Category Archives: culture

What new generation writers can learn from Ricky Lee

To be a successful playwright, screenwriter, or writer for any medium, for that matter, patience is what you need besides writing skills. And that, according to multi-awarded screenwriter Ricardo “Ricky” Lee is more important than mastering your own craft. Continue reading

Daluy: Musika at Kapaligiran

Five environmental soundscapes interact with film in Daluy: Musika at Kapaligiran, a concert of Dr. Jonas Baes’ compositions. The concert is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, November 27, 7:00 PM at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium. This special performance caps the invitation-only Project Bakawan Arts Festival 2015 Press Launch to be held earlier that day.
Dr. Baes, presently the Chair of the Department of Composition and Theory at the UP Diliman College of Music, is well known for his using a wide range of musical instruments in his unconventional compositions. His instruments range from indigenous bamboo types to everyday objects such as dry leaves or iron nails. In Daluy: Musika at Kapaligiran, Baes’ soundscapes interact with videos made by the UP Cineastes. Each video is a treatise about different environments in the Philippines, both social and natural. Continue reading

Young Artists Give Life to Ancient Manobo Epic Through Dance Theater

From chanting and trance to theater and dance – some of the most promising dancers and actors of our contemporary art scene give life to the Manobo Ulahingen in Agyu: Patungo sa Paraiso.

This a dance drama brought to you by Del La Salle College of St. Benilde’s (DLS-CSB) Arts Management Program and Siklab Productions.  shows this November 26 and 27 (7:30 PM) and Nov 28-29 (3:00 PM and 7:30 PM) at the Black Box Theater, 6F DLS-CSB School of Design and Arts Building, P. Ocampo St, Taft, Manila. Continue reading

New Breed: Cinemalaya X features 10 full length digital features

The 2014 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition, now on its 10th year and billed as Cinemalaya X, premieres a crop of 25 new digital films on August 1 to 10 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, its main venue, and at satellite venues at Ayala Theaters in Greenbelt Makati, Alabang Town Center, TriNoma, and Fairview Terraces, the latest addition to Cinemalaya satellite venues. Continue reading

Redefining contemporary art

The 2012 Thirteen Artists Award lists a good mix of uniquely different artists, with different background and inspirations. But their being different from one another earned them a slot in a group exhibition on Oct. 18 at The Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Continue reading

Thoughts of a music master

Since conductor and music educator Olivier Ochanine joined the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in 2010 as its principal conductor and music director, he has been committed to bringing the performances of the symphony group to a wider range of audience. Continue reading

Is theater dying?

With the dominance of television, movies and multimedia entertainment, traditional theater is finding it difficult to survive. Though by any measure, live performances are equally or even more entertaining, people do not invest on it because they think theater is a dying form of art. Continue reading

Lighting up the Cultural Center of the Philippines

by Nickie Wang

Adorning the iconic façade of Cultural Center of the Philippines with white Christmas lanterns has been an annual tradition since 2001. People passing by the busy Roxas Boulevard have been enthralled by the meteor-like decors that seem to shower the lawn of the complex. Continue reading

Newsmakers: 10 Trending Searches on Yahoo! Philippines from August 8 to 14

  1. Cultural Center of the Philippines: The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is being criticized for housing the controversial Kulo art exhibit which includes Mideo Cruz’ mixed-media collage, Poletismo. The exhibition features election campaign posters, photos of national heroes and movie idols, religious images with condoms and Jesus Christ with a movable wooden penis. The CCP eventually closed down following a public outrage and vandalism. Continue reading

Proudly Green: De La Salle’s history in song and dance

by Nickie Wang

One of the country’s premier universities is celebrating its centennial anniversary, and the key people behind the festivity want to highlight the school’s colorful history in a grand musical that will feature more than 70 talents and performers. Continue reading

Kapamilya stars dominate Google’s influential women list

by Nickie Wang

On the eve of Women’s Day celebration, Google Philippines released a list of 20 most influential women in the country, and majority of the names were from the Kapamilya network.

The list, which is based on the volume of search queries local Google received last year, named 11 Kapamilya stars. Continue reading

Cultural Center of the Philippines to showcase diverse range of artistic events

by Nickie Wang

The year 2010 was a great year for the Cultural Center of the Philippines amid curtailed budget. Its resident companies were still consistent in the quality of their performances. For this year, at the annual press appreciation lunch held on Jan. 19, key people behind the institution were delighted to announce additional activities that center in promoting and preserving Filipino arts and culture. Continue reading

Dancing to the beats of Francisco Balagtas

by Nickie Wang

That might sound contemporary and innovative yet a little unexciting since we all knew Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar as the great poet with a laurel on his head, famous for his work Florante at Laura, which is now a staple in the high school curriculum.

So how are you going to enjoy a story in an archaic language written by a 19th century man? Simple, replace the words with modern and elaborate movements, like turning a long narrative into a beautiful dance number complete with live orchestra for musical accompaniment. Continue reading

Contemporary film on infidelity

by Nickie Wang

Giovanni and Lucia live in Rome and work in the world of creativity, he as a struggling actor, and she as a film editor. But the married couple breaks up while a documentary is being made about them. Giovanni walks out on Lucia and their baby right before the cameras.

Documentarian Eros and buddy Giorgio relentlessly continue filming the couple (a la Pinoy Big Brother assault) despite the unexpected real life domestic crisis. Continue reading

Olivier Ochanine: New kid on the PPO block

by Nickie Wang

French-American conductor and music educator Olivier Ochanine has an impressive portfolio of work experience at a very young age. At 30, his resume boasts a number of achievements ranging from awards and recognitions to academic degrees in music education. But guess where this new kid on the block wants to perform:

“Given a chance, I would want to perform in places like schools, hospitals, jails and in some undeserved areas where music education is inaccessible, where performances staged by symphony orchestras like the PPO are not usually witnessed,” Ochanine poured his heart out in an interview with the Standard Today. Continue reading

A passion for curves

by Nickie Wang

Each culture develops its own concept of beauty but over the years a significant proportion has begun considering Barbie as the ideal standard of female splendor. It will take generations, or even forever, to change this general perception.

To metal sculptor Daniel dela Cruz, every woman has her own distinct beauty and he depicts it in a creatively different way. His statues and body of work flatter voluptuous figure: women with big bosom and robust thighs. It has been his signature style since he started using malleable materials two decades ago.

“These figures are inspired by my wife,” he giggles pointing his fingers to some of his artworks, “But I am the reference,” he laughs while rubbing his tummy. Continue reading

Revitalizing classical concert scene

by Nickie Wang

There have been many misconceptions a propos classical music. Some say the form is reserved for the rich and upper class in society, and others say it is already dead.

A great number of people are inclined to patronizing only popular music, reason being, it is the main musical form that is available on the radeio. Little did they know, most musical forms including pop, are heavily influenced by classical music, which is the base foundation of any musical composition.

“Classical music is like a type of food. Some people didn’t have the chance to experience or taste it but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will not like it,” says Victor Coo, a virtuoso cellist. Continue reading

WITHOUT WANG²: Cats love music, too

by Nickie Wang

It’s always been a mystery tor us humans how animals think or how they process stimuli. That’s the reason why we make movies, TV series, and musicals that cast animal characters acting like humans (or the other way around). It is our own means of expressing our curiosity on how they behave.

Cats, the second longest-running musical on Broadway, defines our understanding of the nature of animals. Like humans, they also have a clan with mixed and contrasting members. The reason why this musical lasted so long is because it has a very simple story that we can easily relate to. It’s about acceptance, dispute, and victory. Continue reading

Celebrate Philippines-Japan Friendship Month

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) and the Embassy of Japan invite everyone to the month-long celebration of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this July.

The JFM showcases the best of Japanese contemporary photography, cinema, music and theater through the different events happening in Metro Manila, Davao and Cebu.

Experience out of the ordinary moments captured in print with Japanese Contemporary Photography exhibit, Out of the ordinary/extraordinary at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila from June 22 to September 30.  The exhibit introduces the works of eleven Japanese photographers who confront the complexity of an increasingly complicated world by coming up with new forms of expression. Continue reading


Tony S. Espejo, artistic director of Gantimpala Theater, one of the leading dramatic arts companies in the Philippines today, announces the enrollment of its 33rd Summer Drama Workshop.

The 33rd Gantimpala Theater Summer Drama Workshop, which is slated on April 5 to May 15, 2010, offers a two-in-one course that will teach its participants basic acting and acting for musical theater. Classes will be at the Rehearsal Hall, Open Air Auditorium Building , inside Luneta Park , in Manila . Continue reading