Sunday, February 3, 2019

Pasinaya 2019: Rights, Freedom and Culture

Pasinaya 2019 Opening Ceremony 

Philippine arts and culture are truly alive, and this year we celebrate our Filipino identity through the Pasinaya Festival. This is the 15th year celebration since it started in 2005.

"Pasinaya" means an inauguration or a grand opening of the many arts and cultural presentations offered by the Cultural Center of the Philippines to Filipinos and even foreigners who want to explore more about our culture.

I had just found out about this festival several years when I discovered the festival's opening ceremony in the vicinity of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2013. We were having a Sunday workout (essential martial arts and meditation) with my colleagues at the ASEAN Garden of the CCP complex. With my curiosity about the event and interest in cultural programs, I returned in the afternoon. I was able to catch up with the shows presented by the CCP resident companies and other presentations in the CCP main ramp and alleys.

That was my first time watching the presentations of the CCP resident companies like the Madrigal Singers, Bayanihan Folk Dance Company, and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, who have given honor and prestige to the Philippines on the world stage through their world-class performances.

Pasinaya 2019 Art displays

Pasinaya 2013: Rediscovering Philippine Arts and Culture was my first ever experience of this great festival. It was very memorable, and I was grateful to have a glimpse of our diverse culture through arts, music, and dance brought to life by performers from different places in the country.

The fascination followed the year after, in 2014, when I introduced my sister to the festival, who appreciates such a cultural event. After missing the event in 2015 and 2016, I was able to experience the festival again in 2017.

Pasinaya 2017: Arts for Peace 
was even bigger and more significant when Filipinos could be united through arts despite the wars and conflicts we experienced during that time. Even today, when conflicts still happen due to terrorism and religious differences, we can be united through our appreciation of Philippine Arts and music. Various musical instruments and melodies bring harmony and camaraderie to everyone regardless of age, creed, and social status.

Last year was also memorable when I invited a friend who appreciates Philippine Arts and culture.

Pasinaya 2019 Performers from different schools

Pasinaya 2018: Love for the Philippine Arts is about giving our highest appreciation and respect to Philippine Arts and culture, which is considered the soul of our nation and our identity to the world.

I have witnessed and experienced the past 4 years of Pasinaya celebrations. It makes me proud to be a Filipino as I continue to explore the depth of our culture and national identity.

Pasinaya 2019 CCP Resident Companies

For the year 2019, I was able to watch performances from different participating schools and all the performances from the CCP resident companies: the Ballet Philippines, UST Symphony Orchestra, Philippine Ballet Theater, NAMCYA, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Philippine Madrigal Singers, Bayanihan Dance Company and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. This year's theme is Karapatan, Kalayaan at Kultura (Rights, Freedom, and Culture), and thousands of Filipino arts and culture enthusiasts are gathered to celebrate their being Filipino. This year's theme reminds us of our rights to express our thoughts and emotions about the current events affecting our nation. Just like freedom of expression, we must remain to be vocal and not be silent about the issues confronting our nation. We must be free to express our sentiments whenever we are suppressed from our rights
and freedom.

Every Filipino has a voice, and our collective voices can make a difference in nation-building and strengthen our culture. We have our own identity that even globalization couldn't break us apart, but instead unite as one nation and be truly Filipino in words, deeds, and thought.

© 2019 Del Cusay