a day-long poetry book and zine fair. Held at the CCP Silangan Hall in Pasay City

December 10
2018 NCCA Composer’s Prize. The NCCA announced the winner of the Composer’s Prize, a biennial event that honors the great musical talent of Filipino musicians. This year’s winner was Jem Robert Talaroc for his piece Anima, a standard full orchestral work inspired by traditional Ifugao chant. The awarding ceremony also featured the world premiere of  Pagtangis ng Kahapon by Timothy Pacpaco, the winner of the 2016 Composer’s Prize. Held at the NCCA Auditorium in Intramuros, Manila.

December 15
Historic Return of Balangiga Bells in Samar. Official turnover ceremony of the historic Balangiga Bells to the St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish Church led by President Rodrigo Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. The people of Balangiga celebrated the occasion with band parades, performances by local artists and a solemn mass. The bells were taken by American soldiers during the Philippine-American War as war booty after razing the town of Balangiga to avenge the attack launched by Filipino revolutionaries.

December 21
Philippine Quincentennial Commemorations. Launching event for the celebration of the country’s quincentennial commemoration of the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, the Battle of Mactan and other historical events of 1519-1522. The event also featured the unveiling of the commemorative logo for the quincentennial. Held at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Ermita, Manila.

December 27
Metro Manila Film Festival Gabi ng Parangal. Awards night and ceremonies for the 44th edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival, considered as one of the biggest and most awaited film festivals in the country. This year’s festival featured eight entries: Aurora by Yam Laranas, Fantastica by Barry Gonzales, The Girl in the Orange Dress by Jay Abello, Jack em Popoy by Mike Tuviera, Mary, Marry Me by RC Delos Reyes, One Great Love by Eric Quizon, Otlum by Joven Tan and Rainbow’s Sunset by Joel Lamangan. The awards ceremony was held at The Theater Solaire in Parañaque City.

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