By Noli A. Magsambol III
In celebration of the National Arts Month, the Office of Initiatives for Culture and the Arts (OICA) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) holds the 3rd Southern Tagalog Arts Festival which features the art installation of a well-known Filipino artist, sculptor and designer, Mr. Leeroy New.
The festival is a month-long celebration started on February 3 to February 28. It is an annual festival that is organized by OICA to uphold the dynamism and diversity of Filipino culture and to encourage the thriving of the artistic tradition. The art festivity aims to serve as a celebratory showcase of artistic talents from the different provinces in Southern Tagalog.
This year’s festival highlights six different artistic contributions such as:
- BISWAL– showcase of drawing, painting, and printmaking;
- LILOK– display of sculptures, poetry, and ceramics;
- BALAY-exhibit applied arts such as embroidery, architecture, fashion design and weaving;
- SULAT– showcase of written works in poetry, prose as well as academic researches;
- TANGHAL-showcase of performance arts; and
- USBONG-displays new media art forms such as photography, video and digital art.
The festival showcases classic films of Nora Aunor such as “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos”, “Banaue”, and “Himala”. These films were shot and filmed in different locations in the Southern Tagalog. These films are of free admission and open to all. On February 3, almost 300 people watched “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” at the DL Umali Auditorium in UPLB.
Aside from the installation art of Filipino artist Leeroy New, this year’s festival highlights the first original Filipino musical play in UPLB titled, “Bonifacio and the Freak show” which is directed by a professional actor-director for theatre and television here in the country, Mr. Joey Ting. The musical play is free admission and will be staged on February 19 to 21 with 3 pm and 7 pm performances at the DL Umali Auditorium.
Claudine Gonzales, Administrative Officer of OICA, shared, “Siguro what is exciting ngayong arts festival, aside from installation art of Mr. Leeroy New and musical play is yung opening concert namin noong February 4 kasi iba’t ibang cultural and ethnic bands ang nag-perform dito from different provinces here sa Southern Tagalog.”
At 7 pm, of February 4, a festival opening concert was held at the DL Umali Auditorium which staged different cultural bands such as Lakbay Lahi and Elemento, both ethnic art music ensembles from Cavite. Musical bands Althaea and Three Days After, both from Los Baños, Laguna also performed in the concert. Juniper Face the Corner, a UPLB-based independent pop rock band also staged their talents during the concert.
The UP Service, Integrity, Benevolence, Objectivity, Leadership (UP SIBOL) also helped in organizing the festival. The organization housed the performers in opening concert last February 4. They are also in charge of coordination with local groups of performers for later events and for the program flow.
Gonzales invites people to attend the upcoming activities of the art festival. “Hinihikayat ko ang mga tao hindi lang ‘yung mga taga rito sa Southern Tagalog, pati na rin sa mga karatig lugar na pumunta at silipin ang celebration natin dito ng National Arts Month. Hindi lang dahil sa libre ito, para na rin masaksihan nila ang iba’t ibang talento ng mga taga dito sa rehiyon natin,” said Gonzales.
Here is the schedule of activities for the 3rd Southern Tagalog Arts Festival.