Monday, February 4, 2013

Pasinaya 2013: Rediscovering Philippine Arts & Culture

In today's modern times, I still recognize that the past is interrelated with the present, and what we are today is the result of what has transpired in the past. Hence our artistic abilities and cultural heritage should be preserved and passed on from generation to generation.

The Philippine culture has given us a glimpse of the glorious past through various artistic renditions that make us feel the unity and camaraderie of being a Filipino. It is in our culture to be creative and artistic as a means of emotional expression. It is something that bridges the gap between loyalty and colonial mentality. It creates solidarity as a nation and everlasting bliss in the hearts of Filipinos living throughout the world.

To enliven the Philippine culture and arts, the Cultural Center of the Philippines created the Pasinaya festival to fulfill Filipino artists' and cultural enthusiasts' desires and passions in various genres. "Pasinaya" is a Filipino term that means a formal opening. This year's theme pays tribute to Chinese arts and culture's influence on our lives as Filipinos.

The Chinese have long been part of Philippine history and culture, and their massive influence remains. It was an excellent opportunity to witness and embrace Filipino and Chinese arts and culture through the Pasinaya festival.

Dubbed the largest national multi-arts festival, the 'Pasinaya' presented memorable cultural presentations and art exhibits in almost all CCP venues. The main theater lobby was full of visitors, primarily students and professors from different schools, patiently waiting for the next event at the 'Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo,' where the resident companies of the CCP are doing their shows, including the Philippine Madrigal Singers, The Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company; Ballet Philippines and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

There were several presentations and activities in genres like dance, theater, music, films, visual arts, and exhibits. It was presented by thousands of Filipino artists in different country regions. There were various shows like lion dance, fan dance, and modern hip-hop dance along with the closed street venue of the CCP.

There were also dance, music, and stage drama workshops for children and adults to learn and enhance their skills.

In the main theater ramp, several groups presented folk dances. Their graceful interpretation of colorful costumes has entertained the crowd of both local and foreign audiences. It was a great moment to watch the young performers across the country showcasing their dance skills in classical Filipino music. 

From elementary up to college, I was like them, being a member of the school dance troupe and presenting different folk dances on stage. The joy felt while performing before the audience is quite reminiscent, and why I patronize Filipino cultural presentations and activities.

The main theater of 'Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo' is where I spent most of the time witnessing the performances of the resident companies. I was delighted to watch the 'Bayanihan Cultural Dance Company' when they presented beautiful folk dances. They have presented the 'Pandango sa Ilaw and 'Wasiwas,' both popular Philippine folk dances that made me proud of being a former folk dancer who happens to have presented those two dances way back in high school and college.

The Philippine folk dance is truly an epitome of grace, grandeur, and refined ways that are becoming obsolete in today's modern living.

The Performers of the Pasinaya Festival 2013 during the gala night
The presentation and rendition of the Philippine Madrigal Singers is truly soulful singing that captures the audience's emotions. Their company is undeniably one of the world's best and most awarded chorales. It has won prestigious awards and recognition from international chorale competitions. The 'Madz,' as they call it, sings in a semi-circle without the aid of a conductor. Their soft and angelic voices deserve applause from the audience regardless of musical genre, from classical and folkloric music to contemporary music.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra rendered an enchanting melody of some classical symphonies and even modern popular Filipino music under their music director Maestro Oliver Ochanine. They received numerous applause from the audience, who appreciated what authentic music should be. Their mastery of musical instruments is majestic and produces stunning rhythmic sounds. My regard for classical music and symphonies will remain my appreciation for this artistic, lyrical masterpiece.

The 'Pasinaya Festival 2013' brought lessons and new learning. Our culture is diverse and rich it is a heritage. Thus, there is a need to preserve, protect, love, care, and respect. Our arts and culture are what we are Filipinos and should show to the world.

© 2013 Del Cusay