Tuesday, February 26, 2013

French jazz pianist Bojan Z ushers in FrancoPhil 2013

February 28, 2013, 8:00 PM
Ayala Museum
Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street
Greenbelt ParkMakati

Bojan Z, piano

FrancoPhil is back once again and the Embassy of France to the Philippines, Alliance Française de Manille and L’Oréal Professionnel start the French-Philippine cultural programme by presenting French jazz pianist Bojan Z in a special concert this February 28, 2013, 8:00 PM at the Ayala Museum.

According to the press release, Bojan Z (Z for Zulfikarpašić) is one of the most prominent, acclaimed and multi-awarded European jazz pianists today. Proof of that is his latest album Soul Shelter for which he was awarded the Victoire du Jazz for Best Jazz Artist in 2012. Tracks from this album and his sophomore effort Solobsession will comprise his playlist for his Asian Tour. What interests me most about his upcoming performance is whether he will bring with him his Xenophone, a modified Fender which is his own invention. It is said that its sound is reminiscent of Bojan Z’s Balkan origins.

Pianist Bojan Z

After what seemed like forever, I am very pleased that FrancoPhil is back for 2013. I’ve attended quite a handful of FrancoPhil events back in 2012 like the Songs and Symphony with the PPO, Elektro Kif by Bianca Li Company, Fête dela Musique 2012 featuring Chinese Man and DUO Modern Circus. And I do hope that I’ll be able to watch whatever FrancoPhil has lined up this year.

The Bojan Z concert is organized by the the Embassy of France to the Philippines, the Alliance Française de Manille and L’Oréal Professionnel with the support of the Philippine International Jazz Festival, the Ayala Museum, LYRIC and the Picasso, Boutique Serviced Residences.

Free admission. First-come, first-served basis

For inquiries:
Sabrina Durand 895-7585

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mime artist Iimuro Naoki returns to Manila

February 27-28, 2013, 7:30 PM Time of Mime 2
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)
March 1, 2013, 2:00 PM Contemporary Mime Workshop
Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater)
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

Iimuro Naoki, mime

Continuing the celebrations for the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, the Japan Foundation, Manila and the Cultural Center of the Philippines present the return of Japanese mime artist Iimuro Naoki for a series of performances and workshops.

Iimuro Naoki performs Time of Mime 2 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) this February 27 & 28, 2013 at 7:30 PM. The February 27 performance is invitational while the February 28 is open to the public.

On March 1, 2013 from 2:00-4:00 PM, Naoki will conduct a Contemporary Mime Workshop for professional theater actors at the CCP’s Tanghalang Huseng Batute (CCP Studio Theater).  Organized by the CCP Artist Training Division, the workshop is also open to observers, free of charge.

Mime artist Iimuro Naoki

According to the press relese, Naoki is an award winning mime actor who graduated from the Ecole International de Mimodrame de Paris Marcel Marceau and the Conservatoire Niedermeyer d’Issy Les Moulineaux Ecole Nationale de Musique de Dance et d’Art Dramatique. He learned mime from acclaimed French mime actor Marcel Marceau, the founder of modern pantomime. Since then, He has been actively performing in various festivals in the world and getting awards both in Japan and overseas. In 2009, he had won gold medal for the mime improvisation section at Delphic Games in South Korea, and received Special Prize in street performance competition at Kobe Biennale Festival in Japan.

Mr. Iimuro’s performance at the CCP Little Theater will be his tribute to the late mime legend Marcel Marceau who performed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines back in 1970 and 1989.

Time of Mime 2 and the Contemporary Mime Workshop is presented by the Japan Foundation, Manila and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. These events are also supported by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

Free admission

For performance inquiries:
CCP Performing Arts Division 832-1125 local 1607
Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) 811-6155 to 58, email@jfmo.org.ph

For workshop inquiries:
CCP Artist Training Division 832-1125 local 1605, ccp.artist.training@gmail.com

Saturday, February 23, 2013

29th Sampung Mga Daliri, Atbp. gives tribute to Erlinda Fule

February 24, 2013, 7:00 PM
Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

It’s time once again for the UST Conservatory of Music’s annual Sampung Mga Daliri, Atbp. concert dubbed as Isang Pasasalamat Kay Dekana Erlinda C. Fule happening this February 24, 2013, 7:00 PM at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). Now on its 29th year, this annual concert will pay tribute to the late Erlinda Fule, former Dean of the UST Conservatory of Music.

The main and unique feature of the Sampung Mga Daliri, Atbp. concert is the inclusion of 10 pianos on stage with as much as 20 pianists playing in all of the numbers. The pianists in the concert are composed of members of the faculty, alumni and current students. Other performing groups based in the conservatory also join the 10 pianos in the performances. These groups are composed of the voice Faculty, UST Symphony Orchestra, UST Wind Orchestra, Coro Tomasino, Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble, Rondalla Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, USTeMundo, and Chorus Classes.

The 29th Sampung Mga Daliri, Atbp. Isang Pasasalamat Kay Dekana Erlinda C. Fule will feature the following pieces: Waltz from Faust by Charles Gounod, Patriotic Medley arranged by Phyllis Gunther, Waltz of the Flowers by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Les Toreadors by George Bizet, Ritual Fire Dance by Manuel de Falla, Les Misérables Suite arranged by Peter Paul Cifra, Jazz Improvisation by Harald Huyssen, Nabucco by Giuesppe Verdi, Waltz by Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Gangnam Style arranged by Herminigildo Ranera, and One Day More from Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg.

Ticket prices:
P1500 Orchestra Center
P1000 Orchestra Side
P800 Balcony I Center
P600 Balcony I Side
P400 Balcony II

For inquiries:
CCP Box Office at 832-1125 local 1409-1410
UST Conservatory of Music at 731-4022
TicketWorld at 891-9999

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Jenine Desiderio

Tanghalang Pilipino’s 26th Season featuring finished productions like Walang Sugat, Walang Kukurap and Stageshow had been grounded in reality so far. It’s not hard to imagine that the characters and their stories really happened in this world that we live in. But for their last offering this season, TP takes us to the realm of fantasy, at the time when gods, beasts and heroes roam the land in their staging of the Bicolano epic Ibalong happening over at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater).

Myke Salomon

Written by playwright Rody Vera, Ibalong shifts from the usual heroic epics by telling the story from the viewpoint of the perceived villain instead of the hero. This musical was also marked by the different approach from director Tuxqs Rutaquio. Gone was the gore that led the audience squirming and shifting uncontrollably in their seats present in his past directorial works like Titus Andronicus and Walang Kukurap. What he presented this time with Ibalong was a visual and musical spectacle that also tugged at one’s soul.

May Bayot

Theater veteran and original Miss Saigon cast member Jenine Desiderio led the cast with her solid performance. Hissing her way with her lines and singing with a more primal style as the half-snake Oryol, Desiderio seduced and slithered yet still managing to make her character sympathetic. Myke Salomon, as Handyong, showed that he’s one of the most underrated vocalists in the music industry as evidenced by a very tender a cappella number towards the end of the play. Cheeno Macaraig, the young Handyong, was the best mover in the whole cast, executing the most difficult stunts without any trace of hesitation. The usually dependable and spectatular May Bayot felt like she had one of her rare off days during the matinee performance that I was able to see as she struggled shifting between registers in one of her solo numbers as Gugurang.

Cheeno Macaraig

During the first half, Ibalong burst with color through the costumes and puppetry by Leeroy New. The energy was also maintained through the choreography by Alden Lugnasin and stunts by Jerry Ramirez. It was also during this part where the plot intrigued, had most of the tension and had the emotional highs and lows. And then during the second half, when Handyong finally conquered the beast and tamed the wilderness, things got a lot less interesting. The costumes of the humans were in dull earth tones, a fary cry from the vibrant costumes that the cast wore when they were portraying the beasts. I don’t know if this was intentional, but Ibalong started to look bland once it got civilized. I guess that’s what happens to life in general when one attempts to eliminate the so-called beasts all in the name of progress.

A musical of this magnitude must have live music and if ever TP resorted to pre-recorded backing tracks, then this would’ve be a major disappointment. Thankfully, the music composed by Carol Bello and brought to life by Rizalino Reyes and Inkantad added another layer to the whole experience and served to make Ibalong truly epic. Their use of many ethnic instruments, along with electric guitars, and even a violin gave the music an exciting, organic sound that gave a lot of character to the whole production.

Ralph Mateo and Remus Villanueva 

The day before Ibalong had its opening night, I was able to drop by backstage and saw firsthand some of the cast and crew working hard a few hours before they had their technical dress rehearsal. Some of the costumes were still receiving a few coats of spray paint while some that I saw at the hall looked ready to go. Some of the actors amused themselves as they read the bulletin boards especially the prepared quotes for the day. When I entered the men’s dressing room, I saw Marco Viaña doing some stitch work on his Rabot costume while Remus Villanueva and Ralph Mateo were having a discussion in their respective dressers. I asked the two how they see themselves now that they're about to complete their first season as members of the Tanghalang Pilipino's Actors Company. The two responded that they've learned a lot so far since they started with Walang Sugat and that they're already excited about the lineup for the upcoming season. Remus Villanueva plays Handyong in certain performances but I still haven't been back to catch any of the shows starring him.

Marco Viaña

I could’ve stayed a lot longer and saw the technical dress rehearsal, but I didn’t want to spoil myself since it’s a lot better seeing a theatrical production along with an audience. And while I’ve missed the opening night due to other shows happening at the same time, I was still able to catch Ibalong during its matinee show the following day.

Tanghalang Pilipino’s Ibalong is on its final two weekends. Performances resume at the CCP’s Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) this February 22, 2013 and will run until March 3, 2013.

Pianist Albert Tiu joins Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s Shakespearean Delights concert

Pianist Albert Tiu

February 22, 2013, 8:00 PM
Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

Albert Tiu, piano
Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
Olivier Ochanine, conductor

Otto Nicolai Overture from The Merry Wives of Windsor
Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Felix Mendelssohn Suite to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
William Walton Suite from Henry V

Pianist Albert Tiu now joins the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in its upcoming concert happening this February 22, 2013, 8:00 PM at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). Billed as Shakespearean Delights, this is the orchestra’s sixth concert for their 30th Concert Season entitled Milestones.

As the concert’s title denotes, this evening will feature music connected with the works of William Shakespeare like Otto Nicolai’s Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor, Felix Mendelssohn’s Suite to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and William Walton’s Suite from Henry V. Pianist Albert Tiu, on the other hand, will be the featured soloist in the performance of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra

Albert Tiu’s inclusion to the concert was a fairly recent development as the previously announced guest, soprano Hyunah Yu, had to cancel due to medical reasons. I can only imagine how disappointing this news was for those who were looking forward to her performance. I was relieved nonetheless to hear that this concert will now feature a piano concerto which has yet to be a part of this current concert season. Albert Tiu’s last performance with the PPO was back in January 2010 when he played Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 under the baton of Maestro Oscar Yatco. If I remember things correctly, he was last seen performing in the country when he and cellist Qin Li-Wei had a concert at the Philam Life Auditorium and promoted their CD of Beethoven cello sonatas back in October 2010.

Conductor Olivier Ochanine

Ticket prices:
P1000 Orchestra Center
P800 Orchestra Side
P500 Balcony I Center
P350 Balcony I Side
P200 Balcony II
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
CCP Marketing Department 832-1125 local 1806
CCP Box Office 832-3704
TicketWorld 891-9999

Monday, February 18, 2013

Japanese rock band Uchusentai:NOIZ returns for 2013 Nihongo Fiesta

February 23, 2013, 7:00 PM
Sky Dome
SM City North EDSA

Japanese band Uchusentai:NOIZ is set to rock the 2013 Nihongo Fiesta as they stage a free concert this February 23, 2013, 7:00 PM at the Sky Dome over at SM City North EDSA. This concert is part of the Nihongo Fiesta, a yearly event by the Japan Foundation, Manila that aims to showcase and promote Japanese language, art and culture.

Uchusentai:NOlZ is a visual kei rock band from Japan formed back in 1999. Composed of members Angel Taka, Masato, Kyo, Kotaro and Yamato, the group is known for their energetic music, colorful and wild outfits and energetic live performances.

Along with the rock concert, the 2013 Nihongo Fiesta will also present the 40th Nihongo Speech Contest and the 5th Quiz Bee – Nihongo for high school students. The 40th Nihongo Speech Contest happening on February 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM will see Filipino students and professionals from all over the country proving their excellence in the Japanese language through speech. The Champion and the Outstanding Performance Awardee will bag an all-expense paid week-long study tour in Japan. The 5th Quiz Bee – Nihongo, also happening on February 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM will have high school students from Metro Manila and other regions battling it out in a game of knowledge of Japanese language and culture. Both of these events will be held at The Block Cinema 1 at the SM City North EDSA.

The 2013 Nihongo Fiesta, a part of the celebration of the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation is presented by the Japan Foundation, Manila. This event is also made possible with the support of the SM City North EDSA, the Embassy of Japan, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, Inc. (JCCIPI), The Japanese Association Manila (JAMI), Japan Overseas Enterprises Association (IDEA), Association of Filipino Nihongo Teachers (AFINITE), Animax, Japan Airlines, UNIQLO, Canon Marketing (Philippines) and Yoshinoya.

Free admission. First-come, first-served basis

For inquiries:
Japan Foundation, Manila 811-6155 to 58, email@jfmo.org.ph

ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra Kapamilya Concert: Intro to the Classics

Gerard Salonga conducts the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra

Ludwig van Beethoven Overture from Egmont, Op. 84
Lucio San Pedro Ang Buwan sa Kabundukan
Jean Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade, Op. 35

A few months ago, a violinist from the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra told me that she was having a blast getting to play popular tunes and accompanying local singers. I asked her afterwards how the orchestra will maintain its technical sharpness considering that most popular fare are considered just a walk in the park when played by classically trained musicians like her. She responded that they would still perform the standard classical repertoire not only to keep them on their toes technically but to also highlight the diversity of their orchestra.

Now having a string of successful and high profile performances under its belt, the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra felt that its time to show their audience what classical music is all about. And this they just did when the orchestra had its second Kapamilya Concert at the Dolphy Theater dubbed as Intro to the Classics. This concert was intended for ABS-CBN employees only but Gerard Salonga, the orchestra’s music director and conductor, along with Mickey Muñoz, the orchestra’s executive director, invited me to watch this concert. I didn’t pass the chance since I really wanted to witness how the newbie audience would react to an orchestra playing a classical repertoire.

Thankfully, Gerard prepared a very accessible and entertaining programme for that night. The concert started with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Overture from Egmont, Op. 84, a short yet lively piece that showcases the grandeur of an orchestra. Next performed was Lucio San Pedro’s Ang Buwan sa Kabundukan, a programmatic piece that attempts to describe through music the moon over the hills. While it contains traces of an introspective nocturne, it did have a section wherein the night gives way to some merrymaking.

Assistant Concertmaster Jonathan Livioco plays Sibelius

Then, the audience was introduced to the concept of a concerto. For this one, Assistant Concertmaster Jonathan Livioco was the soloist in Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47. Unfortunately for me, only the first two movements were played. The last piece that the orchestra played was Scheherazade by Nikolai-Rimsky Korsakov, a popular orchestra piece that can be a very good introduction to this kind of music for casual audiences. Again, I found it unfortunate that the orchestra only played the last movement of this piece. But I had to understand that I wasn’t the intended audience for this concert. After the concert, Gerard and I discussed how the audience responded positively with the pieces that they performed. And we both feel that they’re now ready to experience a whole symphony/concerto in next editions of the Kapamilya Concert.

ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra repeats John Williams concert

February 23, 2013, 7:30 PM
Meralco Theater
Ortigas Avenue
Pasig City

ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra
Gerard Salonga, conductor
Jose Mari Chan and Karylle

During the Kapamilya Concert: Intro to the Classics, Gerard Salonga jokingly said that since the audience was at their behavior, he would reward them with an encore: music from Jurassic Park, a snippet/teaser of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra’s Magic of John Williams concert. Gerard also took this chance to remind everyone that due to popular demand, they will be repeating their successful The Magic of John Williams concert happening this February 24, 2013, 7:30 PM at the Meralco Theater.

Those who missed it for the first time (and those who want to see it again), here’s another chance to experience the splendor of John Williams’ music played live by an orchestra. In case people still don’t know, John Williams, one of the most popular composers right now, is the man responsible for the memorable music featured in films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jurassic ParkE.T. The Extra TerrestrialSchindler’s ListJaws, Indiana Jones,  Star Wars, Harry Potter and Superman.

Crooner Jose Mari Chan and the ever versatile Karylle join the orchestra as the special guests for this concert. Karylle was the one who was initially announced in the lineup of the first concert but it was Nikki Gil who eventually got to perform there. If the programme remains the same, then it will be very interesting to hear Karylle’s take.

One of the memorable moments of the past concert was the participation of the 501st Legion. The last concert had a surprise with the 501st Legion joining the orchestra onstage with a Stormtrooper playing the bass drum to boot during the Star Wars Suite. And now, they will be joined by Hogwarts Philippines which makes me think if the Harry Potter section will be made more prominent this time around.

I highly advise everyone watching to have their cameras ready for not only is photography allowed during the actual concert, but taking photos along with people in costume makes for very interesting souvenirs of this unique concert.

Ticket Prices: 
P2500 Orchestra Center
P2000 Orchestra Side
P1800 Loge Center
P1500 Loge Side
P500 Upper Balcony

For inquiries:
TicketNet 911-5555

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Twelve love songs vie for the Himig Handog songwriting competition

February 24, 2013, 8:00 PM
Mall of Asia Arena
SM Mall of Asia Complex
Pasay City

From around 2,500 entries, now it’s down to just 12 new songs tackling different aspects of love from one that was lost to one that is blind that are left vying to be the Himig Handog P-Pop 2013 Grand Winner. Now on its fifth edition, Himig Handog, the songwriting competition spearheaded by Star Records (ABS-CBN’s music arm), have chosen to have love songs as the theme for this year.

It’s the third time that love songs have been chosen as the theme. And it has proven to be a popular one as this theme has delivered some of the competition’s biggest and most enduring hits like Kung Ako na Lang Sana, composed by Soc Villanueva and performed by Bituin Escalante, Hanggang, composed by Gigi & Ronaldo Cordero, performed by Wency Cornejo, and Kung Ako Ba Siya, composed by Arnold Reyes and performed by Piolo Pascual. The twelve songs that made it to the final cut are hoping to join the ranks of these recent OPM classics. Another component for this year’s Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs are the music videos of each of the songs produced by students from some of the country’s premier colleges and universities.

Here are the twelve songs that made it to the finals of Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs along with their respective composers, interpreters and the college/university music video producer.

Music & Lyrics by Ma. Fe Emechenette G. Tianga, Melvin Huervana and Joel O. Jabat Jr.
Interpreted by Yeng Constantino
Music Video produced by Philippine Christian University

Ano’ng Nangyari sa Ating Dalawa
Music & Lyrics by Jovinor Tan
Interpreted by Aiza Seguerra
Music Video produced by De La Salle-College of St. Benilde

Hanggang Wakas
Music & Lyrics by Soc Villanueva
Interpreted by Juris
Music Video produced by San Beda College Alabang

If You Ever Change Your Mind
Music & Lyrics by Marion Aunor
Interpreted by Marion Aunor
Music Video produced by Polytechnic University of the Philippines

Kahit Na
Music & Lyrics by Jumbo “BoJam” de Belen
Interpreted by Toni Gonzaga
Music Video produced by University of the Philippines, Diliman

Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat
Music & Lyrics by Jungee Marcelo
Interpreted by Daniel Padilla
Music Video produced by Ateneo de Manila University

One Day
Music & Lyrics by Agatha Morallos
Interpreted by Angeline Quinto
Music Video produced by University of the East, Caloocan

Pwede Bang Ako na Lang Ulit
Music & Lyrics by Jeffrey Cifra
Interpreted by Bugoy Drilon
Music Video produced by MINT College

Sana’y Magbalik
Music & Lyrics by Arman Alferez
Interpreted by Jovit Baldivino
Music Video produced by Far Eastern University

Scared to Death
Music & Lyrics by Domingo Rosco Jr.
Interpreted by KZ Tandingan
Music Video produced by University of Sto. Tomas

Tamang Panahon
Music & Lyrics by Wynn Andrada
Interpreted by Wynn Andrada
Music Video produced by Adamson University

This Song is For You
Music & Lyrics by Jude Gitamondoc
Interpreted by Erik Santos
Music Video produced by Technological Institute of the Philippines

It’s worth noting that Marion Aunor and Wynn Andrada, among the youngest of the finalists and relatively unknown, sang their own compositions for the album. I asked them during the press conference if Star Records ever considered having someone else perform their entries. Marion and Wynn both said that once the label heard them sing, they did not have to look for other artists to interpret their songs. After seeing them personally and hearing their compositions, I believe that Marion and Wynn will be two singer/songwriters to look out for in the future.

Marion Aunor

I personally think that the songs this year gravitated towards the heavy and weepy ballads which could probably benefit the mid tempo and upbeat songs. Yes, I already do have a song in mind that I wish would win. But I can’t say that this song will definitely bag the title since it will be the judges who will make the final decision. I know for sure that they will have a very difficult task scrutinizing each song during the finals night happening on February 24, 2013, 8:00 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena. It will be very interesting to hear how the songs will be arranged and performed since the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gerard Salonga will be accompanying them. And the big question for me is if the massively popular Daniel Padilla will perform live during this night as well.

Wynn Andrada

While the general public cannot influence who would end up as the Grand Winner during the finals night, they all have the power when it comes to the Special Awards instead. Those who bought the album Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs CD’s or downloaded them via iTunes can vote for their favorite songs for the Star Records Buyer’s Choice Awards. The Tambayan’s Choice and MOR’s Choice on the other hand will be given to the most requested song over at Tambayan 101.9 and MOR stations nationwide. Those residing abroad can also participate for the TFC’s Choice by voting online through www.tfc.tv. There will also be a MYX Choice for Best Video in which registered users of MYX can vote for their favorite videos of the song finalists.

Ticket prices:
P2499 VIP
P1999 Patron
P1399 Lower Box
P999 Upper Box
P400 General Admission

For inquiries:
SM Tickets 470-2222, www.smtickets.com

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gong and Bamboo music takes spotlight at the Tunog-tugan Festival

February 16-22, 2013 Dipolog City
February 22-26, 2013 Maasin, Iloilo
February 27-28, 2013 Metro Manila

During the second half of February, the Philippines will be the host of the very first International Gongs and Bamboo Music Festival. Dubbed as the Tunog-tugan Festival, this festival will gather some of the Philippines’ and Asia’s finest gongs and bamboo ensembles and scholars. The festival starts in Dipolog City from February 16-22, 2013, will journey to Maasin, Iloilo from February 22-26, 2013.

Gong and bamboo performing groups, scholars and craftsmen from China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, South Korea and the Philippines will converge in Dipolog City, Maasin, Iloilo and Metro Manila to participate in a series of concerts, workshops, conferences and an exhibit.

Participants from the Philippines include Bagobo Clata of Davao City, The Cordillera Music Tutorial and Research Center of Baguio City, Dipolog City Bamboo Marimba Ensemble of Dipolog City, Ifugao Performing Arts Group, Ingat Kapandayan Artist Center, Tausug  of Jolo, Sulu, Maguindanao Kulintang Ensemble of Cotabato City, Panay Bukidnon of Iloilo, Roxas Ahadas Yakan Music Cultural Group of Basilan, Subanen of Lapuyan of Zamboanga del Sur, Subanen of Siayan and Subanen of Sindangan of Zamboanga del Norte, and Teduray Agong Ensemble of Maguindanao.

Participants from other parts of Asia include Central Conservatory of Music Konghou and Bamboo Music Ensemble of Beijing, China, The Vayali Folklore Group of Kerala, India, Ensamble Modero Palu of Sulawesi, Indonesia, Persatuan Seni Budaya Sabah of Sabah, Malaysia, Noreum Machi of South Korea, Taiwan Bamboo Orchestra, Prasarnmit Performing Arts Alliance, Bangkok, Thailand, Khac Chi Bamboo Music of Vietnam and Canada.

I find it very interesting to see and hear various configurations of gongs and bamboo instruments coming from the various participating nations. The variety of the bamboo instruments out there is vast that even Dr. Ramon Santos, Tunog-tugan Festival's director, is excited to discover the unusual instruments that the participating artists from other nations will bring.

Dr. Ramon Santos, Festival Director of Tunog-tugan

During the press lunch for Tunog-tugan, I learned from Dr. Santos that gong and bamboo music is more than just the sound of it. There is another layer of experience attached to the music which is a characteristic of Asian cultures. Gongs are usually used to communicate with the spirits putting more significance with the power of its sound. On the other hand, Bamboo instruments which are pitched and measured, are used to communicate with fellow human beings. Playing these instruments in Asian cultures is closely tied with social life as it is not just purely for entertainment.

The main highlight of the Tunog-tugan Festival will be the concerts to be held at the Dipolog Sports Complex (DSC) and at the Dipolog Boulevard. The general public will be able to see the various performing ensembles at these concerts. Dr. Santos expects that the various gong and bamboo ensembles will showcase the changing breadth and structures, as well as modern techniques of performances during the concerts at the festival. The conferences and the workshops will be held at the Top Plaza Hotel while the exhibit will be held at the second floor of the DSC.

After the initial stop at Dipolog City, Tunog-tugan will fly over to Maasin, Iloilo on February 22-26, 2013 with concerts happening at the Maasin Gym. Metro Manila audiences will not be left out as outreach concerts will be held on February 27-28, 2013 at the University of the East in Caloocan, St. Paul University in Manila, University of the Philippines in Diliman, and University of Asia and the Pacific.

The first ever International Gongs and Bamboo Music Festival or the Tunog-tugan Festival is a project of The National Commission for Culture and the Arts-National Music Committee (NCCA-NMC) through the Musicological Society of the Philippines (MSP) in partnership with the Dipolog City Government in cooperation with Municipality of Maasin-Iloilo and the UP Center for Ethnomusicology (UPCE).

For inquiries:
926-0028, gongsandbamboofest@gmail.com
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