While 2018 is already shedding off its second month, there is no stopping the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to pack the remaining 10 months of the year with exciting programs and performances from its resident companies, namely, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), Ballet Philippines, Philippine Ballet Theatre, Tanghalang Pilipino, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company, UST Symphony Orchestra, National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and the Philippine Madrigal Singers.
Adding more reasons for merriment, 2018 has also been dubbed as “the year of celebrations” what with CCP prepping for its 49th anniversary and other resident companies celebrating their milestones.
Included in the list of celebrants is PPO, the center’s resident orchestra company, that will celebrate its 45th anniversary with a concert featuring classical masterpieces under the baton of its music director Yoshikazu Fukumura, as well as outreach concerts and performances all over the Philippines.
Moreover, both the Saturday Group and Philippine Arts Educators will celebrate their 50th anniversary with respective exhibits in March. In May, the Association of Pinoy printmakers will hold an exhibition for their 50th anniversary.
The Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, which is considered the longest-running independent film competition of its kind in the ASEAN region, meanwhile, will have its 30th run this year. The competition harvests the best films in various categories such as Short Feature/Narrative, Experimental, Documentary and Animation.
One of the highlights of CCP’s yearlong programming, is the celebration of the life and works of National Artist Lucresia Kasilag with a concert dubbed “CCP Gala: The Concert for the King,” in September.
Tita King, as she was fondly called, spent her life developing the Filipino audience’s appreciation of music. She worked to discover the Filipino roots through ethnic music and fuse it with Western influences, an approach that current Filipino composers emulate. She became the CCP president from 1976 to 1986.
Meanwhile, the Earth Hour returns to CCP after 10 years. Organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Earth Hour is the world’s largest environmental movement urging people to switch off non-essential lights for 60 minutes, as a way to protect and save our planet. On March 24, Filipinos from all walks of life will converge at the CCP grounds to #Connect2Earth in a festive night.
Come July, the CCP and NCCA will jointly hold the conferment ceremony and tribute to the awardees of the Order of National Artists, the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts. In October, the CCP will recognize outstanding Filipino visual artists through the Thirteen Artists Awards.
In September, the CCP will launch the Encyclopedia of Philippine Arts. Akapella Open International 2018, a competition for contemporary a capella groups which aims to promote the love for contemporary a capella and appreciation for vocal harmony performance, will happen in October.
Other highlights of 2018 CCP season calendar include: the Young Artists Series, which is co-produced with the Philippine Opera Company; Marawing Salamat: The Best of Opera and Fashion for Marawi featuring Pagliacci, a two-act Italian opera with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo; and 2017 Gawad Buhay Philstage Award, the first-ever industry awards exclusively for performing arts.
For music lovers, there is Triple Threats, a series of concept concerts featuring real life couples Julienne Mendoza and Stella Cañete, Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez, Franco Laurel and Ayen Munji Laurel; while choreographers showcase their talents at the competition WifiBody.ph.
In addition, there is Festival of Arts and Ideas, now on its second year; CCP Ballet Competition 2018 or gathering ballet dancers, choreographers and masters who will compete in classical solo variation and contemporary piece categories; Performatura: Spoken Work Festival, a celebration of literature by engaging it with music, theater, dance, film and visual arts; CCP Met Opera in HD at the Ayala Cinema; and the Kabataang Gitarista, which is now on its 6th year.
Finally, not to be missed are the CCP regulars—Virgin Labfest or the annual festival of raw, untested and un-staged one-act plays; and Cinemalaya, the largest independent film festival with the aim to support cinematic works by upcoming and veteran Filipino filmmakers.