Saturday, May 8, 2010

National Heritage Month 2010: Preserving the Gift of Faith

“Nothing can break the Filipino faith,” Filipino Heritage Festival director Bambi Harper and head of the Intramuros Administration, said. “It’s the one thing that keeps us going despite the many adversities we encounter."
The Philippines suffered several blows in the previous year, the most disastrous of which were the Typhoons Ondoy and Peping. Hundreds of lives were lost and millions worth of property destroyed. Still, the Filipinos’ faith, courage and resilience shone through, as made evident by the many stories of heroism in the wake of the devastation: neighbors helping their fellowmen despite being victims themselves; students and youth groups foregoing gimiks at the mall to help collect and pack relief goods; business, both large and small, making donations for unfortunate victims.  

National Heritage Month 2010 celebrates the Filipinos’ unwavering faith, rich culture and heritage, and deep-rooted traditions. This year’s roster of cultural activities also aims to boost the historical consciousness of Filipinos through dance, song, and visual and culinary arts.  

Viva Intramuros,” the opening revelry in Intramuros, Manila, kicked off the month-long nationwide celebration from April 30 to May 2. The festivities started with a Misa Baclayana at the Manila Cathedral with the Loboc Children’s Choir. The Mass has been officiated by His Excellency Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado, CM-DD, Archdiocese of Ozamis.  

Other openers include the “Intramuros is Forever” photo exhibit and competition, and a Heritage Lecture for Public School Teachers to be presented by Professor Felipe de Leon, Jr. of the University of the Philippines.  

From April 30 to May 4, the Society of Ecclesiastical Archivists of the Philippines, Inc., under the CBCP Committee on Cultural Heritage, held the Angat Kabataan Camp 2010 in Legaspi City, Albay. It featured a workshop about the 33 churches declared National Cultural Treasures by UNESCO.

A wide array of lovely retablos is being showcased in an exhibit from May 8 to 14 at Greenbelt 3 in Makati City. Littered across the archipelago are the religious sculptures — wood bas reliefs as old as four centuries.  

Images of Mother Mary, an exhibit depicting “Mga Bayhon ni Santa Maria (The Many Faces of the Blessed Mother Mary)” will be held on May 20 in Palo, Leyte.
Legacies of music and dance revisited
The Musikito String Orchestra, an ensemble of musical prodigies between ages 11 and 16, will serenade on May 6 at the Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church in Guadalupe Viejo, Makati. 
World-class violinist Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata and the renowned children’s ensemble, Pundaquit Virtuosi, will hold a concert on May 13 at the Ramon L. Corpus Hall, of the Center for the Arts in San Antonio (CASA), in San Miguel, Zambales.  

The Ifugao epic “Hudhud” will be chanted and danced at the Cultural Center of the Philippines from May 21 to 22. Featuring the Tungngod Elementary School Hudhud chanters and the Haggiyo Traditional Ensemble Group, the production is conceptualized and directed by Floy Quintos, under the musical direction of Jesse Lucas and the choreography of Gener Caringal. The UNESCO has declared it one of 43 “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity.”  

In Negros Occidental, the Tourism and Performing Arts Society (TAPAS) will stage a tribute to rich Ilonggo music, language and tradition. “Pasundayag Sang Kultura,” will be held on May 12 at the Pope John Paul Cultural Center, Sacred Heart Seminary in Bacolod City.  

In celebration of the great Vicente S. Manansala’s birth centennial, the National Artist in Visual Arts’ masterpieces will be mounted in exhibits at various museums in Metro Manila.  “Mga Gawa ni Mang Enteng,” will be held at the GSIS Museum from May 18 to October 30, 2010.

The exhibit “Si Mang Enteng… Encountering Manansala,” will be mounted at the Tall Galleries of the Metropolitan Museum from May 20 to July 31, 2010. First-Day stamps featuring a number of Manansala’s masterpieces will be launched and sold by the Philippine Postal Corporation at the opening. 

A third exhibit, “Images of a Nation: Vicente Manansala as a Social Realist,” will be held at the Ayala Museum from May 26 to July 4, 2010. Manansala’s works will also be featured at the Ateneo Gallery and the Yuchengco Museum.  

From May 17 to 23, a special collection of floral architect Rachy Cuna’s fan designs will be displayed in “PAYPAY: Atin Ito at Robinsons Place Malate, Manila. More pieces from Cuna’s masterful hands will be featured in “HABI NATIN: A Celebration of Mindanao’s Woven Heritage,” from May 27 to 29 at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City. 

Indigenous textiles made more contemporary with embroidery, crocheted details and jewel embellishments will be exhibited at the National Museum on May 20 and 21. Capping the event will be a concert mixing the old with the new—Palawan’s Sinika band will perform alongside three of today’s hottest bands: Sino SiKat?, Drip and Up Dharma Down.  

As a culminating event from May 28 to 30 in Palawan, featured are a tour of Honda Bay, a food festival serving local delicacies of crocodile meat and tamilok, a worm-like mollusk that lives in mangroves, and a reenactment of war stories with the special participation of Cesar Montano.  

The entire month’s activities will be conducted in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and Arts, and the Department of Tourism. Other partners include Security Bank Corporation, Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines, Titania Wine Cellars Inc., Zest Airways, the Philippine Consulate of Barcelona, and the Philippine Embassies in Germany, London, Mexico and Singapore.  

Filipino Heritage Month was born out of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Proclamation No. 439 on 11 August 2003, “declaring the month of May of every year as National Heritage Month. The event is in recognition of the need to create among the people a consciousness, respect, and pride for the legacies of Filipino cultural history, and love of country.” 

For more information, visit the FHF website at, or call their office at (632) 892–5865.  

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