Cultural Center of the Philippines: Opens the House to the Public

I attended an arts festival or so-called Pasinaya at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Tsinoywas the theme of the arts festival. Most probably, it’s the combination of Chinese and the nickname of Filipinos, Pinoy. I don’t know what the theme was for. I don’t even think the performances prepared for it were based on the Filipino-Chinese relationship and the turmoil we are experiencing with them. Some people may say that Chinese has been a part of Filipino culture, but what is its relation to this event?

Only the intellects and the elite usually have the opportunity to watch and perform in an art institution like Cultural Center of the Philippines. It is supposed to be for the enrichment of Philippines culture but it usually holds foreign performances. This approach can help Philippine’s economy to develop, but help Philippine’s culture to frost.

By opening the CCP to the public, the mass acquired knowledge about how art is going in the Philippines and got opportunity to show what art is for them.It is every unnoticed performing group’s dream to perform in a grand institution like CCP. I found other high school students making unnecessary noises annoying but I think those noises were just due to their excitement upon discovering new ideas. Or do they think about the semiotics possibly used in the performances they watched? I am hoping that for the next arts festival to come, CCP’s goal to educate them is successful.

To indirectly give people the opportunity to savor a thing like CCP that they built through their taxes can be an unconscious reason of CCP upon opening the house to the public. Another reason why it is relevant for the CCP to have a program like Pasinaya is because the mass needs to be educated about the arts in the Philippines. And by doing so, Filipino culture will be enriched by their help.

Watching a performance with the same genre of what I am studying—theatre, makes me compare their practice to us. I unintentionally criticize their performance by what I know a theatre performance that doesn’t break its usual conventions should be. I tend to observe their unnoticed nuances, acting, etc.

In an art institution, performances prepared for the arts festival must belong to a certain art form. I was bothered of the mass’ definition of art. They show performances like hiphop, sabayangpagbigkas, which were classified only as a style of an art form, not as an art form. I believe that people have their own definition of art but those performances didn’t reach my definition; it has no concept.

There was this company of comedians that I am annoyed of. We waited for a long time just for a performance with people forming a circle, running in their circle, stopping for a while, doing a wacky face, and repeating its routine for 20 minutes. It may be a cool contemporary art that goes beyond the convention but the like Beckett’s “Quadrilateral”, but the fact that they are comedians, it is clear for me that their objective is to make the people laugh. And the people did. Not because they have good comedic timing, but because they make no sense. It is to unsatisfying watch a 20-minute performance especially if it’s a film or play after waiting for a long time. They were like series of trailers. I understand that we must fall in line and wait for our time to watch, so many could watch different performers, even the unfamiliar company’s, and that only 20 minutes is allotted for any company, so many could perform within the house hours. But still, everything for me must be senseless because before you break the convention, you must know what to break first.

In contrast with the comedians, the three Cinemalaya excerpts were really natural. The main characters in the films were in pain; two women widowed and 1 nailed on the cross. Its focus on emphasizingevery bit of the main character’s life may seem boring, but it is just so fantastic for me that those films catch my attention. I like independent films because, in a way, they make the usual everyday routine, unusual. They show how life is for the unnoticed people. I love life. I like how each of us has own mentality that no one could imitate. The films’ milieu is Pampanga. I learned a bit about the rituals Pampanguenos have. The films’ use of irony is good for me. Example is the man who nails himself on the cross yearly for the appreciation of God’s love for us; so, the man may seem religious. But on the other day, the man after receiving his profit for the show, played cards after promising that he would do it again next Good Friday.

I would like to appreciate how Filipinos are interested with arts. During the arts festival, I saw how Filipinos from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are willing to contribute to the development of Filipino culture in their own little way. They seemed enjoying spending money just to perform. Expression, after all, is involved in art. So the journey towards art may always start with expression, then knowledge.

In conclusion, art is more than an accessory in our lives. It’s a medium of mass communication that voices issues that we can hardly fathom. Even seemingly senseless works of art have a reason and a system behind. Whatever approach the artists use to do a certain art work, it must be for the best; by best, I mean going beyond mediocrity. On account of this, I deem that CCP is ought to be opened to the public.


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