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January 18, 2013

NCCA gets ready for Philippine Arts Festival 2013

The whole month of February of every year, the Philippines celebrates the National Arts Month (NAM). Since 1991, when Presidential Proclamation 683 was signed declaring February as National Arts Month, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the country’s prime agency for the arts and culture, has been spearheading its celebrating, initially with activities centering around the National Capital Region until they spread out to the regions. Now, NAM activities are being held all over the country.

The different NAM activities of the NCCA were consolidated and given a certain format in 2007, coming up with the Philippine Arts Festival (PAF). Now, the PAF is mainly comprised of the flagship projects of the seven committees of the NCCA’s Subcommission on the Arts—architecture, cinema, dance, literature, music, theater and the visual arts.

Once again, the NCCA is gearing up for the upcoming Philippine Arts Festival, laying out events and activities to highlight the artistic brilliance of the Filipinos. With private and government agencies as partners, PAF 2013 promises to be a fulfilling feast for the senses and the soul with workshops, exhibitions, forums, performances and many others participated in by numerous artists to which the public is highly encouraged to join in.

Under its chairman Felipe de Leon Jr., and executive director Emelita Almosara, CESO 4, the NCCA has taken the theme “Celebrating Icons” for next year’s PAF. Activities will highlight the different cultural icons of the country, emphasizing their enriching roles in our lives and identity as a people.

The seven committees of the NCCA’s Subcommission on the Arts are preparing a rich repertoire of activities and events.

The National Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts, headed by architect Gerard Lico, will be holding several exhibitions, conferences, lectures and competitions on Philippine architecture and allied arts, collectively called Achi (types/texts) 2013, anchored on the theme of Filipino icons.

The National Committee on Cinema, headed by Dr. Miguel Rapatan, will be holding Cinema Rehiyon 5 at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Laguna, with screenings and forums that focus on the film productions from the regions. The NCCA partners with pelikuLAB and the UPLB Foundation Inc. for Cinema Rehiyon, which has the theme “Cinemas of Home” and will run from February 5 to 8, 2013. Independent filmmakers from the provinces of Baguio, Pangasinan, Naga, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao and others will showcase their latest films. Film curators, festival programmers and film enthusiasts will also be in attendance.

The National Committee on Dance, headed by Ms. Shirley Halili Cruz, will be presenting Sayaw Pinoy, the longest-running NAM project with a full house audience in every performance. It is a touring dance concert showcasing the different dance forms (folk, ballet, hiphop and contemporary) by various dance companies to perform back to back with upcoming dance groups. Now on its tenth year, Sayaw Pinoy will be spreading the beauty of dance in key areas all over the country. Sayaw Pinoy will have central focus highlighting the dance icons in the major venues of the event in the different cities in luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Dance workshops and artists dialogues will be participated in by visiting and local dancers, choreographers, directors and SPA teachers from the different regions. Sayaw Pinoy 2013 wil have 30 performances in 30 different venues with at least 30 dance groups. The National Committee on Dance will also be preparing a video documentation of 25 dance icons from the different regions. Sayaw Pinoy 2013 will be another colorful showcase of the diverse culture in the country through DANCE.

The National Committee on Literary Arts, headed by its Vice Head and Festival Director, Christine Godinez-Ortega, will mount the literary arts festival Taboan 2013: Philippine Literary Arts Festival, to be held in Dumaguete City. Taboan 2013: The Philippine Writers Festival will gather writers, teachers and students for forums, lectures, a book fair, literary readings, performances, food and arts and crafts exhibits, a cultural tour, satellite projects in 11 sites across the country, a literary contest for flash fiction and poetry, an awards ceremony for outstanding writers from the regions, and a closing program highlighting the Bisayan literary traditions, culture and arts.

The National Committee on Music, headed by Prof. Felipe de Leon, Jr., will be staging the Tunog-Tugan: First International Gongs and Bamboo Music Festival in Dipolog City, Iloilo City and Baguio City. The rich variety of music in this genre will be fully explored and promoted. It will gather local and foreign gongs and bamboo ensembles for performances, lectures and workshops. It will feature new works for gongs and bamboo of local artists and interaction with international musicians.

The National Committee on Dramatic Arts, headed by Mr. Lutgardo Labad, will be holding the Tanghal 2013, highlighting the works and achievements of community and university-based theater groups from Marikina, Albay, Bohol and Cagayan de Oro City.

The National Committee on Visual Arts, headed by Mr. Nemesio Miranda, will be holding the Philippine International Visual Arts Festival (PIVAF) in the island province of Camiguin with a lineup of activities including conferences, exhibitions, competitions, workshops, painting sessions, tours, and many others.

Besides these, there are other components of PAF. The opening ceremony at the Quezon City Memorial Circle is not to be missed because it is a rousing start of the colorful celebration with a grand performance and other activities that affords attendees a foretaste of the seven arts and their sumptuous offerings.

Also of importance is the Likha Asya: The First Asian festival and Conference on Community Theater, Creative Industries and Community-Based Tourism for Sustainable Livelihoods, a cross-cultural exchange of experiences and expertise in the creative industries and cultural tourism between Lihok Bisaya, a cultural association of seven community-based cultural groups in the Visayas region, and similar groups in Asia striving for sustainable livelihoods. It will held in the island province of Bohol from February 22 to 26, 2013.

Always the unsung heroes, artists and cultural workers will be honored on this month with the Ani ng Dangal.

Held at the Malacañang Palace, The Ani ng Dangal awarding ceremony has served as one of the culminating activities of the PAF since 2009. It honors Filipino artists who are recognized with top honors in international awards, competitions and festivals.   

It may be the shortest month of the year, but expect February to be brimming of wonderful happenings with the Philippine Arts Festival.

Read related articles:

7 Flagship Projects of PAF 2013

For more details on the activities and schedules, contact PAF Media Director and NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) head, Rene Sanchez Napeñas at (632) 527-2192 or at 0928.5081057. Log on to or email

For details, please contact RENE NAPEÑAS, Head of the NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) at cellphone number 0927-5582656 / 09285081057 or at tel. nos. 527-5529. You can also call us at 527-2192 (loc. 612-615) or email us at

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