Practitioners of different arts ushered the beginning of the National Arts Month on February 1 with a grand opening celebration at the Rizal Partk Open-Air Auditorium in Manila.
Various activities for the park-goers were conducted throughout the afternoon.
Komiks Yaring Pinoy, an exhibit on Filipino and foreign comics, was mounted on the park area beside the auditorium for comic fans and passers-by. It is made possible through NCCA’s partnership with Philippine International Cartoons, Comics and Animation led by Joey Tanedo, also the head of the National Committee on Visual Arts. Free caricature making and sketching were also conducted by participating comic artists.
A parade around the park commenced highlighting seven higantes of Angono, one dedicated to each of the seven arts. The Higantes were accompanied by the lively music and dancing of the Jhocson Drumbeaters.
CinemaRehiyon films, Diskonek and El Pundido Luz de Casa, were screened to entertain the audience prior to the opening of the program proper.
Sinukwan Kapampangan performed a theatrical re-enactment of the San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites as opening ritual for the month–long event. The ritual was participated by the Subcommission on the Arts committee heads and representatives, led by NCCA Chairman Felipe de Leon.
Following the rites were presentations and productions led in by a choral piece from Novo Concertante; Spyro’s heart-stopping yo-yo exhibition; a comedic historical piece performed by Mga Komedyante ng San Dionisio, Parañaque; traditional dance and drum-beating music by the international guest group, Culture Arts Council of Korea (CACK); a number by the world renowned and multi-awarded Halili-Cruz School of Ballet; Ony Carcamo, renowned ventriloquist, performed a show with his puppet friend, Nonoy; a hip-hop dance performance from Next to Innocence; and concluded by a final traditional dance by the CACK.
In NCCA Chairman Professor de Leon’s closing remarks, he stressed the importance of keeping the flames of Filipino imagination burning as it is the key to the country’s development. This is in line with the vision of NCCA of “Filipino culture as wellspring of national and global well-being.”