It was January 1991 when then President Corazon Aquino signed Proclamation No. 683 declaring the month of February of every year as National Arts Month. It was this proclamation that added vibrance to arts in the country. This year, the National Commission for Culture and Arts, the government’s primary art and cultural heritage preservation, promotion, and enrichment arm, is set to spearhead activities that would mark the said occasion.
This year’s National Arts Month theme is “Ani ng Sining: Tradisyon at Inobasyon” (Tradition and Innovation) and is a call to hope, act, and commit to social transformation through art. The celebration also aims to achieve artistic excellence, deeper appreciation of the different art forms and awareness of indigenous and contemporary arts and eventually help in harnessing these art forms through the myriad activities lined up during the month-long celebration.
There are various forms that come to mind with the word Arts, and the country will witness performances, exhibitions, lectures, seminars-workshops, and for a, among others on the seven conventional classification of arts, namely literature, dance, music, architecture, cinema, theater, and visual arts.
There are seven arts activities for the celebration also known as Philippine Arts Festival, and these are: Taboan, a literary arts festival; the First Asian Festival of Gongs and Bamboo Music; the Tanghal dramatic arts; Philippine International Visual Arts Festival: The Rizal Experience; Cinema Rehiyon; Architecture; and Sayaw Pinoy.
Sayaw Pinoy 2012, the longest running national dance tour now on its ninth year, is being staged in the National Capital Region, and in various venues in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. On Feb. 3 to 4, dance tours will take place around the country. Top dance companies from Manila and the regions will have a dance tour which aims to reach the grassroots and promote the native dances, discover new talents and connect to more Filipino dance artists.
The NCCA, on Feb. 20 to 24 will bring the PAF to typhoon-devastated Cagayan de Oro City. The aim is to help in the healing process of survivors through music and dance.
The gongs and bamboo music festival will be held in Baguio and Iloilo on Feb. 25 to 28.
To close the Philippine Arts Festival is the “Ani ng Dangal” awarding ceremony, as well as recognition of Filipino contemporary artists for their contributions in the enrichment of arts in the country.
All these activities in recognition of the potent power of arts make February a month not only for lovers but also for art lovers.