A series of regional tours engages student-performers nationwide as part of the ‘Outreach and Exchange’ program
THE Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) “Outreach and Exchange Program” has been inspiring artists and audiences from all over country for 35 years. In celebration of this milestone, CCP launched a series of regional exchange tours that brought leading performing groups from different provinces to selected cities all over the Philippines.
It was only last September that the Visayas tour made way to the region. Three leading performing groups, namely the Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation of Bulacan; the Baao Children & Youth Choir of Bicol; and the Lahing Batangan Dance Troupe of Batangas City showcased cultural performances that are original of Luzon.
I joined in the second site of the Mindanao tour from November 6 to 9 in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. For this leg, performing groups from the Visayas were brought to Mindanao, namely the Dagyaw Baile of the Iloilo National High School; Kabataang Silay Rondalla Ensemble of Silay City, Negros Occidental; and the University of the Visayas (UV) Chorale of Cebu City collaborated to showcase the best of Visayan culture.
For greater support and success of the program, the CCP Cultural Exchange Department has partnered with Musikahan sa Tagum Foundation Inc., led by their president and chairperson, Alma Uy.
“The competition for music is more on the western kind like rock music, through the CCP Outreach and program, we are able to educate the youth on other kinds of music,” Uy said in a statement, adding that the importance of showcasing different art forms more frequently to create deeper cultural awareness and appreciation.
On the evening of November 7, I finally got the chance to watch the three groups perform in the University of Mindanao gym. Despite road troubles and proximity of the university, the student-artists performed with grace and ease.
The Kabataang Silay Rondalla opened the show with performances of Filipino pieces. But it was the Rondalla’s performance of the popular Disney movie soundtrack “Let It Go” that had the audience singing along.
The dance moves of the Dagyaw Baile were fluid as they transition from ethnic, to contemporary, to ballet. The heavenly voices of the University of Visayas Chorale surely touched the hearts of the audience.
Soliciting comments from the heads of group performers, they have expressed that the CCP Outreach’s 35th year collaboration was indeed a success. Kenneth Lirazan of UV Chorale said that the group feels blessed and overwhelmed, after given a chance to share the vision and passion of the CCP Outreach of cultural promotion. Meanwile, Ria Española, the artistic director of the Dagyaw Baile of the Iloilo National High School said that this was a timely opportunity for them to prove that they can still deliver even after10 years of not performing.
The last phase of the regional exchanges featured four highly accomplished performing groups from Mindanao—these are the MSU Kabpapagariya Ensemble of Gen. Santos City, Helubong Community Dance Troup of Lake Sebu; Mebuyan of Davao City; RMMC Teatro Ambahanon of Gen. Santos; and Bayang Barrios—all touring Luzon, particularly in the cities of Batangas, Baguio and Malolos, Bulacan from November 12 to 19.
“We are happy and proud to have served as catalysts for regional cultural development by providing opportunities for the regional artists to achieve excellence. Through its Lakbay Sining touring program, it has made an extensive promotion of the arts all over the country. We bring the artists to far flung areas to perform and showcase in parks, plazas, school gyms, hospitals and even in cockpits,” CCP’s Cultural Exchange department manager Chinggay Bernardo concluded.