Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Philippines is hailed as the cultural gateway to the ASEAN

MANILA, Philippines - Declared as the “cultural capital” for years 2010 and 2011 by the 10 member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines will be hosting the 4th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) and the 6th Senior Officials Meeting for Culture and Arts (SOMCA) from March 22 to 26 in Clark, Angeles City, Pampanga. This was according to presidential assistant on culture and National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) executive director Cecile Guidote-Alvarez.

Along with the said meetings, the Philippines will also host the 4th ASEAN Festival of Arts (AFA), which is aimed at promoting the ASEAN’s common identity and cultural diversity, enhancing cultural heritage and tourism, and strengthening ties among members of the ASEAN. The successful projection of the ASEAN in the global culturescape through the Philippine Collective showcases the Philippines ’ rich tradition and talents.

With “The Best of the ASEAN: From Ancestral Roots to New Artistic Routes of Expression Mobilizing Cultural Diversity for the UN-MDGs” as its theme, the 4th AFA will highlight the creativity and foster the exchange of ideas among the best artists from ASEAN countries. Each ASEAN member-country will showcase one of its finest works in its chosen field of art (theatre, music, literature, film or dance).

Performances for the AFA will be held at the Centennial Amphitheater of the Nayong Pilipino sa Clark Expo (NPCE). Film showings, workshops, poetry readings, and book launchings will be conducted at NPCE’s dormitory, arcadia and library.

As one of its contributions to the said Festival, the Philippines will be restaging Baler sa Puso Ko, an original zarzuela, with libretto by Dr. Isagani Cruz and music by Lutgardo Labad that reflects the wealth of heritage and the 400-year history of the town of Baler in Quezon province.

For the Festival’s opening ceremony, it expects over 200 participants, including students from nearby schools and universities, choral groups, dance troupes, rondalla orchestras, drum and bugle corps, Aeta police scholars, lantern bearers, kite-flyers, athletes, Kaddang (walking on wooden sticks) tumblers, Angono papier-mache giants, and hot balloons.

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