Peace and unity through music

by Nickie Wang

We have heard clichés about music but, these are just few of the proofs that like food, water, and shelter, music is an indispensable part of our life. It’s a human experience that practically relates to our emotion either exaltation or fear or anything in between.

We cannot confine music as just a sound that we listen to or a melody that appeals to our emotion, it has a power to change lives and even make foes become allies. It sounds so unbelievable but it’s true. When I attended a press briefing on the International Rondalla Festival, I heard an interesting story about Persians and Israelis.

The history of disputes and hostilities between the two countries is deeply rooted in history, apart of course from the ongoing row between the two territories. Their people are not even allowed to be seen together.

But this does not hold true when a group of musicians visited the country for the second edition of the Rondalla Festival in Dumaguete City in 2007. According to Loen M. Vitto, the over-all coordinator of festivals’ third edition, participant from both countries treated each other as best buddies when they participated in the festival.

“It’s a great experience for both groups, their countries are not in good terms but during the festival, they showed us and to all the participating countries that peace and unity can be achieved…and this is through music,” Vitto told the Standard Today.

This year, they might not see each other again for the third edition of the festival that will take place in the bustling city of Tagum in Davao, but they have already made a mark and highlighted the great ability of music to build friendship, and even break cultural barriers.

Iran has confirmed its participation in the event and will be joined by 500 artists from some of the best rondalla and plucked string groups in the Philippines and other countries like China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts through the Musicological Society of the Philippines and the City of Tagum Tourism Council in cooperation with the City government of Tagum and the UP College of Music are the institutions behind the festival that will run from Feb. 12 to 19.

Billed Cuerdas ng Pagkakaysa (Strings of Unity), the third international rondalla festival will be a week-long musical event that features concerts, an exhibition, outreach performances, international conference, seminars, workshops and other special related activities.

“It will also activate and provide the initial energy to the World Rondalla Society that will not only sustain the development of an important musical patrimony but more importantly will also promote global peace and understanding through a shared music tradition,” furthered Vitto.

The festival organizers hope to present through the festival the other face of Mindanao, a venue of beauty and peace, a fitting stage for an international music festival. Cuerdas sa Pagkakaysa will also feature performances in other municipalities in and outside the province of Davao del Norte as well as in Metro Manila. The Third International Rondalla Festival will be mounted in Manila (for the first time) on Feb. 21-24 through the partnership of the UP Diliman.

Is Marian going to reprise Ate V’s iconic role?

The actress who is reluctant to show some skin in a men’s magazine is the top pick to breathe life to a character that earned Vilma Santos her first Best Actress award.

Burlesk Queen is a rousing tale of a burlesque dancer who got into the job because of poverty. Her innocent looks yet sensual dancing skills catapult her into being an instant sensation. Critics regard the movie as one of the best local film of all time also giving Vilma Santos a major credit for her unforgettable performance in the movie’s climax—she dances herself on stage to death to abort her baby.

So, is Marian Rivera going take the challenging role? In case, Burlesk Queen would mark as Marian starring in a movie remake for the third time. The first of course is in the entry to the recently-concluded Metro Manila Film Festival, Super Inday and the Golden Bibe (originally starred Maricel Soriano in 1988), and second in the currently on filming stage, Temptation Island.

Another remake will definitely put Marian in box—her career and popularity is already supported by strings of remake (MariMar, Dyesebel, Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang, and Darna) that limit her ability as an actor.

Marian is fit to reprise the role, given that she is able to dance. It will also add luster in her career. But no, Marian isn’t going to reprise the role. In previous interviews, the 26-year-old Kapuso star categorically said that her role in the series Darna will be the most daring move she’s going to do in her career.

According to her manager, Marian is too concentrated with Amaya, the epic series set to premiere in the first quarter of the year, and that another movie is not their focus at the moment.

Mula Sa Puso remake in the offing

A lot of what we have today in television started out as just rumors, and that’s the reason why the adage “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” was created. At the moment, online forum run and frequented by Kapamilya aficionados are hyping the remake of the drama series Mula Sa Puso.

If you didn’t know, and if you’re 11 years old and below, Mula Sa Puso was a primetime television drama aired in March 1997 and ended in April 1999. A film was even made with the same title, which was produced by Star Cinema and starred by then controversial couple Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan.

According to the forum members, ABS-CBN is planning to revive the series after the unprecedented success of Mara Clara. And just like in any forum sites, each member has his or her own bet to play the lead roles. The names of Robi Domingo and Erich Gonzales are the top picks to play Gabriel and Via, with Andi Eigenmann and Enchong Dee as their alternative.

If this is the new trend in the Kapamilya camp, then it doesn’t sound promising. Mara Clara is enough. It already startled Hubert Webb. What are these writers and creative teams doing nowadays is flipping old scripts to get inspiration, only to come up with another rehash. Had they’ve been introduced to the word innovative, then they wouldn’t resort recycling old materials.

If you were the management of the TV station, would you keep those people who can’t produce new and original ideas and scripts?


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